Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Vehicle Safety: 1959 Chevy crashes into 2009 Chevy
Old 03-31-2010, 08:30 PM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Vehicle Safety: 1959 Chevy crashes into 2009 Chevy

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety was 50 years old in 2009. As part of their commemoration of the event, they staged an offset crash test between a 1959 Chevy Bel Air and a 2009 Chevy Malibu. If you are a classic car fan, you might not want to watch this video of the crash demonstration. They have many different camera angles covering the crash, including camera in the vehicles..

Crash Video

Both cars were going 40 MPH. I was surprised that the cars weighed nearly the same: The Bel Air weighed 3620 lbs and the Malibu weighed 3514 lbs. The Bel Air was 211 inches long and the Malibu was 192 inches--almost 20 inches shorter.

Here are pictures of the driver's section of each vehicle's passenger compartment. They tell the whole story. Also, watch the roof, the steering column, and the glass of the Bel Air in the video.



Quote:
In the crash test involving the two Chevrolets, the 2009 Malibu's occupant compartment remained intact (above left) while the one in the 1959 Bel Air (right) collapsed
There's been a lot of progress in the last 50 years. I'll even go so far as to say that government intervention in this one particular narrow area may have been warranted and useful. Or, maybe the market would have produced the same result with enough public demand for improved safety.
__________________

__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-31-2010, 08:39 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
Khan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pine Island, Florida
Posts: 6,868
Send a message via AIM to Khan
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety was 50 years old in 2009. As part of their commemoration of the event, they staged an offset crash test between a 1959 Chevy Bel Air and a 2009 Chevy Malibu. If you are a classic car fan, you might not want to watch this video of the crash demonstration. They have many different camera angles covering the crash, including camera in the vehicles..

Crash Video

Both cars were going 40 MPH. I was surprised that the cars weighed nearly the same: The Bel Air weighed 3620 lbs and the Malibu weighed 3514 lbs. The Bel Air was 211 inches long and the Malibu was 192 inches--almost 20 inches shorter.

Here are pictures of the driver's section of each vehicle's passenger compartment. They tell the whole story. Also, watch the roof, the steering column, and the glass of the Bel Air in the video.



There's been a lot of progress in the last 50 years. I'll even go so far as to say that government intervention in this one particular narrow area may have been warranted and useful. Or, maybe the market would have produced the same result with enough public demand for improved safety.
You really think there could have been some public demand for improved safety? And even so, it could have been enforced at a lower level than Fed?
__________________

__________________
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
Khan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2010, 09:15 PM   #3
gone traveling
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,864
Compelling video evidence- looks like it is time for another Congressional media circus. Chevrolet obviously needs to recall all these dangerous vehicles. Have they no shame? After all, they have probably known about this since at least 1965. Get their CEO up in front of a subcommittee!
__________________
Westernskies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2010, 10:33 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
Yeah, I mentioned this last August when discussing the inadvisability of hanging on to a vehicle extra long for LBYM reasons.

Dr. Thomas Stanley's new book - Post #30.
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 02:06 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,435
Wow! They really "do not make them like they used to".

It's sobering to see one's classic car may simply serve as a crumpled zone for the newer cars. Out with the old. In with the new.

Note to myself: Need to drive the to-be-acquired 2CV in really really back roads of Europe. OMG! It does not have airbags either.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 06:45 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,646
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
. I'll even go so far as to say that government intervention in this one particular narrow area may have been warranted and useful. Or, maybe the market would have produced the same result with enough public demand for improved safety.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan View Post
You really think there could have been some public demand for improved safety? And even so, it could have been enforced at a lower level than Fed?
I think we would have gotten some safty improvements - it always surprises me that Americans wear bike helmets - but I don't think you would see anything approaching the changes regulation imposed. Haiti vs Chile shows the same thing about building codes for earthquakes.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 06:50 AM   #7
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,571
The results are not at all surprising after all the wrecks I've seen. I remember when air bags first came out and being astonished at seeing people walk away from wrecks that "should" have been fatal.

That's why, when we were picking options for DW's car, at the time the only way to get the side-impact air bags was to also buy the package with leather seats. She didn't want the leather seats, thinking they'd be too hot in the summer. My response: "It's going to have leather seats. What color leather seats do you want?"

PS. She found she didn't mind the leather seats. Now she wants heated leather seats.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 06:53 AM   #8
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,851
My '55 Bel Air would have done better/worse.

Worse because it was a 2-door HT (not a sedan like the '59 in the video), plus most of the front end (at least around the headlights) was Bondo.

