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Barry Wolk

For those of you that profess how safe our old cars are.........

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In general, modern cars are much safer for occupants in traffic crashes. With that said, this was designed to "demonstrate" the position of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Their agenda is well demonstrated by this video. I am not ready to quite buy their video as proof of much. I would have to know more about the actual condition of the 1959 Chevrolet prior to the impact. I have 28 years experience investigating traffic crashes and I see some things in this video that cause me to view it as more advertisement that scientific experiment. I don't believe every advertisement that I see on TV and without more evidence, I am not willing to give this much more credibility.

Anybody else notice the rust colored dust billowing out of the passenger side of the 1959 Chevrolet? That is one very questionable thing about the video to me. I wonder where that came from if the 1959 Chevrolet was not compromised by rust.

Edited by MCHinson (see edit history)

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Barry, did you really think you could get very many of these guys to admit that Raph Nader was right? :rolleyes::D

Nope, can't teach an old dog new tricks.

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Can you believe that they call it a "Celebration" of 50 years? Anyone ever see anyone else celebrate 50 years by wrecking a perfectly good (looking) '59 Chevy?

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In looking at the video very carefully, I noticed that the placement of the center line of the cars were not even, (the Chevy was off to the right about 5" due to the different widths)making the Chevy hit the crumple zone of the newer car.

This in turn placed the front of the new car into a position to enter the door of the Chevy and drivers compartment as they rotated around. Note that the front of the Chevy never hit the side of the door on the other car.

While this placement may have been to compensate for the center line of the masses of the vehicles, it did cause the newer car to rotate into the Chevy door and enter the drivers space.

The moral of the story could be said that the new car designs are a hazard to older cars.

I guess it all depends on who is selling what.

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The moral of the story could be said that the new car designs are a hazard to older cars.

Once again, the video was about the occupants, not the car. Why is that so difficult to understand?

5" off-center? Who cares? Do you get to choose where you get hit???????????

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Guest Trunk Rack
. . . . .

But ACCIDENT PREVENTION is still the best safety feature of all.

It starts and ends with defensive, legal driving habits.

. . . .

THANK HEAVEN WE HAVE AT LEAST ONE GUY WHO RECOGNIZES WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT !

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So when you ask "So what does the test suppose to prove?", it proves that today's cars are ultimately better built than those of 1959.

Sooooo, here we go again. I said that Dave, you would have to be a dummy to think old cars are safer, they didn't have to prove it to us!

If you read most of the comments at the bottom of the video, most viewers think the engine and trans were removed. If that was the case, they probably pulled most of the front supports out too. NEVER BELIEVE WHAT YOU MIGHT SEE IN PICTURES.

In the end results, they destroyed a very nice Chevrolet. It was no worst than rodding one, wouldn't you be the first to say that Dave?

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You show us, a group of automotive historians and old-car enthusiasts, a video of an old car being intentionally destroyed to prove what should be a moot point, and are surprised at our "thick-headed" reaction to it?

Yes, the concern is for occupants of an older car involved in a crash with a newer vehicle with more safety features designed in. Never mind most automotive mayhem is caused by idiot drivers who are simply not paying attention to driving. Lot of difference in a crash caused by a loose nut on a vehicle vs a loose nut behind the wheel.

Would that MKII of yours fare any better in a similarly staged crash with a 2009 MKZ?

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No, and if you had actually read what my first post was, you'd see that I'm not advocating not driving our vehicles, now did I?

It's really a crying shame that a post that raises questions about the safety of our bodies in our vehicles has been infused with arguments that are so off-topic as to be ridiculous, IMO.

Once gain, with fanfare, IT'S ABOUT THE OCCUPANTS, NOT THE CAR.

The car has no feelings, people do.

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Barry, the video is the same as showing someone a loaded gun and saying, "THIS KILLS", then pointing it at that person and firing it...........same thing.

The insurance institute should be promoting cell phone/texting problems. This is what is going to save lives.

Edited by Skyking
spelling (see edit history)

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If it is really about the occupants, then that's different altogether.

The occupants care not about the car being doctored, as some have posited.

They could care less about a 5"-off-center variation due to car body sizes.

And their feelings definitely won't be hurt from the conclusions drawn here...

'Cause they're crash-test dummies!

TG

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Watch this. I'm not saying we should stop driving them, I'm just saying......................

YouTube - 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air Vs. 2009 Chevrolet Malibu IIHS Offset

So you want us to re-read your first post? Here it is.... So, what is it that you are "just saying"?

Barry, as I have said before, there is no debating that occupant protection is far greater in modern cars than in antique cars.

Others may be offended by the destruction of an antique car without any perceived redeeming value. I personally don't buy the argument that the video proves much because the actual condition of the 1959 car is not known. You posted that the car is an unrestored original car. I have no idea where you got that "fact" it is not in the video, it is not anywhere on their website that I could find. Do you know something more about this video than you are posting?

