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1959 Bel Air vs. 2009 Chev Malibu Crash Test


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#1 Lorraine

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 05:25 PM




The old cars seem sturdier, but apparently not.

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#2 Ancient Ways

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:08 PM

Huge difference.

#3 JohnRogers

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:21 PM

Early on like the 80’s older cars were safer but modern cars while built with less steel have things like crumple zones, air bags and parts designed not to impale drivers. I don’t think safety glass even was used in 1959.

#4 That One Guy

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:25 PM

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 05:25 PM, said:




The old cars seem sturdier, but apparently not.
Car safety has improved notably every decade in the last five. It has contributed to steadily lower highway fatality rates through the years. It appeared that knowing someone (or multiple) that had died in a crash was a part of life back in the day, but that just isn't as much the case anymore. I'm thankful for how safe modern automobiles are. Unfortunately, I truly believe it has contributed to an increase in incompetent and reckless driving, since the consequences for unacceptable driving are much lower with such safe vehicles.

And yet there's still Darwin-award winners refusing to wear seatbelts.

#5 Lorraine

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:42 PM

I put this here because I'm always amazed at how easily the new cars crumple in an accident.  It doesn't take much to total a car out today.  I now realize why automakers did that.

Edited by Lorraine, 05 December 2017 - 06:48 PM.


#6 HemiBeers

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:43 PM

My first car was grandpa's 64 BelAir, not much different than the 59. Solid steel dashboard with no padding. Seat belts were a factory option (lap belts only). Yeah probably a death trap if hitting something head-on.

But crap, why'd they have to toast a classic 59 belair?

Edited by HemiBeers, 05 December 2017 - 06:47 PM.


#7 Lorraine

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:46 PM

View PostThat One Guy, on 05 December 2017 - 06:25 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 05:25 PM, said:




The old cars seem sturdier, but apparently not.
Car safety has improved notably every decade in the last five. It has contributed to steadily lower highway fatality rates through the years. It appeared that knowing someone (or multiple) that had died in a crash was a part of life back in the day, but that just isn't as much the case anymore. I'm thankful for how safe modern automobiles are. Unfortunately, I truly believe it has contributed to an increase in incompetent and reckless driving, since the consequences for unacceptable driving are much lower with such safe vehicles.

And yet there's still Darwin-award winners refusing to wear seatbelts.
I can only speak for where I live, but the drivers are really bad.   Not a week goes by without someone dying in a crash.  Almost always it is an inexperienced young driver.

#8 The Cat 3

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:50 PM

I drive/drove a Honda Fit...a deer jumped over a guard rail just as I was going under an overpass and landed directly on top of my car from above. To say the car was totaled would be an understatement. It looked like someone crushed a beer can in their hand. I second earlier and I suspect I wouldn't be typing this message.

#9 Lorraine

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:50 PM

View PostHemiBeers, on 05 December 2017 - 06:43 PM, said:

My first car was grandpa's 64 BelAir, not much different than the 59. Solid steel dashboard with no padding. Seat belts were a factory option (lap belts only). Yeah probably a death trap if hitting something head-on.

But crap, why'd they have to toast a classic 59 belair?

View PostJohnRogers, on 05 December 2017 - 06:21 PM, said:

Early on like the 80’s older cars were safer but modern cars while built with less steel have things like crumple zones, air bags and parts designed not to impale drivers. I don’t think safety glass even was used in 1959.

Looks like the windshield flew right off of that BelAir.

#10 JohnRogers

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:52 PM

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 06:46 PM, said:

View PostThat One Guy, on 05 December 2017 - 06:25 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 05:25 PM, said:




The old cars seem sturdier, but apparently not.
Car safety has improved notably every decade in the last five. It has contributed to steadily lower highway fatality rates through the years. It appeared that knowing someone (or multiple) that had died in a crash was a part of life back in the day, but that just isn't as much the case anymore. I'm thankful for how safe modern automobiles are. Unfortunately, I truly believe it has contributed to an increase in incompetent and reckless driving, since the consequences for unacceptable driving are much lower with such safe vehicles.

And yet there's still Darwin-award winners refusing to wear seatbelts.
I can only speak for where I live, but the drivers are really bad.   Not a week goes by without someone dying in a crash.  Almost always it is an inexperienced young driver.
Put the damn phone down and just because we have ABS...stop tailgating!

#11 Lorraine

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:52 PM

View PostThe Cat 3, on 05 December 2017 - 06:50 PM, said:

I drive/drove a Honda Fit...a deer jumped over a guard rail just as I was going under an overpass and landed directly on top of my car from above. To say the car was totaled would be an understatement. It looked like someone crushed a beer can in their hand. I second earlier and I suspect I wouldn't be typing this message.
Did you get hurt at all?  You wouldn't think a deer could do that much damage to a car, but they do.

