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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. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,830

    from NKy

    I have ridden the Harley for years , it makes me way more cautious to surroundings when driving . I drive the old Power Wagon daily , it’s a tank at 7000lb .

    To answer the question : yes , I think about having a wreck in the hot rod daily . It’s a 32 , no rear bumper , the gas tank could not be located in a worse position . It’s a 3 window , the doors have safety locks , it has a steering column that is a solid steel bar directly to the steering box , it goes on and on . Just be as cautious as humanly possible and try to enjoy a ride in history .
  2. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,876

    from Nebraska

    I'm glad you are now ok! Could've been a lot worse for you.

    I must admit, that as I'm getting older (42 currently) and now married, I do think about old car safety more. I don't just have myself to worry about these days. My roadster does have lap belts and they get worn every time it's driven.
    seadog, Stogy, loudbang and 1 other person like this.
  3. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,660


    It finally dawned on me what has been bugging me about this 'crash test'. They couldn't have picked a worse representation of an older car to test with. Think about it. The 50-60 Impalas used an X frame. Hitting it on one of the leading corners would just fold the car at the weakest point which would result in the front corner moving into the passenger/driver area.
    It's not a parallel or ladder type frame that would have been stronger and fared better in the test . Think about it, what do we do? Box the frame and add crossmembers or X members within the frame perimeter, thus creating triangles within the frame. A complete triangle is the strongest shape. This crash test was a setup from the get go.
    NoSurf likes this.
  4. I doubt if the crash test was a setup from the get go. X-frames were also used under most Chevrolet, Buick, Olds, Pontiac, and Cadillac full size cars from 1958 to 1964, so it's a fairly representative test of the most popular and highest production cars of that era. The older Chevy perimeter frames had virtually no crossmembers, so I doubt if a Tri-Five Chevy would do any better. I don't think if any old car would do much better, especially the traditional stuff that we love. All old cars were designed with little or no safety engineering. Although Henry Ford was the first to innovate in safety with all metal construction and safety glass in 1932, its taken many years, millions of dollars and thousands of hours of engineering to design and build the cars we now have. This is a fascinating read on the engineering safety of new cars.
    Our old cars, like our motorcycles, are inherently dangerous and we should drive them as defensively as we can and add as many safety features as possible because it's not getting any better out there!
    61Cruiser, Big A, X-cpe and 1 other person like this.
  5. Kurt Ljungkvist
    Joined: Apr 23, 2021
    Posts: 14

    Kurt Ljungkvist

    I put in three point belts and seats with headrests plus four wheel disc brakes, it´s just not me,
    I want the wife to be safe too.

    '28phonebooth likes this.
  6. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,427


    The frame makes no difference ,it's the integrity of the passenger compartment area. All the plastic shit on new cars is sacrificial, the passenger structure is designed like a full roll cage...and you are forgetting the forces on the passengers inside an older car. Three point belts or not, a severe crash is gonna bounce you off the crumbled metal interior parts . Just watch some crash tests and see how the dummies move around..
  7. NoSurf
    Joined: Jul 26, 2002
    Posts: 4,269


    Glad you are OK.

    I wrecked my coupe. Rebuilt it better.
    wheeldog57 likes this.
  8. seeing this... maybe i wont die if someone smashes into the fairlane?
  9. I've given it some thought, and I think I'd rather die than see my car, the thing I love most in the world that I spent my entire life savings on, smashed to pieces. Maybe when this thing was brand new steel and not 71 year old steel + 40% bondo it could take a hit, but not now. So mom's rules are lap belts, no highway, and "most of the time" I'm apparently going to be driving her Subaru outback :rolleyes: What's the point of owning it if I can drive it "only once in a while" that's ridiculous. And the highway is the only way to get anywhere good, unless I want to spend 30 extra minutes avoiding the highway haha. But before all this I still need to get it running good, but more importantly, get my license! haha
  10. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,835


    AHH! To be 15 again!
    I didn't get my 1st car until I was 17, and then Dad picked it out and I had to pay him back, it wasn't an old car for sure. Before that, I drove dad's 2nd car. Your Mom's wisdom on driving her car "most of the time" is probably the best option for a new driver in this day and age. After you get your license, make the shoebox a better driver and gain some driving experience. I had a few bumps in the road the first few years of driving, and those were much better learning about in one of dad's cars, and not in a "car I love."
    I made up having to drive dad's cars after I got married and moved out of my parents home. Lots of cars (and trucks) I've loved (and a few I didn't love as much as I thought I did) since then, but I was in my early 30s before I built my 1st pre 1964 car. I've discovered what I thought was love for a car (or truck) was more like lust for a car, the romance for me usually didn't last much more then 4 or 5 years with each car before a new love appeared. Gene
    Rex Jolles and vintagehotrods like this.
  11. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,925


