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Hot Rods Ever think about getting in an accident in your hot rod?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Big A, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. That story is true, I'm here to say... I was driving that Model A.

    First off: I'm ok and the car will be rebuilt. Hell yes I'll be getting back on that horse.

    This happened 2 months ago. I've been waffling about posting anything about it, but it sure as hell has got me thinking about safety in our cars. There's a thread about injuries with hot rods and that pushed me off the fence (into traffic).

    I T-boned a Honda Accord with my Model A at the end of August. The Honda ran a stop sign right in front of me and before it even registered in my brain I'd piled into the driver's door at about 50mph. Amazingly, no broken bones (broke my nose). I created a couple of nice 3/4" deep dents in the dash/gas tank with my knees, bent the shit out of the steering wheel with my chest and tried to knock my own teeth out when I punched myself in the face. A few stitches here and there, oddly nothing too serious. 8 weeks later I'm actually doing fine, threw away my cane a couple of weeks ago and just graduated from Physio. Still have sore knees, but no longer have hockey puck-shaped lumps on them.

    The most painful part of the accident was all the people at the hospital asking if the airbags went off. Airbags? Hell, I didn't even have seat belts... or a front bumper.

    So I'm gathering parts for the rebuild and wondering about safety. I'm not going to install a cage or disk brakes, I'm not going to start wearing a helmet or a bubble wrap suit. I will install seat belts. I've always carried a fire extinguisher in all my cars.



    How about those headlights? How the hell did the glass not break?

    The damage is mostly confined to forward of the firewall. The frame was un-boxed, and it collapsed between the front impact area and the F1 cross member, creating a crumple zone. If the frame had been boxed, the energy would have transferred through the body and likely totalled the car. The doors still open and close, the windows still go up and down, the trunk lid fits. The body is a little twisted, which will hopefully straighten out once it's on a 'new' 90 year-old frame.

    I don't know for sure yet, but I think the flathead survived ok. The mounting tabs broke off both water pumps, so the engine moved back instead of trying to resist the force. Same with the trans mounts, they sheared which let the old '39 toploader float instead of impaling itself on the driveshaft. I don't think the energy transmitted down the torque tube all the way to the rear end, or at least not enough to do damage. Physics is pretty interesting stuff.

    This is kind of a cautionary tale. I just want you guys to realize that shit does indeed happen, no matter how careful or how good a driver you are.
  2. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,683

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Wow! Yes think about what would happen in a crash and try hard to drive defensively. Having had 2 incidents where others ran stop signs thankfully I was in OT cars that took it well. I now slow down if I see stop signs for cross traffic.

    Admittedly, I don’t have great answers

    Thank goodness you came out of this OK. The car can be replaced but you cannot.
    61Cruiser, catdad49, Lil32 and 3 others like this.
  3. Motorwrxs
    Joined: Aug 15, 2021
    Posts: 60


    Glad you are good to go…car can be fixed or replaced. Thanks for sharing!
    AVater, catdad49, Lil32 and 1 other person like this.
  4. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,480

    Jalopy Joker

    shit happens - many people run stop signs/red traffic signals - don't ever trust the other guy to do the right thing - good that your injuries will heal over time
    Woogeroo, AVater, Lil32 and 3 others like this.

  5. Barrelnose pickup
    Joined: Aug 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,349

    Barrelnose pickup

    Beautiful car to start with, glad you came through this okay. Could off had a much worse outcome.
    AVater, Lil32, Blues4U and 1 other person like this.
  6. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,443

    Mike VV
    from SoCal

    I try not to, but yeah, every time I take'em down the driveway !
    Even my newer, non-HAMB, low miles, somewhat hard to find car.

    Surfcityrocker, AVater, Tman and 3 others like this.
  7. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,554


    Im litetally starting a build on a model A that will look basically identical to yours pre accident. It'll have seatbelts and a fire extinguisher but thats about it. My current car has the same
    AVater, Lil32 and Stogy like this.
  8. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,056


    Dang hate to see that. Glad you are on the mend and are planning on rebuilding the A.
    I sure like the wide 5 wheels and V8 caps on that car. I was thinking seriously about that on the 31 Vic I had before I decided it needed someone younger with a lot more energy.
    I got in a wreck with my 48 back in 1976 When some guy just turned from the right lane and took my right fender and bent the axle double. I found out later that it had tweaked the cab too. I was lucky I didn't get thrown out when the truck spun and almost rolled.
    Running red lights seems to be the norm rather than the exception with some people in this area. You have to make sure an oncoming car is going to actually stop when the light changes.
    AVater, Lil32 and Stogy like this.
  9. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,310

    from Michigan

    How's the other person that you t boned????... I hate to be the one to ask.....:oops:
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,849


    Ouch. Thanks for taking the time to make this post....