#12 Lorraine

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:55 PM

View PostJohnRogers, on 05 December 2017 - 06:52 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 06:46 PM, said:

View PostThat One Guy, on 05 December 2017 - 06:25 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 05:25 PM, said:




The old cars seem sturdier, but apparently not.
Car safety has improved notably every decade in the last five. It has contributed to steadily lower highway fatality rates through the years. It appeared that knowing someone (or multiple) that had died in a crash was a part of life back in the day, but that just isn't as much the case anymore. I'm thankful for how safe modern automobiles are. Unfortunately, I truly believe it has contributed to an increase in incompetent and reckless driving, since the consequences for unacceptable driving are much lower with such safe vehicles.

And yet there's still Darwin-award winners refusing to wear seatbelts.
I can only speak for where I live, but the drivers are really bad.   Not a week goes by without someone dying in a crash.  Almost always it is an inexperienced young driver.
Put the damn phone down and just because we have ABS...stop tailgating!
I don't know what folks think ABS will save them from if they aren't doing their part.

  The worst are the trucks that seem to think they're invincible on icy roads.  4-Wheel Drive isn't doing to save anyone on ice.

#13 That One Guy

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:55 PM

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 06:50 PM, said:

View PostHemiBeers, on 05 December 2017 - 06:43 PM, said:

My first car was grandpa's 64 BelAir, not much different than the 59. Solid steel dashboard with no padding. Seat belts were a factory option (lap belts only). Yeah probably a death trap if hitting something head-on.

But crap, why'd they have to toast a classic 59 belair?

View PostJohnRogers, on 05 December 2017 - 06:21 PM, said:

Early on like the 80’s older cars were safer but modern cars while built with less steel have things like crumple zones, air bags and parts designed not to impale drivers. I don’t think safety glass even was used in 1959.

Looks like the windshield flew right off of that BelAir.
I've never even seen a windshield dislodge itself (and certainly never shatter) in a [non-100mph] crash involving a vehicle made in the last twenty years. Progress!

#14 That One Guy

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 06:56 PM

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 06:55 PM, said:

View PostJohnRogers, on 05 December 2017 - 06:52 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 06:46 PM, said:

View PostThat One Guy, on 05 December 2017 - 06:25 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 05:25 PM, said:




The old cars seem sturdier, but apparently not.
Car safety has improved notably every decade in the last five. It has contributed to steadily lower highway fatality rates through the years. It appeared that knowing someone (or multiple) that had died in a crash was a part of life back in the day, but that just isn't as much the case anymore. I'm thankful for how safe modern automobiles are. Unfortunately, I truly believe it has contributed to an increase in incompetent and reckless driving, since the consequences for unacceptable driving are much lower with such safe vehicles.

And yet there's still Darwin-award winners refusing to wear seatbelts.
I can only speak for where I live, but the drivers are really bad.   Not a week goes by without someone dying in a crash.  Almost always it is an inexperienced young driver.
Put the damn phone down and just because we have ABS...stop tailgating!
I don't know what folks think ABS will save them from if they aren't doing their part.

  The worst are the trucks that seem to think they're invincible on icy roads.  4-Wheel Drive isn't doing to save anyone on ice.
Tell that to the Subaru and Audi drivers up here. Many of which I see in ditches in the winter months up the canyons.

#15 The Cat 3

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 07:01 PM

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 06:52 PM, said:

View PostThe Cat 3, on 05 December 2017 - 06:50 PM, said:

I drive/drove a Honda Fit...a deer jumped over a guard rail just as I was going under an overpass and landed directly on top of my car from above. To say the car was totaled would be an understatement. It looked like someone crushed a beer can in their hand. I second earlier and I suspect I wouldn't be typing this message.
Did you get hurt at all?  You wouldn't think a deer could do that much damage to a car, but they do.
I would have rather tangled with that Bel Air...the impact blew out all of the windows. I crawled out of the passenger window and passed out on the side of the road. I had just started driving again after nearly nine months of recuperating from different surgeries. I was out of sorts for a month or so, but absolutely fine otherwise. I saw the deer get up and walk away as I was laying there...I hope he made it as well, poor thing. I was happy to have broken his fall. :)

#16 Lorraine

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 07:02 PM

View PostThat One Guy, on 05 December 2017 - 06:56 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 06:55 PM, said:

View PostJohnRogers, on 05 December 2017 - 06:52 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 06:46 PM, said:

View PostThat One Guy, on 05 December 2017 - 06:25 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 05:25 PM, said:




The old cars seem sturdier, but apparently not.
Car safety has improved notably every decade in the last five. It has contributed to steadily lower highway fatality rates through the years. It appeared that knowing someone (or multiple) that had died in a crash was a part of life back in the day, but that just isn't as much the case anymore. I'm thankful for how safe modern automobiles are. Unfortunately, I truly believe it has contributed to an increase in incompetent and reckless driving, since the consequences for unacceptable driving are much lower with such safe vehicles.