The video is designed to advertise the strides made in occupant protection in the past 50 years. It does that very effectively.

The physics involved in a traffic crash are very predictable. Based on my experience investigating traffic crashes, I have some doubt about the condition of the 1959 Chevrolet. How do you describe the source of the rust colored dust expelled from the 1959 Chevrolet that is very clearly seen coming from the 1959 Chevrolet? (It is very clear from the passenger side view.)

Posting a video of the destruction of a nice looking antique car on this forum is a very predictable way to start a vigorous debate. Some people like that type of debate or argument. If that is your purpose, I guess you succeeded.

Luckily, This particular type of impact is a rather rare impact in the real world. Angle impacts are much more prevalent. Modern cars are designed to crumple on impact, absorbing the energy of the crash, thus protecting the occupants. Antique cars were designed to be rigid thinking that stronger meant better. In low speed impacts, the antique cars generally survive with perhaps a scratch on the chrome bumper, or perhaps no damage at all. High speed impacts in an antique car are not normally very pretty, but they are luckily, quite rare today. High speed impacts in a modern car generally result in lots of property damage and relatively little personal injury. Low speed impacts in a modern car generally result in surprisingly expensive repairs.

Times have changed. Cars have changed. People still seem to want to argue. Why can't we all just get along?

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Matthew, I think you are the most qualified person on this forum to debate such a video. Your post was well stated and I think it should end here.........

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A lot of use would "like" to believe our old cars are heavier and more sturdy, but I do hesitate when I take my granddaughters for a ride in my old Nash with out seat belts. But as someone illustrted I am not sure they are any safer without them due to the lack of proper mounting points in my old car. Not sure Does preservation class take off points for belts also?

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I think it's a great demonstration of the advancements in automotive safety, the laws of physics and our tax dollars at work.

As far as the destruction of the '59... Well... Lighten up. It's not like they lit the Mona Lisa on fire to show the flammability of old paint.

For an encore I'd like to see a '09 Malibu vs a three foot diameter oak tree.

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"It's not like they lit the Mona Lisa on fire to show the flammability of old paint. "

Well, at least not yet...

Do you think it was lead paint?

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Sounds like the bottom line is to use caution, like a motorcyclist. I drive very defensively but don't let the risk factor ruin my enjoyment. We have had some close calls - like the husband who was pointing excitedly at the car and his wife, driving, assumed he was directing her to make a hard turn - right at us! You have to expect anything.

That said, touring in an antique car is still, in my opinion, a pretty low risk activity. Certainly less than skydiving, for example...

Glad CT law does not call for retro fitting seatbelts, I agree if the car was not initially designed for them they are in fact, pretty dangerous.

Hope everyone stays safe out there.

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Never mind the all steel '59 Chevy..I can't even imagine what a head on collision with a modern car would look like hitting a car like mine ('29 Chrysler) with a wooden frame?!! Staged or not, it's safe to say there would be no survival. Makes you really think.

Dan

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Never mind the all steel '59 Chevy..I can't even imagine what a head on collision with a modern car would look like hitting a car like mine ('29 Chrysler) with a wooden frame?!! Staged or not, it's safe to say there would be no survival. Makes you really think.

Dan

I hope you meant wooden body structure and not wooden frame.

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Makes you really think.

Dan

And that is why the sad loss of a 1959 Chevy may be worth it. There are plenty of people who think of their antiques as more-or-less invulnerable tanks among the more modern iron they share the road with. A cursory scan of any safety related thread on this forum will find any number of posts fron such people.

It cannot be measured, but if this film causes one antique driver on his/her way home tonight to be a little more cautious at an intersection, preventing a life-ending or life-altering tragedy, it may have been worth one Bel Air sedan.

The intended audience for this film was not us. It was for buyers of modern cars to help convince them that they're actually getting something for all the money this research and engineering has cost. Our cautioning is merely a side benefit, one that that was enough for me not to decry the loss of this Chevy.

===========

Also, I've never heard any authoritative source say that properly installed seat belts in antique cars were a mistake. Obviously they would not have helped anyone sitting in the Chevy in this film. But in almost any other angle, any lower speed, or any higher speed where a roll-over occurred, they certainly would have helped.

No, installing them in 50+ year old cars is not as good as having them in a car that was designed with reinforced mounting points engineered in. But in almost any case where a thoughtful installation was accomplished, they would be better than nothing.

There's a very good reason why there's no point deduction in most systems for seat belt and safety glass installation.:)

Edited by Dave@Moon
dumb typo (see edit history)

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<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3ygYUYia9I&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3ygYUYia9I&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

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I wonder if 50 years from now people will see this and say...Why did they destroy a perfectly good Volvo and Renault.

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