Better of course, it did have one of those new-fangled "air bags". My GF (later to be my DW) ...
__________________
rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 01:10 PM   #9
gone traveling
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,864
Quote:
Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
Better of course, it did have one of those new-fangled "air bags". My GF (later to be my DW) ...
Careful, she'll belt you in your seat...
__________________
Westernskies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 01:32 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Koolau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Leeward Oahu
Posts: 3,244
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
Yeah, I mentioned this last August when discussing the inadvisability of hanging on to a vehicle extra long for LBYM reasons.

Dr. Thomas Stanley's new book - Post #30.
Yeah, I actually think about this issue from time to time when I'm driving my '91 Mazda 626. It has no air bags and it's way before the side impact standards came out. But it does get about 20% better gas mileage than my daily driver Mazda 626 with air bags/side impact protection. It costs practically nothing to license (or even insure). You pays yer money...
__________________
Ko'olau's Law -

Anything which can be used can be misused. Anything which can be misused will be.
Koolau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 03:30 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,287
One of the things that stand out to me is all the dirt or rust that is in the old car... you can see it in a few shots... but at the 1:00 mark, look at the bottom of the front door when it hits and separates... LOTS of stuff coming out...

Something else I saw... the hood of the old car did not fold... it was just lifted up... in this crash it went above the other car, but I could see that in a different crash that it might be able to come INTO the window of the new car and hit the driver in the head...


Another interesting thing that I had read was the car manufacturers had to strengthen the occupancy cage after airbags were common... seems that it was 'weak'... that people would survive the crash, but have their legs broken or even amputated in the crash... they said previously it was not a problem as the occupants were dead... so who cared if they also have a broken leg or missing foot..

Yes.... the newer cars are a lot safer than the old... I hope the keep improving.
__________________
Texas Proud is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 03:41 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post

Something else I saw... the hood of the old car did not fold... it was just lifted up... in this crash it went above the other car, but I could see that in a different crash that it might be able to come INTO the window of the new car and hit the driver in the head...
Yes, the hood has received a lot of attention on modern cars for the reasons you state--they frequently would slice through the passenger compartment in the old days. Almost all modern cars have special hooks that engage the rear of the hood (and often the front, too) to keep it in place as the engine compartment collapses. In addition, they have specially weakened points in the bracing on the underside of the hood to provide locations for the hood to fold neatly, you can usually see these when you open the hood.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 04:05 PM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
Yeah, I actually think about this issue from time to time when I'm driving my '91 Mazda 626. It has no air bags and it's way before the side impact standards came out. But it does get about 20% better gas mileage than my daily driver Mazda 626 with air bags/side impact protection. It costs practically nothing to license (or even insure). You pays yer money...
My impression of air bags is that they just accelerate/intensify the effects of putting your hands in front of your face before the collision... and help you break your nose even faster than you otherwise would have.

They also keep my passenger spouse from putting her feet up on the dash like she used to in the "good ol' days".

I know airbags save the lives of people who aren't wearing seatbelts. (Much to Darwin's disgust.) But is there a credible study verifying that airbags save the lives of people who are already wearing seatbelts in a car with a modern passenger compartment?
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 04:09 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
My impression of air bags is that they just accelerate/intensify the effects of putting your hands in front of your face before the collision... and help you break your nose even faster than you otherwise would have.
While we're on the subject...

Airbags on airplanes: Your seatbelt may hide a lifesaving surprise - USATODAY.com
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 04:12 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
But is there a credible study verifying that airbags save the lives of people who are already wearing seatbelts in a car with a modern passenger compartment?
There are a surprising number -- "credibility" is for you to decide. Let me Google (Topeka) it for you:

airbag +study - Google Search

For instance:

Is your airbag really safe? New study may surprise you | KING5.com | Seattle Featured Video on Demand
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 06:07 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
IndependentlyPoor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Austin
Posts: 1,142
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
I'll even go so far as to say that government intervention in this one particular narrow area may have been warranted and useful. Or, maybe the market would have produced the same result with enough public demand for improved safety.
It may be more controversial, but I think that cafe and emission regulations also helped drive the market in a good direction.

Emissions of modern cars is dramatically lower than the old smokers, but getting from there to here was expensive and troublesome. Remember how awful late 70s cars were? Low horsepower, rough running. Yuck. It just wasn't possible to go from carburetors to electronic fuel injection in one step, and I doubt that it would have ever happened unless forced by the government.

