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Rusty_Rabbit84
Rusty_Rabbit84 Dork
9/15/09 10:06 a.m.

It was a test to show how far crash safety has come on the 50th anniversary of the IIHS. 2009 Chevrolet Mailbu vs 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air. Very interesting...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CU-k0XmLUk

Jay
Jay Dork
9/15/09 10:13 a.m.

Wow, that makes me angry. The insurance industry and "road safety" orgs have been trying to push us all into featureless grey four-door sedans for years. Now they're wrecking up classic iron just for the heck of it. I'm not an old Chevy guy but that was a huge waste. That Bel Air looked pretty damn clean.

Carson
Carson Dork
9/15/09 10:14 a.m.

Ouch, I don't know how I feel about that. That '59 is gorgeous.

The front wheels/tires on the Malibu look period correct for the Bel Air

P71
P71 SuperDork
9/15/09 10:18 a.m.

I think I'm going to be sick. That poor Bel Air survived 50 years for a stupid publicity stunt...

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
9/15/09 10:29 a.m.

Wow! A 2009 car performs better in crash testing than a 50-year old design! I never would have guessed!

Sheesh. You don't buy a 50 year old car because its safe. If you even THINK its safe, you're foolish. You buy it be because it's awesome, and the world needs more awesome. Thanks to IIHS, there's just a little less awesome in the world now.

aircooled
aircooled SuperDork
9/15/09 10:36 a.m.

But which car would you rather drive?

The driver of the 59 Bel Air knows he is unsafe, and drives accordingly.

The driver of the 09 Malibu knows he is save, and drives accordingly.

benzbaron
benzbaron Reader
9/15/09 10:43 a.m.

I don't think they had crumple zones or even seat belts until the 60s so what does it prove? I like how the window in the belair goes flying. Back in the day the driver/passanger was the crumple zone.

Strizzo
Strizzo SuperDork
9/15/09 10:46 a.m.

even better that they do it with their made-up offset frontal crash test. what a bunch of crap

oldtin
oldtin New Reader
9/15/09 10:48 a.m.

What a waste and they're proud of themselves for it. Ppffft. If you want safer highways, do a better job training drivers and make penalties more than a nuisance. Don't blame the car (yes, newer designs are safer after someone has made a bad decision, but fixing the symptom not the cause).

AutoXR
AutoXR Reader
9/15/09 11:29 a.m.

the bel air looks to have been restored recently. If you look when the 2 collide you can see the inner fender liner of the bel air comes out and has a new fender / part # decal on it.

Are they really suprised at the outcome of the accident?

neon4891
neon4891 SuperDork
9/15/09 11:29 a.m.

I think the classic would have done a bit better if they used a car with a perimiter frame instead of an X-frame

TJ
TJ HalfDork
9/15/09 12:33 p.m.
AutoXR wrote: Are they really suprised at the outcome of the accident?

Of course they are not surprised. If they had any doubts about the outcome they wouldn't have performed the test. See my remarks about surveys in the "This cannot possibly be true" thread. Same thing applies here.

ddavidv
ddavidv SuperDork
9/15/09 7:23 p.m.

Nice cloud of rust from the old Chevy.

Don't get me started on the IIHS and the media whore who runs it. He stood at the podium of my company's last regional meeting and told us "driver education has no effect on safety" when asked about it. While they have done some good, they like the money and the fame they get more than promoting real safety.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg SuperDork
9/15/09 8:11 p.m.

Driver education is completely neglected IMHO. It should be mandatory for all drivers to do a driving test, a skid pan session and a classroom lecture as part of renewing your license. That way the drivers can be assessed, keep up with legal and mechanical updates and have the ability to be able to read the street signs.

After 50, and yes I will be there soon, a driving test should be bi annual and after 60 every year. The inconvenience will be offset by the reduced idiot population on the roads.

Slyp_Dawg
Slyp_Dawg New Reader
9/15/09 8:48 p.m.

you could have a license renew test every month and people would still drive like idiots. I don't dispute that having more involved driving instruction is a good idea, hell, it's my idea to take a street survival course and then something slightly more involved (one of the Skip Barber courses, perhaps?) after I get my full license. I am a good driver (according to everyone who has ridden with me, including a salesman from the local mini dealership when I test drove an auto trans '09 Cooper S), but there is always room for improvement. I pitched the idea to my mom, not the other way around. and yes, that bel air was too beautiful a car to crash test like that. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't do that to illustrate how unsafe old cars were, but to take an old "gas guzzler" off the road.

xci_ed6
xci_ed6 Reader
9/15/09 9:33 p.m.

