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At the moment I'm working on an auto crash scene. I've set up a good rigid body sim and perented a low poly car to it so that I can run a soft body sim on it and then use it to deform the high poly model.

But whatever I do the soft body sim will not have permanent deformation, even though my plastic value is at 100.

animation of the non-permanent deformation

screenshot of the relevant values

At the moment I'm working in Blender 2.79b. I really hope someone can tell me why there is no permanent deformation and what I can do about it.

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In order for the Soft Body 'plastic' setting to have a meaningful effect you need to disable the 'goal' for those vertices - otherwise the 'goal' will simply pull the vertices back to their original positions.

However, in your situation it probably isn't as simple as disabling the 'goal' since the soft body will then be subject to other forces such as gravity so you'll need to create a Vertex Group of just those vertices that would not be expected to move (eg, the wheels) that the rest of the mesh can be supported upon. In the Soft Body Goal settings you can then leave the 'goal' enabled and set the Vertex Group to limit the goal to only the desired vertices (eg, the wheels that would be resting on the floor).

This can produce the following :

animated

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In this case a Cloth simulation is, in my opinion, better suited than a soft body simulation. By setting the cloths "Structural" property to 0 you can generate permanent deformations in the cloth. With additional settings you can have it behave like metal - quite convincingly, actually.

Here is what it looks like when rendered

And here are the settings:

enter image description here

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