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Is a classic car right for me?



  • berriberri Posts: 4,008
    edited December 2012
    I may be mistaken, but I think those were all recession years, I know several of them were. That usually means less miles driven, so that may play into that data.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    Yeah, they were all recession years. However, that graph is plotting deaths per 100M miles driven, and not simply total deaths overall. So, it takes miles driven into account.

    However, in recession years, perhaps people drive more gently? Or they cut out pleasure driving? Although, I dunno if "pleasure" driving is more dangerous than the driving you have to do, such as going to work, running errands, etc.

    Or, maybe they're less likely to go out to a party or bar, get sloshed, and end up crashing on the way home?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    Another factor that has contributed to the decline in death rates is tighter allowable alcohol limits and stricter enforcement.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,367
    A friend who is a monthly columnist in the Studebaker Drivers' Club magazine feels very strongly that the guys who set up this "accident" were real....well, you get it.

    I've also heard that red dust comes out of the '59 upon impact, implying some structural rust.

    Still, my friend opines (and I agree), what was the purpose, other than grandstanding? A nice, affordable collector car for someone was ruined, and for what? I think most people know an '09 car is safer than a '59.

    My friend looked at the car when it was for sale, before it was bought to crash. He said it looked pretty nice, all things considered.

    It was a dumb stunt, I think.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,424
    "I think most people know an '09 car is safer than a '59. "

    You might, but I get a lot of 'they don't build them like they used to' comments in other forums, often from folks wanting to buy a '60s car for their teen son/daughter. If that video convinced one of them not to do it, it was well worth the 'loss'.
  • yes I think the "stunt" sent a valuable message to people who basically have no real understanding of vehicle design and the progress we've made in that area. As for the car, no big loss really---you can't preserve every "old thing", and besides, many people turn old 'classics' into grotesque rods, sand buggies, pickup trucks, sculpture, etc.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,937
    Heck, in 2010 an even older MB was crash tested - notice the rust dust and general poor condition of the car. Held up OK, but this is before MB used a collapsible steering columns, so not fun there.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,008
    Personally, from reading and watching local news it doesn't seem all that uncommon when a recent year body on frame Crown Vic or Town Car collides with a unibody car, that the CV or TC comes out the loser despite the weight advantage. That's why I suggested they should have coupled something like a 61 unibody Plymouth Fury with that Malibu to make it more interesting. But I do understand that metal ages.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    It was definitely a wakeup call for me. While I know that modern cars are safer, I had no idea that the '09 Malibu would do that much damage to the '59 Chevy. I would have thought the '59 would have taken much less damage, although still be a serious safety risk to the occupants because of the steering column, hard surfaces, and so on. And I would have thought the Malibu would have taken on more damage, although still protected its occupants fairly well.

    I used to be under the impression that, to some degree, when an old car and a new car collide, the new car becomes the crumple zone for the old car. But, looking at the '59 versus '09 crash, definitely not the case.

    As for unit body versus body on frame, a few years back I remember seeing the results of a head-on collision between a 1964 or so T-bird and a fairly new Crown Vic police car. The Crown Vic definitely took on a lot more damage than the T-bird, and the policeman was hospitalized for some pretty serious injuries.

    The driver of the T-bird died, but she was a 90 year old woman. At that age, it doesn't take much of an impact to hurt or even kill someone. A younger, healthier person probably would have survived the impact, although there's a chance they still might have hit their head on the steering wheel or dash. But, all you'd really need to do with the B-bird is put in shoulder belts, and it would have probably done pretty well in that particular crash, for most drivers.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,367
    edited January 2013
    I still think no great service was done other than crunching what was supposedly a pretty nice, stock-looking '59 Chevy sedan that had otherwise survived fifty years until someone decided to pull a "Gomez Addams" on it. I know I'm older than some of you guys though, maybe that's the difference in thought--at least some of it.

    I also think this is the kind of thing that makes non-car people start thinking "We ought to outlaw those damn old cars and the nuts that drive them!".
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,937
    edited January 2013
    I saw a few older cars crash when I was younger. In the small town where I lived, someone ran a pristine bronze and cream 57 Bel Air 4 door post as a daily driver, a nice looking car with wide whites. It got tangled with a few other cars on a bridge at ~40mph, and got pretty banged up - the front end of a 57 Chevy crumples in a dramatic looking way. But, only minor injuries. Someone else had a very clean 64 Fairlane sedan, which met a similar speed fate with significant front end and side damage. I think that one had no injuries. Seatbelts in old cars are probably the key.