This thread is getting off topic, and it angers me.

To think of all the piss-poor drivers out there, who still have drivers licenses. We just had an accident not 3 miles from here, 15yr old girl driving a mini van, her two 16yr old passengers up front, no seat belts. Blows a tire, loses control, one dead, two with brain injuries. A blown berkeleying tire! How do people without the most basic car control skills get licenses? Those three seem to have surpassed the car control, and gone straight for stupid, but I believe my argument still applies.

HappyAndy
HappyAndy Reader
9/15/09 10:49 p.m.

Its a shame to wreck a nice vintage car for a test that proves nothing that isin't already known. How about testing a vintage car that has some legit safty features like a volvo or mercedies, wait forget I said that, I don't want to see those wrecked either

Josh
Josh HalfDork
9/15/09 10:51 p.m.

I abhor the IIHS, but I do think this was an interesting video, and while it may not tell us anything we don't know about real-world safety, it does illustrate pretty well how much cars have changed. I mean, the windshield didn't even break on the Malibu. That is amazing to me, and a testament to the rigidity of the central structure of modern cars. As an enthusiast, this is a win-win. Not only are cars much safer with this stronger structure, they handle and feel much better too.

What I'd really like to see, though, is a similar test with a 15-20 year old car. I think the results might be just as dramatic, and there are actually people out there still daily driving cars of that era .

spdracer315
spdracer315 Reader
9/15/09 10:57 p.m.

Maybe its just me, but Ill still take the bel air over that grey blob-mobile

curtis73
curtis73 HalfDork
9/16/09 11:01 p.m.
P71 wrote: I think I'm going to be sick. That poor Bel Air survived 50 years for a stupid publicity stunt...

Tell that to the folks who dug up that 57 Belvedere in Oklahoma a couple years ago

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
9/17/09 1:42 a.m.

honestly, it is an interesting comparison. My late Grandfather, to his dying day, was of the opinion that the older cars were MUCH safer than the newer ones because they suffered so little damage in an accident.

never mind no safety glass, seatbelts, crumple zones, or all the sharp and hard objects inside the car.

As for actually doing the test, it is a shame, but I think it needed to be done to prove a point.

I also do not agree that driver education has nothing to do with safety. It seems to be that safe driving STARTS and ends with the driver. The car is only safe as a last resort

Appleseed
Appleseed Dork
9/17/09 12:21 p.m.

Anyone notice that there's NO ENGINE in the 59? Of course the front crumpled like foil. Looks like they removed the inner fenders, too.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH SuperDork
9/18/09 8:10 a.m.
Appleseed wrote: Anyone notice that there's NO ENGINE in the 59? Of course the front crumpled like foil. Looks like they removed the inner fenders, too.

Yeah I can't see an engine, and that car looks suspiciously bare...sad about the car, but I was looking forward to finally having conclusive proof that weight != safety, but now it looks like they fudged the test to suit their own agenda...so that Bel Air was worse than wasted...

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson Reader
9/18/09 8:28 a.m.
mad_machine wrote: honestly, it is an interesting comparison. My late Grandfather, to his dying day, was of the opinion that the older cars were MUCH safer than the newer ones because they suffered so little damage in an accident. never mind no safety glass, seatbelts, crumple zones, or all the sharp and hard objects inside the car. As for actually doing the test, it is a shame, but I think it needed to be done to prove a point. I also do not agree that driver education has nothing to do with safety. It seems to be that safe driving STARTS and ends with the driver. The car is only safe as a last resort

I'm with mad_machine on this. I think it was a good demonstration to show people. I still meet people all the time who believe that body on frame vehicles are safer than unibody and that old cars are safer because they don't crumple. I don't see how people are so sure it didn't have an engine in. The hood never goes far enough up to see what is or isn't in the engine bay and from the side view the grill is pushed back almost parallel to the center line, but you can't see past it. SBC's aren't that physical large and with out tomes of emissions stuff, AC, etc etc on they fit in a small space. I think it could easily have been pushed back into the right rear corner of the engine bay and moved the fire wall back and still be there.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
9/18/09 9:11 a.m.

Apparently when you are driving a Bel-Air and suffer a front end collision your collar pops. So you not only die, but you get immortalized as a douchebag.

jg

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