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Hot Rods Safety and driving with traffic

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Joe H, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. First, there is more steel in your front fender than a new smart car.
    My rules to drive by! #1, Never follow too close.
    #2, expect everyone on the road around you to do the wrong thing.
    #3, read #’ 1 & 2 again!


    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
     
  2. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,107

    6sally6
    Member

    Drove my "Off Topic" pony car for years with the old drum front/rear brakes. I found that's a real good way to learn not to tailgate. Now.....with the front discez I still kinda hang back off the "lead car"!
    I have cruise I installed for loooooong interstate driving. Set it at 70 and block the left hand lane!!
    Jus kidd'in........I use the left lane to pass(what a novel idea!)and then back to the right.
    I know a bad crash at 70 in that 50+ year old car is pretty much a death sentence so I don't worry. I enjoy the ride (another novel idea!)
    6sally6
     
    firstinsteele likes this.
  3. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,172

    Black_Sheep
    Member

    I try to leave an adequate stopping distance which is something that's pretty easy to control. When I see stupid situations begin to develop, I instinctively start looking for an out. My biggest concern is distracted drivers and tailgaters. With no 3rd brake light and smallish tail lights, can they see me stopping? Are they even paying attention?

    My buddys that ride say "you have to ride like you're invisible", I believe that holds true for any type of vehicle that isn't particularly crashworthy.
     
    dirty old man, Ron Funkhouser and hfh like this.
  4. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,126

    fastcar1953
    Member

    I drive defense. I was taught to watch traffic around me. I drive all my cars the same. I do drive to fast at times but i have been driving for awhile. Old cars were what i started with so it's no different for me to drive a old car everyday. We have gotten soft with new cars. All of us should drive whatever car we want , just drive safe and aware. The old cars we drive now are safer then the cars i drove in my teens. We know our cars are in good condition. There is alot of trashed cars out there and i worry about them even when in my new car.
     
    pitman likes this.
  5. MO_JUNK
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,037

    MO_JUNK
    Member
    from Rolla, Mo.

    Vehicles are safer now than they have ever been but driving now is growing increasingly more dangerous everyday. I drove my 28' sedan over 400 miles two weekends ago while participating in the Crossmembers St. Louis Hot Rod Hundred.. Yesterday I drove my 57' Chevy pickup over 400 miles attending the Drags at MOKAN. It is very dangerous out there but I always move with the flow . Today, I installed amber led's under the rear of my 28' to supplement the 39' teardrops. I don't like the look but I am hoping to draw attention. I might install a "pulse" similar to ambulance rear lights. Be safe my friends but drive your rides.
     
  6. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,533

    jetnow1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    I try to leave enough space between myself and the next guy that I don't have to brake unless there is a light. Does not always work but I get over 100,000 miles from my brakes unless a caliper freezes on a
    2011 1/2 ton work truck. Yes there are a lot of idiots who think the space is made for them to cut into,
    but I figure I will get where I am going, he may not.
     
  7. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 305

    bill gruendeman
    Member

    I have had air bags in my late models since they came out have not needed them yet. I drive truck for a living [in the city with 80000 lbs, 70 foot truck] so driving my car is ez, but I worry about tailgaters more, a lot more.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  8. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,818

    gene-koning
    Member

    I'm not so worried about what modern safety features my old rides don't have compared to the moderns stuff. I have 3 point seat belts, good brakes, good tires, a jointed and collapsible steering column, and bright lights all around. When my time on this earth is up, it will be up, there is nothing anyone, or anything will change about it.

    I used to own dirt track cars. I would always tell my drivers that whenever they didn't feel safe in my car, he needed to get out of the race, or not get into the car in the 1st place. A driver has to be comfortable in the car and with his surroundings.

    That same advice applies to our hot rods. Whenever you feel unsafe, its time to get away from the current situation, or get out of the car.

    My coupe will do 80 on the interstate, but it feels like I'm pushing it, so I don't feel comfortable. Therefore, I don't do much interstate driving. In the 60,000 + miles we have put on the coupe, probably less then 2,000-3,000 have been on the interstate. The car has been in 26 States, there are usually other roads to get you places rather then interstates, the other options are often less stressful, and are a more scenic and enjoyable drive.