    My first car, a 66 Galaxie, was involved in a lower speed (~25 mph) frontal impact with a minivan moving a similar speed, but sliding into me at an angle, impacting on the drivers side harder. I walked away unharmed, and the car didn't crumple much, but it pushed the fender back so I couldn't open the door, and the hood buckled weirdly, sliding into the windshield at a corner and breaking it. It bent the frame, too - but this was already an old car in the 90s. I don't know when the domestics embraced actual engineered crumple zones.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,937
    I see it as wasteful, but at least it wasn't a rare car. Could have been worse - would have been more sad even if it was a flat top. They maybe could have found a less nice looking car.

    Just as seeing that old MB crashed doesn't upset me, it was an old heap, and was claimed to provide some insight about the cars of the era. Not the worst way to go down.

    Had the 59 destroyed the Malibu, that would probably have the nannies all excited and upset about dangerous old cars.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,681
    edited January 2013
    Nobody was ever going to fix up a car like that, especially a utilitarian 6 cylinder 4 door Chevy sedan. These are the very type of cars you see rotting in people's backyards ..."yeah, I'm gonna restore that baby someday..." and they never do. You can't save every garden shovel, old lawnmower or Ford 8N tractor ever built. Who spends $40,000 to make a car worth $8000? Would you? Doubt it. ;)

    What *IS* a shame, however, or would have been, if there were nice trim pieces or chrome on that thing---I'd have removed all that, if in fact they didn't, and would have saved them for a ragtop or higher line 2D hardtop.

    They made over 1/2 million '59 Chevy 4-dr sedans, so I don't think you'd have much trouble finding one to restore if you really wanted to.

    here's one, a V-8 even, ready to restore, only $3500 asking price (and it runs)!
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,367
    edited January 2013
    I'm told the car didn't need much fixing up...from someone who looked at it when it was for sale, who buys and sells cars (including old ones) for a living.

    And I think to think that nobody drives/wants a six-cylinder sedan, hasn't been to many local cruise-ins or even parking lots of auto parts stores. Do I want a '59 Chevy sedan? No. Do I think nobody else would? No, I don't think that.

    It survived fifty years before some non-car-buff nimrod decided it would be sacrificed for a publicity video.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,424
    Well, it was 'sacrificed' to show folks how car safety has improved light years since 1959. I've used that video a number of times to illustrate that fact to fathers wanting a 'neat car' for their new (and therefore dangerous) driver son or daughter. The death rate from cars has dropped 5-fold since '59, folks need to see why.

    A far better 'sacrifice' than putting a set of 'dubs' on it...
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,367
    OK, we'll agree to disagree, but IMHO anyone who thinks an old car is safer than new, when old ones didn't have seat belts, air bags, side door beams, collapsible columns, crumple zones, etc., must never do any reading or research at all online about it. Just seems like 'grandstanding'.
  • Well apparently nobody thought enough of it to save it. If the guy who saw it thought it was so great, why didn't HE buy it? You see this all the time in the car hobby---people talk a good game but when it comes time to whip out the checkbooks, the room falls silent.

    The 6 cylinder Chevy sedans you see at show and shines are generally survivors, not cars that were restored.

    And besides, we didn't see the car. What the observer "saw" may not even be true. It could have very well been an old rust bucket. I hardly think that someone would have smashed up a car worth $10,000.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    I hardly think that someone would have smashed up a car worth $10,000.

    Well, the car they ran that '59 into was probably worth about $18-25,000! :P
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,367
    edited January 2013
    ...and is any '59 Chevy six sedan worth $10K, even original or restored? He wasn't in the market for a '59 Chevy, but he is constantly looking. He has a column in Hemmings, incidentally. If I bought every car I checked out, I'd be even poorer than I am sending a kid to Miami Univ. at MSRP!

    I just think the whole exercise was dopey. Again, we'll agree to disagree.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    I understand how you feel about old cars being destroyed. You feel sentimental and nostalgic about them, even those that were produced in huge numbers. They represent the past. They also have economic value to someone, otherwise the owners would have scrapped them. Even though there are many left, the numbers are only dwindling.

    Aside from the fact that I felt that Cash For Clunkers was faulty economics, I was sorry to see a lot of old cars destroyed.

    I also understand Shifty's point of view.
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