And yet there's still Darwin-award winners refusing to wear seatbelts.
I can only speak for where I live, but the drivers are really bad.   Not a week goes by without someone dying in a crash.  Almost always it is an inexperienced young driver.
Put the damn phone down and just because we have ABS...stop tailgating!
I don't know what folks think ABS will save them from if they aren't doing their part.

  The worst are the trucks that seem to think they're invincible on icy roads.  4-Wheel Drive isn't doing to save anyone on ice.
Tell that to the Subaru and Audi drivers up here. Many of which I see in ditches in the winter months up the canyons.
I have a Subaru, and it's gotten me out of a lot of winter jams, but AWD can only do so much.  Ice is ice.

#17 HemiBeers

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 07:56 PM

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 06:55 PM, said:

View PostJohnRogers, on 05 December 2017 - 06:52 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 06:46 PM, said:

View PostThat One Guy, on 05 December 2017 - 06:25 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 05:25 PM, said:




The old cars seem sturdier, but apparently not.
Car safety has improved notably every decade in the last five. It has contributed to steadily lower highway fatality rates through the years. It appeared that knowing someone (or multiple) that had died in a crash was a part of life back in the day, but that just isn't as much the case anymore. I'm thankful for how safe modern automobiles are. Unfortunately, I truly believe it has contributed to an increase in incompetent and reckless driving, since the consequences for unacceptable driving are much lower with such safe vehicles.

And yet there's still Darwin-award winners refusing to wear seatbelts.
I can only speak for where I live, but the drivers are really bad.   Not a week goes by without someone dying in a crash.  Almost always it is an inexperienced young driver.
Put the damn phone down and just because we have ABS...stop tailgating!
I don't know what folks think ABS will save them from if they aren't doing their part.

  The worst are the trucks that seem to think they're invincible on icy roads.  4-Wheel Drive isn't doing to save anyone on ice.
UGGH one of my pet peeves are idiot 4wd truck drivers in winter. I actually take a sick pleasure seeing them stuck in a freeway ditch.

I hate ABS. Ok I'm gonna stomp on the brake on an icy road and when the car feels like stopping it eventually will. Otherwise enjoy the slide. Stupid.

Edited by HemiBeers, 05 December 2017 - 07:56 PM.


#18 That One Guy

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 08:01 PM

View PostHemiBeers, on 05 December 2017 - 07:56 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 06:55 PM, said:

View PostJohnRogers, on 05 December 2017 - 06:52 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 06:46 PM, said:

View PostThat One Guy, on 05 December 2017 - 06:25 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 05 December 2017 - 05:25 PM, said:




The old cars seem sturdier, but apparently not.
Car safety has improved notably every decade in the last five. It has contributed to steadily lower highway fatality rates through the years. It appeared that knowing someone (or multiple) that had died in a crash was a part of life back in the day, but that just isn't as much the case anymore. I'm thankful for how safe modern automobiles are. Unfortunately, I truly believe it has contributed to an increase in incompetent and reckless driving, since the consequences for unacceptable driving are much lower with such safe vehicles.

And yet there's still Darwin-award winners refusing to wear seatbelts.
I can only speak for where I live, but the drivers are really bad.   Not a week goes by without someone dying in a crash.  Almost always it is an inexperienced young driver.
Put the damn phone down and just because we have ABS...stop tailgating!
I don't know what folks think ABS will save them from if they aren't doing their part.

  The worst are the trucks that seem to think they're invincible on icy roads.  4-Wheel Drive isn't doing to save anyone on ice.
UGGH one of my pet peeves are idiot 4wd truck drivers in winter. I actually take a sick pleasure seeing them stuck in a freeway ditch.

I hate ABS. Ok I'm gonna stomp on the brake on an icy road and when the car feels like stopping it eventually will. Otherwise enjoy the slide. Stupid.
ABS, averaged over year round driving conditions, is much, much safer. ABS has personally saved my life. I do prefer non abs on snow/ice, and it would be nice to have an "abs off" button for such times.

Or you could just remove the ABS fuse :lol:

#19 ozzy85

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 01:12 AM

https://youtu.be/YiNjZLEgAiY

Try this one out from the '70s... some of the cars are more familiar.

It should be noted that some old cars weren't well built. Chevies back then had a notoriously flexy frame called the X-frame. They're weak in the middle. What is wanted is a passenger compartment that is like a cage while the ends are designed to absorb the blow.

I found a test of a late '60's Lincoln that was interesting. They're built like a safe. Hardly any intrusion into the passenger area. Still... it's remedial safety equipment. Lap belts, Collapsible steering column (very important.) It would be interesting to see one of these (or a similar vintage Chrysler) take on a newer car. The '59 Impala was designed mostly for looks.

#20 MMCXII

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 11:03 AM

cars today are intentionally designed to crumple but in '59 they were designed to withstand as much as possible.

some point along the way they figured it was more important to use the car to save the driver instead of just save the car..

the real question here is what in the fcuk did they really prove by destroying an old classic car.. I mean it's not a mopar but still..




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