    Sunday we took the coupe for a 225 mile cruise. As we were heading home in the dark of night, I pointed out to my wife how all the newer cars have large taillights and they are mounted up high on the vehicle, while most hot rods have small taillights, usually mounted low on the ride. I suspect most people do not look down to see taillight and brake lights. Most are used to looking straight ahead. If your brake lights are low on your ride, and the driver behind you in the SUV is looking straight ahead, guess what he or she probably won't see?

    The coupe is going to get a few upgrades this winter, I believe bigger, brighter, and higher mounted taillights are going to be among the changes. It probably won't be as cool looking as it is now, but maybe it will save being rear ended. Gene
     
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  9. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,576

    A Boner
    Member

    The soccer moms running late and talking on their cell phones scare me......driving a hot rod, not so much.
     
  10. I drive my car everyday, my safety issue is people seem to not even see my '47 Ford Big Ass boat of a car and I run with my head and tail lights on, they're connected to the ignition switch, the pics below show what I think they're seeing and what they must really be seeing, I think the car was painted with invisible paint....
    FB_IMG_1571172459049.jpg FB_IMG_1571172487407.jpg
     
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  11. hudson48
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 2,571

    hudson48
    Member

    When I took the Hudson over to USA in 2018, because of time constraints we had to do a lot of Interstate travel.
    We covered over 6000 miles and always had to be very attentive. The Hudson has 4 wheel discs, inertia reel belts and good tires. The biggest problem was the semi trailers, and although they were always courteous they still like to drive at the limit. If you are going a bit slower they will be out and overtaking. Time is money I guess.
    On all our trips to USA we prefer the back roads but not always practical. Didn't really have any "incidents" on that trip but it is an even bigger challenge when you are driving a right hand drive car on the right hand side of the road.
    Always had my co-pilot on the left to let me know when to merge and overtake. Just another challenge!!
     
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  12. Honestly, i think to get a drivers license you must have an above average IQ, and pass a psychological exam before you take any driver license test. Just my opinion in today's world. BigO
     
    raven likes this.
  13. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 901

    Joe H
    Member

    I have been driving for almost 40 years with no accidents, so I understand the defensive driving. I guess the 20 miles of 80 mph was enough to scare me, that won't be happening again! I like 65, not to fast or slow, but the back roads are better. I will also up grade the tail lights, I have super bright LEDs I might hook up to the trailer plug and mount a cross bar in the trailer hitch, that way for long drives I can hook it up easy and take it off when I get to a show or cruise in.
     
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  14. If you dwell on it, it'll make you stop driving them (wanting too at least). I did with me and my motorcycle, people around here are f'ing STUPID when it comes to driving (and getting worse). I started thinking about it when I was driving to work and it eventually became no fun to ride anymore. I drive the cars A LOT and watch the mirrors, look for was out, assume others are out to hit me (just like on the cycle)....ultimately there's not much you can do, but at least statistics are on your side. I'll NEVER doubt my vehicles roadworthyness as it's a non issue. Just be mindful and stay in the slow lanes if you want to go 65 (which is fine).


    Build your car strong, SAFE, the way you want, pay attention but enjoy the ride.

    I cruise 80-85% of the time at night when traffic is lower and it's cooler out, not because I feel it's safer but it's better for my blood pressure.
     
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  15. One of the biggest issues I have, when people see an old car coming... my god, the last thing I want to do is get stuck behind an old car... My car has plenty of punch to it, stops and steers well, even the headlights are aligned. 3-point belts up front, front discs, all new front safety glass. It rides well at 65-70, above that I'm pulling 4000 RPMs at 80. 65-70 keeps me under the radar with the cops. I got bagged in August with my OT daily, 82 in a 55, that set me back a grand. With the Ford, I never drink and drive. I'm always aware of what is going on around me and never talk on the phone. I've had to make panic stops with it a few times with people doing stupid stuff like running red lights in front of me.
     
  16. Here's a question for others in different states. If the posted speed limit is say 65 mph (I know other states are higher and even other places here in Ca.), you go 65-70 in the slow lane and when people riding your ass. Do they eventually go around or stay on your ass to prove a stupid point and IF they do go around is there yelling involved?. I can understand the problems with a 2 or 4 lane road but what about something that has 4-6 lanes each way.........just wondering what it's like outside of Ca.

    BTW, it's pretty rare you can get up to those speeds around a major city anymore....even odd hour traveling there's some sorta traffic.

    From my personal point of view, when it does happen (not a lot) I find people are just spaced out and don't realize their not doing 80 anymore and then just go around. I had a few yellers (or honkers), but most back down when you yell back.