    Yeah, I think about it sometimes. I do wear the 5 point harness in my Chevy II, it has a cage, and I don't want to be flying into that.
    AVater, Lil32, 41 GMC K-18 and 2 others like this.
  11. Nope, don’t give it a second thought, I enjoy my drive. If something is going to happen it’s still going to happen whether I’m worrying about it or not.
  12. hudson48
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 2,934


    I think I would be safe in the Hudson or the Riviera and with the weight behind those cars it might be the other car that suffers. Both have inertia reel belts. The roadster is another matter. Lap belts only and I think if it was a serious accident I would be in trouble. That photo of the Hudson is old and I have done major mods to the front with new grille and rear with Hudson tail lights. The picture of the Riv is also 15 years old and changed a few things there also including the wheels.
    P1000345.JPG 1963 Riviera.jpg
  13. GordonC
    Joined: Mar 6, 2006
    Posts: 2,482


    So long as your OK man that is the main thing! Most any car can be rebuilt. I know it hurts to see our rides take a beating but here is an opportunity to do some things a little different if you like.
    61Cruiser, AVater, Lil32 and 2 others like this.
  14. Not a scratch. She never even asked if I was ok. The Honda was a write off.

    There are lots of frustrating things about the accident, but what bugs me is my car had one owner from 1957 until 2015, it was painted in 1959/60.
  15. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 7,974


    I've never gave too much thought about the safety of my Hot Rods or old cars other than seat belts I installed, used them, everything good to go as safe as there were/are going to be. I try and am a defensive driver but I'm old now and hear my Dad saying "People drive like idiots" and I agree. I did get off motorcycles, 2010, rode for 36 years and IMO cell phones are not a good thing for cycle riders safety. My grandchildren never were allowed to ride with me as my children were concerned about the lack of safety equipment. I raced open wheel cars for 21 years and I never dwelled on the danger part, loved the thrill, the competition, highs and lows, if the danger part consumes your thoughts, it's over, time to move on. Good to hear you're on the mend and rebuilding, keep enjoying the hobby, the Best hobby there is.
    61Cruiser, AVater, DC40 and 4 others like this.
  16. Think about it? Hell yes, every time I'm dodging idiots on the freeway. :mad:
  17. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,565


    I'm glad you are OK
    yes, I think about it and try to drive defensively no lap belts, but do not drive drowsy or distracted.
    Yes on a fire extinguisher
    I do things for visibility like add reflector tape and turn on lights (making sure they are as bright as I can get them) on two lane roads and in the rain
    61Cruiser, Hamtown Al, AVater and 4 others like this.
  18. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 749


    Glad you are ok and the car can be rebuilt, could have been much worse. Shows what kind of person the other driver is if she wasn't even concerned about whether or not you were ok.

    I try to drive defensively, especially when I'm in the VW, but people are so damned aggressive behind the wheel these days. Tailgating, cutting me off (been run off the road a couple times), blinding oncoming traffic because they won't turn off the high beams, it's crazy. My least favorites are the guys with the big trucks who barge their way through traffic and take up two parking spaces, but a as a friend of mine who dated a couple of guys like that noted, they are trying to compensate for a small penis.
    61Cruiser, AVater, Lil32 and 2 others like this.
  19. hemihotrod66
    Joined: May 5, 2019
    Posts: 450


    I think about it a lot... I wonder about the aftermarket steering and axle on the car.... It stays in the garage most of the time now... Vegas traffic sucks...
    AVater, Lil32 and Stogy like this.
  20. Glad your on the mend.
    Big A, AVater, Deuces and 3 others like this.
  21. trevorsworth
    Joined: Aug 3, 2020
    Posts: 892


    Those photos are painful to look at. You're lucky to be alive. It always surprises me how relatively well these cars hold up in accidents, especially being familiar with how they're put together...
    Big A, AVater, Deuces and 4 others like this.
  22. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 21,204


    @Big A...glad you're still with us...Fuck are you lucky...sorry for the profanity but its warranted f'n braindead unforgiving shit drivers...its a hellhole out there...

