They just don’t build ’em like they used to! That old saying was the first thing to pop into our heads after watching the video posted after the break.
We commonly think of our old automobiles as tanks of metal with mammoth-like strength. Those huge chrome front bumpers, bench seats, and football fields of space in front of the driver are what made up the hearts and souls of the cars of yore. Those were also the features that were considered to make a vehicle safe for its occupants. Fortunately for us, the fact that today’s cars aren’t made like the ones decades ago is a good thing.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) decided to celebrate its 50th anniversary by crashing a 2009 Chevy Malibu into a 1959 Chevy Bel Air. The results were crushing for the Bel Air:
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…. 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.
Wowza! An instant death according to the IIHS. The ’09 Malibu fared much better: “A high acceleration was recorded on the left foot, indicating that foot injuries would be possible.” Personally, I would rather take my chances in the 2009 Malibu, even though I’d have to do some physical therapy on the left foot after this type of accident. And that therapy would be nothing short of a must, since us gearheads have a good use for both feet when driving a motorized vehicle (you know, like operating the clutch).
Man, I just can’t believe how that Malibu drove “into” the Bel Air. Hit up past the break to watch the car-crushing video and take a second to mourn the passing of what used to be a rather nice ’59 Bel Air.