1971 President Richard Nixon signed the National Air Quality Control Act, which called for a 90 percent reduction in automobile emissions by 1975. The act also tightened air-pollution controls and fines in other industries.
From: Emission Control Milestones In Auto History

Other more recent improvements driven by the cafe standards include the new, efficient, 6 speed automatic transmissions with lockup torque converters.
__________________
IndependentlyPoor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 11:57 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Telly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,448
When the IIHS video first came out, there was a lot of hashing and rehashing of it on the internet. No doubt that a modern car would protect it's driver better than most/all cars of 50 years ago.

But a 1959 Chevy had a big handicap. For model years 1958 through 1964, Chevy used a poor idea called the "X Frame". I lived in a Chevy neighborhood then, and for all the 55-56-and 57 Chevys, it's like Chevy was non-existent from 1958 through 1964. There was one '58 and one '59 Chevy. That's it. People changed to other cars instead.

One look under one of them, and you sure wouldn't want to get even tapped in the side. Without a true "proper" frame, front collision probably suffered too.

Google "X frame chevy". From xframechevy.com, here's a pic from the front end, this one's from a convertible, which has more reinforcing than a non-convert would have.

__________________
-- Telly, the D-I-Y guy --
Two fools dancing on the hands of time
Telly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2010, 09:53 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
There's been a lot of progress in the last 50 years. I'll even go so far as to say that government intervention in this one particular narrow area may have been warranted and useful. Or, maybe the market would have produced the same result with enough public demand for improved safety.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndependentlyPoor View Post
It may be more controversial, but I think that cafe and emission regulations also helped drive the market in a good direction.
Thread's getting a bit stale, but I thought I should chime in since I'm normally pretty vocal about stupid govt interventions.

I agree that the govt got it 'right enough' when it comes to vehicle emissions and safety. I totally disagree with CAFE standards - there are far more efficient and effective ways to achieve.... ummm, what exactly were CAFE standards meant to achieve?

Emissions come under the "Tragedy of the Commons" scenario, so I do think regulation was required, or else things would have had to have gotten so bad for so many before a significant number would take any significant action. And one non-player can wipe out the good done by 1,000 others. I suppose the mob could stone them.

Not sure if there is a term like that to apply to the safety issue - I think the root cause is similar, one buyer does not have enough influence to create demand for what is good for all. Plus, safety isn't so transparent, and isn't a 'wow' factor on the sales floor. You can't really run numbers when people's lives are part of the equation, other than a comparative ($1M in costs for policy A saves 100 lives, but $1M in policy B saves 10 lives, so clearly we should choose A).

I'm sure things could have been done better, but I don't see that these programs are over-run with obvious, gross inefficiencies like so many govt programs, so I'm relatively satisfied (wow, that sure sets the bar low ).

I wonder if the govt had concentrated on transparency and awareness for safety, if the market would have demanded it and mfg would have responded, w/o specific regulations? I think a big % of Volvo sales were on the perception of safety. I dunno.

And in case anyone thinks I'm flip-flopping about govt intervention, let me be clear. I'm all in favor of govt intervention, when it is the best available method to achieve a commonly agreed upon goal, and when it does it with some reasonably efficient/effective process.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2010, 10:00 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
I think we would have gotten some safty improvements - it always surprises me that Americans wear bike helmets - but I don't think you would see anything approaching the changes regulation imposed. Haiti vs Chile shows the same thing about building codes for earthquakes.
A bike helmet saved my life twice. I could tell by how deformed the helmet was after the accident.
If you don't wear one now, I suggest you start.
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2010, 10:13 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
IndependentlyPoor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Austin
Posts: 1,142
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I totally disagree with CAFE standards - there are far more efficient and effective ways to achieve.... ummm, what exactly were CAFE standards meant to achieve?
-ERD50
Wow! Great post!

CAFE standards were certainly a mixed bag. They forced downsizing, and so everybody started buying SUVs (which were considered light trucks and exempt). Oops.

Please elaborate on the more efficient and effective ways to achieve whatever CAFE was supposed to do. I am not being snarky here, and I am no big fan of CAFE. Twenty or thirty years later we have the advantage of seeing how things turned out, and discussing how things could have been done better seems worthwhile.
__________________

__________________
IndependentlyPoor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Every Chevy Convertible Since 1912 mickeyd Other topics 0 02-04-2010 04:54 PM
Dumb Chevy Volt Logo TromboneAl Other topics 64 08-14-2009 09:52 AM
Vehicle Safety:IIHS Tests A Few Small Cars Against Medium Cars samclem Other topics 15 04-16-2009 01:29 PM
'56 Chevy stuff calmloki Other topics 11 08-28-2007 03:38 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:55 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.