    I drive trying to spot the shitheads before they get me...

    I faced death by head on in 2019 in the daily on a curve and the fucker coming at me with his head in his cellphone or radio was totally oblivious to the fact he was hurtling at 40 to 50 mph directly at me...I went to to left to get out of his way and he poked his nose up realised where he was and corrected right into me just before he passed me, I knew collision was imminent...I still steered away and it probably spared both our lives...if my Missus was with me she would have lost her lower legs if not her life...

    I'm still getting over this mentally as it tore me and my family apart and I will have physical issues till death do I part...

    Get a Lawyer...the dickwad has no remorse and you are putting up a brave face in light of limping away from it...your joints and body took impacts that will haunt you for your lifetime...

    Thankfully for you it was a smaller brick...

    I still get in the Hotrod and go about my cruises eyes wide open and always on the ready...

    I do pull over many times to let the steamrollers up my ass march on up to their next victim...I don't need the BS..

    I recently did have an old bastard openly turn out cutting me off on a 50mph road but the Ole Drum brakes and Bias plys plus my being ready despite near zero notice was able to avoid contact and see his oblivious self for several miles after that driving 20 mph UNDER the speed limit...the NO shame attitude that is like privilege nowadays...The Asshole versus THE Hoodlum...Grrrr...just distressing really...

    That was the closest in the Hotrod I've been recently and as we discussed no state of the art anything, juice brakes safety glass...

    Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel eh...;)

    Again glad you're still with us...thoughts to you in the recovery process and I hope you can fixer up she was a beauty...
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
    redoxide, 61Cruiser, SS327 and 7 others like this.
  23. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 5,024


    Yes every time I get into the hotrod and yes safety is a must these days. It’s great to see your on the mend and nothing serious. Your coupe was awesome and sure it will be again.
    On my roadster I built a rollbar right in back of the seat . This is hidden and holds seatbelts and protection for the gas tank. It extends forward and back to the rear panel . It’s also goes to the frame mounts. This was going to be my daughter and wife’s roadster so safety was a huge concern .
    It’s amazing how well the old cars were built...
    AVater, Deuces, Lil32 and 1 other person like this.
  24. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 579

    bill gruendeman

    Your lucky as hell not to be hurt any worse, you buy some lottery tickets because lucky is on your side. And yes I think about it every time I go for a ride, so some times when the traffic is gone to be bad I take the truck.
    AVater, Deuces, Lil32 and 1 other person like this.
  25. blue 49
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,444

    blue 49
    from Iowa

    Bad Day.jpg
    Had an oncoming Kia make a left turn in front of me and couldn't get stopped in time. My right front tire just caught the back end of the Kia. It wasn't near as serious as yours but both cars needed a ride.

    Big A, AVater, Deuces and 2 others like this.
  26. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,351


    I put seatbelts in my 63 Fairlane in 1963. The 38 Chevy has had seat belts since the 70's and the Stude has lap and shoulder belts.
    In 1972 my parents were on their way to see my daughter in a bible school program and an errant driver was not able to stop and t boned them in their 63 Dodge Dart with no belts. If they would have had lap and shoulder belts they could have attended my daughters bible school program the next year.
  27. Glad that you are OK A. This past Summer on our way to my sisters in Ct. a woman tried sneaking on my left when the lane was ending. I could not go right as I was boxed in by traffic and she almost got into my drivers side. When she got past me she was waving her cell phone in the air and I just pointed to my dash camera. She sped away. I never leave the driveway without it.
    Nailhead A-V8, Big A, AVater and 4 others like this.
  28. HotRod33
    Joined: Oct 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,492


    123_1_01.jpeg 123_1_02.jpeg 123_1.jpeg 123_1_03.jpeg put seat belts and a shoulder straps in your hotrod... This one was fatal.... I lost one of my closest friends 4 weeks ago... He got thrown over to the passenger side and his head hit the dashboard....
  29. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 21,204

    ALLIANCE MEMBER sorry...there is a fine line between life and death...I could easily as well met with this but I was extremely fortunate as was Al.

    Again to you and anyone involved with these horrors my thoughts are with you...
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
    AVater, Deuces, Lil32 and 1 other person like this.
  30. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 21,204


    AVater, Deuces, Lil32 and 1 other person like this.

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