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Old 07-09-2013, 08:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Old Cars and Safety

So my girlfriend drives a '65 mustang as her daily. Aside from being incredibly unreliable(has 297k on the odometer, but that broke about a year ago) and clunky around town and a top speed of around 50 which limits any kind of highway use, it's just not a practical car. My biggest concern for her is her safety.

Her step-dad seems to think that since it's a metal car, "it's miles safer than any modern piece of plastic." as he said. I didn't argue it right there on the spot and just nodded, but I definitely disagree with that statement. Lap belts, drum brakes, no crash testing, and no power steering is pretty irrelevant in today's traffic, there is no A/C or defrost so the windows fog when it's humid(and I live in Florida), and the wipers are good for a light mist at best. Not to mention it doesn't have turn signals and only one brake light works.

So MCB, is there any way YOU would convince someone otherwise? After driving that car, I am convinced it's a death trap and it's BARELY road worthy.


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Old 07-09-2013, 08:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Working signal lights should be #1 priority on making that thing safe, for a few bucks it can be made much safer unless it has wiring issues, it should just be bulbs.

That old mustang is NOT safer than any new car. The car itself may fare better in a crash than something with modern crush zones but the occupants inside will absorb the brunt of the impact. The car may be OK after a crash but the occupants could be badly hurt. I am a strong supporter of old vehicles but they are definetly not safer than modern vehicles of comparable size. Air bags in modern cars add a new level of safety. Having a cacoon of soft airbag around you is much more inciting than a steel dash, and a heavy steering wheel, and glass.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Greetings fellow amphibian.
Honestly, it's hard to change a closed mind. Yes, as a daily driver the car isn't very practical. I'm by no means an expert, but here's a few points that are my two cents:
- Modern pieces of plastic have "crumple zones" that absorb impacts. Such as a kevlar vest dissipates the energy of a bullet, saving the life of the wearer, a "plastic" car does the same in a crash.
- Shoulder harnesses have twice the protection of a lap belt in a crash, helping to keep the wearer from being ejected from the vehicle.
Also, I believe there was an issue with the Mustang's drop-in fuel tank that caused them to be punctured (and igniting) during a rear end collision.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The safety standards from 1967 are not even close to the standards of today's cars. The old cars are fun to work on, and look cool if taken care of but you are right about being concerns about it being completely impracticable as a daily driver.

Sounds like her step-dad thinks the same as my parents. Big steel cage has to be safer than plastic. Even if you show them facts and figures they wil not believe you. The car companies just make that up to get you to buy new cars so they can make money.

Your best bet would be to try to convince the girlfriend and forget about trying o change the step-dad's mind.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think this sums it up pretty well. Seeing is believing
Crash Test 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air VS. 2009 Chevrolet Malibu (Frontal Offset) IIHS 50th Anniversary - YouTube:
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Holy crap, I'm sold.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Working signal lights should be #1 priority on making that thing safe, for a few bucks it can be made much safer unless it has wiring issues, it should just be bulbs.

That old mustang is NOT safer than any new car. The car itself may fare better in a crash than something with modern crush zones but the occupants inside will absorb the brunt of the impact. The car may be OK after a crash but the occupants could be badly hurt. I am a strong supporter of old vehicles but they are definetly not safer than modern vehicles of comparable size. Air bags in modern cars add a new level of safety. Having a cacoon of soft airbag around you is much more inciting than a steel dash, and a heavy steering wheel, and glass.
The wiring was actually removed and re-installed poorly and the wiring is simply terrible throughout the car.

And yeah, a good friend of mine totalled a Ford Fusion while he was test driving it for a customer(he was a mechanic at a dealership). He rolled it four times and walked away with nothing more than a scratch on his neck from the seatbelt rubbing his skin.

He had a chevelle at that time. Had he been in that he would be impaled on a steering column.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Good lord. That is insane!!!
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Stop crashing old cars! Footage like that makes me sad.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Old cars are not safe. There's a reason that we have crumple zones and collapsing steering columns, disc brakes, shoulder belts, etc.... they all act to create a safer envelope in which an accident can unfold and still have the driver walk away. I'm not a fan of ABS - I know how to threshold brake, thanks - or older airbag systems, but I still like modern amenities in a car.

I occasionally get to work on a '64 Parisienne - it still has a single-line master cylinder setup, so if you pop a brake line anywhere you have no brakes. It still has 4-wheel drum brakes. It has only lap belts, which don't really latch anymore. I think it has a rigid non-collapsible steering column as well. It's a deathtrap. If it were mine I'd drive it to local shows, and that would be it.

Old cars are not daily drivers. Unless you put a boatload of money into them to have all the same features as a more modern car, but then you might as well have one.
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