    So put lap belts in it.
  12. loudbang likes this.
  13. Nailhead A-V8
    Joined: Jun 11, 2012
    Posts: 1,145

    Nailhead A-V8

    No one has mentioned that our preferred steering columns were once called "Death Spears" when they were in common use....
  14. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,853



    In our hot rod, road tripping days, there were many times that we just said, “Whew!” from the stuck full throttle on the 3 carb 58 Impala to the hydroplaning the 65 El Camino on Highway 1 along the Big Sur Coast. Those were two that immediately come to mind. There have been others. These two always pop up as a “could have been,” situation that would have possible fatal consequences.

    But, one was with myself showing a friend the power of full acceleration and my new mufflers on the 58 Impala, after dropping him off at his house. The full power run was headed towards a “T” intersection several blocks away. Plenty of time to slow down and stop before crossing traffic. Panic at 1:00am.

    The other was a happy coastal road trip with my wife, going up the coast to the S.F. Bay Area for a vacation and photo shoot appointments. When we had time, we always took the coastal route. It never gets old versus the inland freeways that sometimes could put one to sleep. And the Central Cal inland freeways always ran by the huge cattle ranches and what was left of old ones. Not a pretty sight or smell, either. So, it was the ocean breeze coastal cliff side road trips for us.
    When we started out, it was clear. By the time we got to the famous Coastal Arch Bridges, it was raining. Then as we were in our lane, the handling was a little soft and floating. Our wide Inglewood Posatraction Redline tires were good handlers, but no match for the dreaded hydroplaning from moisture or rain. The El Camino was light in the back anyway, but with the moisture, it started to float and drift. So, as we were a little shaky, I instantly dropped the speed and hoped for the best.

    It would not have been nice to go into the ocean below the tall cliffs, at this point. So, we drifted a little and then the whole El Camino settled down as it was supposed to do when lifting off of the throttle. A little sideways drift and corrections of dropping down to the road surface was exciting, but not always what one expects driving around A 300-400 ft. cliff drop to the ocean

    We were happy for the outcome and needed to stop for a coffee break and snack. Then we decided the café had adjoining cabins available… so, it was a well deserved rest from a scary incident that could have had poor results for us. Whew!


    Since those two incidents, there have been great road trips and improvements in modern day station wagons. The last scary incident was on Highway 70 going towards Denver, Colorado from Kansas City on one of our longest road trips. It was raining so hard that the water was coming sideways and all of the cars were going at very low speeds heading West.

    Then all of a sudden, a huge tanker truck came blasting through the rain like it was a bright and sunny day. All of the cars pulled over, but the idiot kept his high speed by us and threw a ton of water on our station wagon. He just did not slow down for anything.

    The open Highway 70 was not the best, but at least when not raining, fun to drive on the open road. But, the heavy Midwest rain was some of the worst rain we had ever experienced. Due to the dumb truck driver and his big rig, could have been a culvert destination. YRMV
    mitch 36 likes this.
  15. Lawrence D
    Joined: Feb 7, 2020
    Posts: 3

