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  1. #1

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    Default 2009 Chevy Malibu vs. 1959 Chevy Bel-Air in crash test

    Check out the video and article...

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2009...air-literally/

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    Interesting...My first thought it would be the other way around.

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    I bet the fuzzy dice afforded a lot of protection :p
    Ludicrous gibs!

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    I wonder if or when we will find out that the Bel Aire was modified to come apart like it did. It is certain that congress will call for hearings to ban any pre-1975 cars from public roadways as a result of this test...
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    I don't see why that would be--If somebody chooses to continue to drive around in a death trap .... Now if it were the other way around and the Bel Air was a rolling tank and destroyed the Malibu I might agree. But then again, there are many many more dangerous vehicles on the roads today, esp when your not talking a fair match-up, such as a Hummer vs a Malibu or something. I doubt anything would come of any cogressional hearing to ban old vehicles from the roadways outside of the inability to pass state emission and safety inspections. Besides, I would imagine that most of these old vehicles on the road still are probably listed as Classic or Antique and can only be driven in public under certain conditions or time restrictions ayway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmadden28 View Post
    .....edit.... Besides, I would imagine that most of these old vehicles on the road still are probably listed as Classic or Antique and can only be driven in public under certain conditions or time restrictions ayway.
    At least for us in PA last I knew the condition and time restrictions only applied if you choose to register the vehicle as Classic or Antique. Which should also get you insurance discounts. For most owners with this class vehicle the restrictions fall into how they drive them anyway so it's a no brainer. But I do see some occasionally that are in rough but drivable (pass inspection) condition using standard registration. Not sure what they are thinking using these for everyday drivers. If they were to see this vid it may change that thinking.

  7. #7

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    I had a daily driver '65 Beetle that was safer than that BelAir.
    I wouldn't wouldn't bet my life on a crashtest against any modern car, but, with exception to the gas tank being in the front, I felt pretty safe for any fender-bender...

    As far as using a classic as a daily, first, if you actually can drive it daily and not have to wrench on it, it must be in pretty good shape... Even thought safety features are limited on older vehicles, you are crazy to not employ as many safety measures as possible if you are driving a classic as a daily.

    I updated my '65 with disc brakes all-around, tightened the suspension, padded as many seams as possible in the gas area (ridiculous, but I wanted to make sure if I hit something, th tank wouldn't get cut and leak), moved the fuel filter out of the engine compartment, installed 5-point harnesses in the front seats, and drove carefully and outside of peak traffic hours. Being in my line of work, early mornings and late hours really helped me with that.
    Last edited by everpress; 09-21-2009 at 11:13 AM.

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    I simply drive a modern car :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by nguyendot View Post
    I simply drive a modern car :)
    I do too, now...
    That '65 set up was great for me. My wife hated it. She is a skinny little hottie and she felt cramped in there. But it was safe enough for 2 consenting adults.
    :)

    When I learned we were having my son... Well, I had to get a safer car.

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    Wow, I did NOT expect the BelAir to get torn up like that! WORLDS of difference between the two from the in-car cam. Very amazing.

    Thanks for sharing!
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    I bet a head on would see the 59' faring better. But from a driver standpoint,
    DEATHTRAP! I had a 1960. That big honkin steering wheel, metal
    dashboard(not a bit of padding) and no seat belts makes for a rough
    impact. Welcome to 50 year old technology.
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  12. #12

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    What really got me was watching the A pillar just fold up and disappear.... yikes!
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    I wouldn't want to be in either vehicle. This video should give us all a moment of thought on just how dangerous our vehicles are or can be.

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    The 59 Bel-Air did not have an engine in it. Take that weight out of the car and it changes the dynamic considerably.. While I agree that today's cars are infinitely safer, they skewed this test for dramatic results.
    Last edited by DaveMuell; 09-21-2009 at 03:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMuell View Post
    The 59 Bel-Air did not have an engine in it. Take that weight out of the car and it changes the dynamic considerably.. While I agree that today's cars are infinitely safer, they skewed this test for dramatic results.
    there you go folks!:D I called that one... The test was rigged for dramatic effect. While I will concede that newer cars are safer, the test is not a fair comparison given the Bel Aire was stripped of its's running gear and god knows what else before the test was run.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMuell View Post
    The 59 Bel-Air did not have an engine in it. Take that weight out of the car and it changes the dynamic considerably.. While I agree that today's cars are infinitely safer, they skewed this test for dramatic results.
    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2009...ir-crash-test/
    Ludicrous gibs!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMuell View Post
    The 59 Bel-Air did not have an engine in it. Take that weight out of the car and it changes the dynamic considerably.. While I agree that today's cars are infinitely safer, they skewed this test for dramatic results.
    Where did you find that? The article seems to say there was a 3.9-liter 6-cylinder engine and was in driving condition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by audiobliss View Post
    Wow, I did NOT expect the BelAir to get torn up like that! WORLDS of difference between the two from the in-car cam. Very amazing.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Same here, I wasn't expecting the Belair to be that bad but it does makes sense that more damage to the driver would occurs from this type of older car versus the newer car since new car are met to be damaged easily on the outside thus allowing for less internal damaged on the inside while the older car is shaken in and out from the impact.

