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Front Bumper Bar - Why


likeold
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First I always wondered what is the purpose of a front bumper bar? Is good for looks only or did it have a purpose? Is a bumper bar period correct for a 1938 Buick Special? Does size matter? What is your personal opinion, does it look good to you? I had one on my 36 Ford never knew really what it was for and was thinking of buying one for the Buick just for the heck of it, more chrome!

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1 hour ago, likeold said:

was thinking of buying one for the Buick just for the heck of it, more chrome!

 

Maybe I'm missing something, but I think you have it figured out...  ;)

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1 hour ago, likeold said:

First I always wondered what is the purpose of a front bumper bar? Is good for looks only or did it have a purpose? Is a bumper bar period correct for a 1938 Buick Special? Does size matter? What is your personal opinion, does it look good to you? I had one on my 36 Ford never knew really what it was for and was thinking of buying one for the Buick just for the heck of it, more chrome!

 

 I am not certain what "bar" you are referring to. If it is what I believe you are asking about, they had a purpose .  The "bumper guards" or "overrides" they were attached to were, usually, taller than standard to protect the front of the car doing the pushing.  As in , "my car will not start, how about a push?".  The bar tied the overrides together .

 

  Ben

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6 minutes ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

The "bumper guards" or "overrides" they were attached to were, usually, taller than standard to protect the front of the car doing the pushing.

 

Yes, that was probably the original intent, but looking at the bumper on my '38 and the 'overriders/grille guards' that I've seen, I don't think it would take much force to twist it backward into the grille...  So, functionality is somewhat suspect, but they definitely add more front-end 'bling'!  ;)

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18 minutes ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 

 I am not certain what "bar" you are referring to. If it is what I believe you are asking about, they had a purpose .  The "bumper guards" or "overrides" they were attached to were, usually, taller than standard to protect the front of the car doing the pushing.  As in , "my car will not start, how about a push?".  The bar tied the overrides together .

 

  Ben

 

Here is the one on my 36 Ford, can see it would offer much protection when pushing.

Bumper bar.jpg

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 It would aide in preventing bumpers to lock while you are pushing the car in front of you. Otherwise if you went over a bump or over a dip, one bumper would override the other, causing them both to lock up.  Cop cars today have “push bars for the same reason, so cars don't get stuck together while pushing.

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Bumperettes were standard on my Packard, but grill guards with even taller bumperettes were an option. I found this already restored example on Ebay. I think it gives the "Junior" Packard a more massive look. A similar setup would do the same for a Buick IMHO.

Tim's bride to be and the Packard 001 (2).JPG

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2 hours ago, Century Eight said:

 It would aide in preventing bumpers to lock while you are pushing the car in front of you. Otherwise if you went over a bump or over a dip, one bumper would override the other, causing them both to lock up.  Cop cars today have “push bars for the same reason, so cars don't get stuck together while pushing.

 

Well now this makes sense, they must have done a lot of pushing back in the day, did't have AAA I guess.

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Likeold,  When I was a kid growing up in the fifties, there were still a lot of cars that weren’t automatics (although you could push those too at the time) and the batteries seemed to die more often, necessitating the need for push starting the car.  I remember my dad tell me and also showing me that if bumpers got locked, one or two guys would have to stand on one bumper and bounce it up and down to free it from the other locked bumper.  We never think about that today because we never need to push start or tow cars with a chain these days, and not many people drive cars with a manual transmission.  But in hilly country, you never needed to worry about a dead battery if you parked correctly on a slope and had a clutch type car.  We did a lot of push starting when I was a kid with weak batteries.

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7 hours ago, Century Eight said:

Likeold,  When I was a kid growing up in the fifties, there were still a lot of cars that weren’t automatics (although you could push those too at the time) and the batteries seemed to die more often, necessitating the need for push starting the car.  I remember my dad tell me and also showing me that if bumpers got locked, one or two guys would have to stand on one bumper and bounce it up and down to free it from the other locked bumper.  We never think about that today because we never need to push start or tow cars with a chain these days, and not many people drive cars with a manual transmission.  But in hilly country, you never needed to worry about a dead battery if you parked correctly on a slope and had a clutch type car.  We did a lot of push starting when I was a kid with weak batteries.

 

 

Yep!  Those 6 VOLT systems that were " good enough "  required a LOT  of help. I REMEMBER. 

 

  Ben

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9 hours ago, Rock10 said:

Try to push a car today and your airbag will go off. :)

 

 

Not true.  For a frontal air bag to go off, a vehicle must hit an immovable object at about 15mph.  Pushing a car will not set off the air bag.

 

"Typically, a front airbag will deploy for unbelted occupants when the crash is the equivalent of an impact into a rigid wall at 10-12 mph. Most airbags will deploy at a higher threshold — about 16 mph — for belted occupants because the belts alone are likely to provide adequate protection up to these moderate speeds."

 

Look here at the National Traffic Safety Administration website for more information. 

 

https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/air-bags

 

One caveat is if the frontal collision sensor has fallen from it's mounting position and is just hanging by the wire harness below the front bumper, then all bets are off.  I have heard of this.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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On 11/21/2021 at 8:34 AM, Larry Schramm said:

 

Not true.  For a frontal air bag to go off, a vehicle must hit an immovable object at about 15mph.  Pushing a car will not set off the air bag.

 

"Typically, a front airbag will deploy for unbelted occupants when the crash is the equivalent of an impact into a rigid wall at 10-12 mph. Most airbags will deploy at a higher threshold — about 16 mph — for belted occupants because the belts alone are likely to provide adequate protection up to these moderate speeds."

 

Look here at the National Traffic Safety Administration website for more information. 

 

https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/air-bags

 

One caveat is if the frontal collision sensor has fallen from it's mounting position and is just hanging by the wire harness below the front bumper, then all bets are off.  I have heard of this.

Larry:

 I guess that is why the air bag did not deploy in the 2020 Lincoln Continental that T-Boned my 1937. As he was accelerating into my already in motion Buick he was in essence pushing me. The effect was to spin us 180 degrees. 

20210801_185443.jpg.9caaa1715e71872b954e49ed3b39d24a.jpg

 One can see my tire skid marks. Note that we were able to miss stone wall!

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