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IIHS Crash Test: 2009 Chevy Malibu vs 1959 Bel Air

Discussion in 'Motors' started by Daveyboy, 22 Sep 2009.

  1. Daveyboy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 6 Nov 2005

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    Location: Somewheresville



    New York Times:

    "It was no way to treat a senior citizen: sending a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air hurtling into a collision with a 2009 Malibu at 40 miles per hour. As the video produced by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows, the outcome wasn’t pretty, either.

    The windshield dislodges, the driver’s door opens and the front half of the Bel Air goes through something between crumbling and what looks like imploding as the dummy in the driver’s seat flies around like Peter Pan.

    “The Bel Air collapsed,” said David Zuby, the senior vice president for the institute’s vehicle research center in Virginia. “The area in which the driver was sitting collapsed completely around him.”

    The test was to mark the 50th anniversary of the I.I.H.S., a group funded by the insurance industry. The idea was to show how much automotive safety has progressed in five decades.


    While some people still think that the big steel bodies and sturdy frames of old cars meant stronger vehicles and good crash protection, the institute’s crash test shows that that just isn’t the case, Mr. Zuby said. Sophisticated engineering and high-strength steel give modern vehicles a huge advantage.

    Here’s how the institute described what happened to the Bel Air:

    “This car had no seat belts or air bags. Dummy movement wasn’t well controlled, and there was far too much upward and rearward movement of the steering wheel. The dummy’s head struck the steering wheel rim and hub and then the roof and unpadded metal instrument panel to the left of the steering wheel.

    “During rebound, the dummy’s head remained in contact with the roof and slid rearward and somewhat inward. The windshield was completely dislodged from the car and the driver door opened during the crash, both presenting a risk of ejection. In addition, the front bench seat was torn away from the floor on the driver side.”

    The I.I.H.S. has crash-tested hundreds of vehicles, and Mr. Zuby said he doesn’t know of any that performed worse than the Bel Air.

    The institute rates vehicles as Good, Acceptable, Marginal or Poor. The group looks at how well the structure of the vehicle held up and the likelihood of injuries to the head, chest and legs. The Bel Air got a Poor rating in every category.

    The 2009 Malibu got Good in every category but the one for the left leg and foot, which was rated Marginal.

    And what does this mean to owners of 1959 Bel Airs? Mr. Zuby said driving in a parade was probably safe because the speeds were slow and it was a controlled environment.

    “I wouldn’t recommend that anybody use an antique car like this for their daily driving around,” he said."


    How far we've come in safety terms these days.... makes me worried about crashing the Impala
     
  2. -TNT-

    Gangster

    Joined: 29 May 2003

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    Location: Bristol

    ouch, I know which Id rather be in!
     
  3. Lashout_UK

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    I think the clouds of rust exploding from the underside of the Bel Air hint towards it lacking some of its original strength.....
     
  4. jr1104

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 23 Aug 2008

    Posts: 1,550

    I remember seeing that other video where they crash a Volvo 940 into a Megane(?). I drove a Volvo 940 when I was 18, and was pleased at how much safer it would be than some little Corsa thing. Never did realise just how much better newer cars are in terms of safety.

    edit: Modus, not Megane, heres the video:

     
  5. Django x2

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    I'd like to see what would happen to a 1960 Split Screen VW. Just carnage I should imagine.
     
  6. Zip

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    Here you go:D




    :eek:
     
  7. InvaderGIR

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    What? ;)
     
  8. Zip

    Capodecina

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    I dont know what you're on about;)
     
  9. richard104

    Gangster

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    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie"

    i dont't get it.

    That VW just folded in on itself like an ochordion. :O
     
  10. InvaderGIR

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    :D

    I'm glad I managed to quote that and not the ninja edit. :p
     
  11. Django x2

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    Rofl!
     
  12. Howard

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    Aye carumba!
     
  13. Jonny69

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    Just as well you aren't involved in 80mph collisions every day then.

    I know which one I'd rather be in ;)
     
  14. Daveyboy

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    Plus apparently the '59 was a 6 cylinder, so there was a lot more air in the engine compartment...

    And yeah, it looks like a CLOUD of rust on impact...
     
  15. Dup

    Capodecina

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    Damn, I'd love a car like that but I couldn't live with that in the back of my mind. I would need a 6 point cage at least!
     
  16. JRS

    Capodecina

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    Yeah....that Bel Air might have been a tiny bit rusty there....

    Still. Being a Chevy, what d'you expect? A Chrysler would have held up better :)





    MOPAR or no car baby!!!!
     
  17. malfunkshun

    Soldato

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    Location: Pembrokeshire

    I hate these tests. While it is interesting to see what would happen should an old motor like that hit a new one it was never desgined to hit something as strong as a 2009 model car.
     
  18. Clarkey

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    Don't think it was designed to hit anything tbh :p
     
  19. Jonnycoupe

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    No point having a solid frame if the body is made of tin foil.
     
  20. InvaderGIR

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    80mph is the combined collision speed. ;)

    People are often involved in accidents where both parties are doing a fair rate, although normally at least one party is decelerating heavily before impact.