    Lawrence D

    Glad you're ok, which is a bit surprising at 50mph.
    Seeing all these crumpled hot rods hurts my eyes.
    I worry about others every time I take my 32 out. I live in a big city and many drive like headless nut jobs. I drive very defensively when the streets are busy.
    My dad put belts in his 61 bug and Speedster back when I couldn't see anything but dashboard. He knew from racing that even without all of today's modern safety equip., or mandates back then, belts were an obvious smart choice regardless. My 32 came with them and I was glad it did.
    I wear them every time I take it out especially when you consider the door jams are useless in an accident.
    Belts are likely more important in the 32 than in my 2021 Tundra with all its safety add ons.
    All the times that should have ended my trip to age 63 were lessons... Some I've learned from.
    I'd like to have lots more years to drive my hot rod(s).
    loudbang likes this.
  16. More ramblings from an old fart.....
    Is Driver's Education taught anymore? What the hell are the requirements for getting a drivers license?
    I ask because "when I was a kid", D.E. was pretty extensive. Not required for a getting a license but required to get insurance (or lower insurance rates). Bash and crash films were central to the training, and showed exactly what happens in various scenarios. I also remember a lot of reaction time vs. distance travelled, mass vs. mass demos, basic physics, etc. Those things made an impression on me and my classmates, and I'm sure made us better drivers than those that didn't take D.E. ( I had no choice.. since I was paying for my portion of my parent's insurance, and they didn't want their rates boosted, it was D.E. or no keys). The number one takeaway: DRIVE DEFENSIVELY!
    Kids today, especially girls (no... I'm not being sexist, just observant) seem to have no clue what a weapon of mass destruction they are driving or the consequences of screwing up. Note... there are a hell of a lot of adults that also match that description! You'd think with todays gaming technology, that video simulations could be made very realistic, and serve as good tools. Maybe they are being used and I'm just too far out of the loop to know.
    Another point from my past... also for insurance reasons, when I got my first street motorcycle, I took a rider's safety course that helped to hone defensive driving skills that I carried over to 4 wheel habits. Everyone should spend time on an unprotected two-wheeler to gain knowledge and respect for motorized death machines (meaning ALL motor vehicles). The motorcycling industry and riders have been trying to make drivers aware of bikes on the road and their safety for years, but still people left-turn in front of them.
    New cars are great at helping us survive a crash, but I think a lot of designs actually contribute to accidents. Visibility in most is terrible (hence the need for cameras), bodies are so sleek you can't see where the corners of the body are from the driver's seat, sound systems mask all outside sounds, etc,etc. drivers should be MORE aware of their surroundings, not less!
    Get off my lawn, and out of my lane!!
    Rant over.... return to regular programming.
    rbrewer likes this.
  17. redoxide
    Joined: Jul 7, 2002
    Posts: 673

    from Scotland

    Buddy of mine was on route to the drags , a 450 mile drive for us . I was supposed to be travelling with him but my circumstances changed and I had to bow out . A couple of weeks before his trip I had just fitted a QC rear axle and he was itching to try it out. Before I did the work I told himthe car was due a rebuid and it would be beter to take the body off and do a full rebuild . He declined and I fitted the rear end through the trunk floor and laying on my back .. Any way, I digress .

    He set off for the journey at 4 am at 5 am the car was toast and he was left in the middle of the road with a multi open fracture to his left arm, and a minor head injury where the B post hit him..

    He was driving down a dual cariageway at 70mph in lane 2 , ahead of him was a commercial vehicle in lane 1 that should have been travelling at 60 max. My buddy was aware of the vehicle and its position and a central crossing junction they were approaching. The commercial was now passing the junction making no indication that it was going to turn right , to take the intersection, in front of my buddy.

    My buddy saw that the commercial was now passing the slip road and obviously wasnt turning as it hadnt slowed used the vehicle blinkers to turn right so my buddy closed the gap and intended to pass .

    As he was passing the slip the fella in lane 1 braked hard almost an emergency stop situation and turned sharp right straight across the front of my buddy.. Seeing things unfold my buddy braked hard locked up and skidded, let off and steered hard right thinking he might escape into the intersection.. Unfortunately the proximity of it all the left side of his car caught the rear corner of the commercial .

    Fortunately the rear left wheel took the brunt of the impact and shifted the axle to the right but the rear corner of the other vehicle still hit the body at the B post .

    The car was totalled and as the dust settled the other driver reversed and drove away . later reporting the damage to his vehicle as a result of reversing into a bollard .

    My buddy survived but it could have been his demise. For the other driver to leave the scene just shows the mentality and entitlement of some people these days .He was a young fella around 20 years of age ..

    Im in the process of rebuilding the car. I knew it was a pile of poorly built crap but it looked the part . Having it apart has confirmed how bad it was and it was even worse than I expected ..

    Im putting it back together with a lot more integral strength including a roll bar and side impact bars .. Its also getting prepped for a full removeable cage for particular events..

    Its got me to thinking about my own saftey in my coupe . Twice now i have stripped the rear coupler and been left without drive . If that had occurred in traffic I would be left high and dry . So im revamping with a Winters QC open drive and modern 5 speed just to eliminate the chance of a road going driveline failure .. Seat belts.. well I guess I will give them some consideration as well ..

    Pics of my buddies car show the damage , weld them inner structures when you do a chop fellas .. Seat belt anchorage was pointless given the state of the sub rails .. Car is well on the road to recovery..

    IMG_20210709_133042.jpg IMG_20210709_134040.jpg IMG_20210709_134152.jpg DSCF8828.JPG
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
    loudbang likes this.

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