    A few years ago, a young driver was impatient and lost control trying to pass a mini van in my lane (snowing and slippery), He lost control and came head on with my Cirrus (95). The air bag located within the steering wheel popped in my face and while the impact was brutal, I didn't experience any physical damage/pain. When I looked on the outside of my car, the front end was pushed in badly and I wasn't too sure with what the outcome would be. The insurance company declared the car a total lost (even if the overall look of the car was in perfect condition) as motor and power train had shifted and damaged to the outside car body (front end) was too severe and the over cost of repairs was way too expensive to make the repair viable $$$ wise.

    My brother in law works in the field (body shop) and it is amasing to look at the damages from outside versus inside of today's cars after accidents occurs. As I pointed out, older cars are shaken inside and out from the impact while newer cars are badly beaten on the outside and you often wonder when looking inside as you often barely see significant damages. On the average, newer cars will be total lost (unless an expensice and recent car with only a few years) (major external damages) in order to protect lives. That seems to be a good trade off, more and expensive external damage with less human life damages.

    Thank you for sharing!
    TK

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    In the end, it comes down to whether the occupants of a car can survive the accident. It means nothing if the car suffered minimal damage but the occupants are seriously injured. Modern cars can be very tough....I always think of the Mercedes S-Class sedan Princess Di was in when it crashed into a concrete tunnel pillar at 80-100 mph (she died because she wasn't wearing a seatbelt whereas her bodyguard survived seating in the front passenger seat and had the seat belt on).

  20. #20

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    My son was waiting to make a left hand turn in a 1979 Trans Am.
    Some lady hit him from behind at 45 mph. The trunk wasn't even
    crushed in. The Honda that hit it had the whole front end crumpled
    in. It happened around the corner, so I drove over to see what happened.
    The lady said his brake lights didn't work. I stepped on the pedal-they still
    worked AFTER the crash. There were small ripples from the impact
    on all the sufaces-fenders, hood, trunk, pillars, but I drove it home!
    My son followed in my car. SAD. The car had never been crashed before.
    He had just re-done the interier and painted the car. It was his baby.
    I played hobb getting any money out of her insurance money. They wanted
    to pay $700 for the car. I gave the *ssholes a wake up call when I showed
    them what it was really worth. What planet were they living on?
    He did buy a 2002 Trans Am about 4 years later.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sucks2beme View Post
    I played hobb getting any money out of her insurance money. They wanted
    to pay $700 for the car. I gave the *ssholes a wake up call when I showed
    them what it was really worth. What planet were they living on?
    He did buy a 2002 Trans Am about 4 years later.
    Insurance companies are the biggest, blood sucking leaches on the planet. Legal extortion is all it is to me. By law, we are required to have it here.

    Some bimbo rear-ended me back in 2000. Totaled my truck and fractured my neck. I had to have surgery to fuse the vertebrate. Neither my insurance company (Geico at the time) or hers wanted to pay for sh*t. Makes me so friggen to this day.

    The a$$wipes are quick to take that premium, but when they need to pay out it's a whole different ballgame. F#%kers!

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    I was rear ended by a 2000 Cadillac sedan while driving a 1964 Buick Riviera... I replaced my rear bumper and an exhaust tip. There was no body damage to my car whatsoever, but that Caddy was a total loss at close to 12k in damage.
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    Isn't the idea to have parts of newer cars that sacrifice themselves to ensure the collision is inelastic as possible? I thought older steel frame bodies were poor at absorbing energy and the result was a lot of energy being transferred to the cars occupants. The old heavy steel cars also cause worse deceleration injuries. There's no way I'd feel safer in older car, not even a little.
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    Once again, the damage thing varies. At lower speeds and straight on
    impacts, the old cars win every time. With those offset crashes,
    or high speeds, the new car crumple zones protect the people better.
    It's a trade off. We get it. Even us old guys.
    Just don't let fat girls sit on the hood of your car.
    It will crumple to protect you!
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    Good to know. I'll make sure it's skinny girls on the hood only :)
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    Just don't let fat girls sit on the hood of your car.
    No problem, I would not even let them sit inside the car but...
    Good to know. I'll make sure it's skinny girls on the hood only
    ...I'll let NOT the skinny but the PIE style girls sit on the hood and inside the car big time :D;) However, my comment doesn't have anything to do with crashing in a modern car, simply has to do with PIE style girl in a modern car (..and my age doesn't matter either) :p

    Cheers!

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    Sometimes PIE in the car ---> crashing car. Just sayin.
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    I dont mind just as long as my trailer hitch is all polished up.
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  29. #29

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    Isn't that the part that ---> crashing car?
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