    My point is that the speed limit is 65, I'm in the slowest lane, I have a Class A license (meaning more to lose on a traffic ticket) and I don't think blowing more gas to make someone else happy is worth it (they can choose one of the 4-5 other faster lanes).
     
  17. I get that sometimes but I think they're just on auto pilot, I'll slowly back off the gas and drop 10-15 mph and they're still behind me. They'll go around when they finally look at their speedo.
     
    Montana1 likes this.
  18. LED lenes look like ass, but you can get led bulbs for stock sockets. The biggest thing about LED or incandescent for me is to make sure there's a very noticeable difference between the running light and brake light brightness. If they're too close people won't see it or get it. Also not all LED products are brighter then incandescent, do your homework first.
     
  19. I probably don’t worry about it as much as I should. However, most of the areas I drive in are somewhat rural so not near as much an issue as more congested areas. I do have lap belts in both my older vehicles and try to wear them most of the time. Both of mine are still 4-wheel drum brakes too. I just try to drive defensively and look out for others especially in big cities, etc. Most importantly, I’m also not afraid to die. Heck, dying in an old car sounds better than a recliner to me any day..
     
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  20. I've noticed that over the last 10 yrs around here. People used to give you a little breathing room on the freeway or sort of a bubble when I was driving around. I don't know if it was because they had respect for old cars (like someones grandma) or they were afraid my car might turn their car into a wad of gum if they hit. But the glorious bubble is gone and at least around here I think it's because the younger generations just isn't interested in the same cars as I am.
     
    BigO likes this.
  21. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,096

    squirrel
    Member

    I'm only one state over, but things are quite different here (in the rural areas, at least) compared to California. We actually sort of pay attention to speed limits here, although traffic normally moves 5-10 mph above the limit...when the limit goes down, our speeds also go down.

    When I'm driving an old car, on the freeway, two lane highway, in town, wherever, in whatever state I'm in, I drive at a speed that's comfortable for me. It might be above the speed limit, it might be below, depending on the situation. If you want to pass me, go ahead. If it's an area where it's hard to pass and I'm going annoyingly slow, I'll pull over and let folks by. I try to be "golden rule" about this, and it seems to work to avoid getting yelled or honked at.

    I think I've driven in and through well over a dozen states this year.
     
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  22. As Mr48 noted - Idaho posted limit is 80 and other places too. Montana has “drive as fast as you feel safe” roads without a posted limit. Still having fun out West
     
    raven likes this.
  23. chrisp
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 820

    chrisp
    Member

    3 weeks ago I got side swiped I was glad it was my Prius. The worst I had in a 50's car was a rock through the windshield. The really bad one was a 79 car in the 90's : head on with a new car, they walked away while I was stuck, front left tire was inside the car trapping my foot in the burning car, fortunately people came with fire extinguishers and I got out with a bruised knee and a cracked skull despite the seat belt.
    Did it discouraged me from driving old cars with or without seat belt : NO. But I'm more alert when in an old heap.
    I had an uncle dying at about the age I have now, on his kitchen floor doing nothing. I want to enjoy the time I have left because I don't know when my time will be up.
     
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  24. 54BOMB
    Joined: Oct 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,101

    54BOMB
    Member

    I pay attention to the stopping distance and who is behind me but I do think I drive faster or offensively? If that makes sense , to get away from the pack or from people staying right next to you or in the blind spot .
    I rode with my buddy in his old vw bus with a pack of guys in their buses and I was little shocked at how seriously pissed off people were to be around those slow pokes . I mean I love old VW’s but the pace doesn’t always jive with traffic . Finally , I always wait 2-3 mins before I’m supposed to leave in the hot rod to throw off fate lol
     
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  25. T. Turtle
    Joined: May 20, 2018
    Posts: 194

    T. Turtle

    Well to me it's either you accept the car's limitations and adapt or sensibly modify. I'm going for the second option which will mean some non-period items. Until then I just drive trying to anticipate road conditions ahead and behind me and not taking mad chances with the current set up.

    Edited to add, FWIW I'm in the EU (Austria) which at least means we have some lane discipline. Our general Autobahn speed limit is 80 MPH with most traffic travelling between that and 90 MPH, but our trucks (like everywhere in the EU) are electronically limited to 62 MPH so those are not a big concern. I usually do between 70-80 MPH when I need to take the Autobahn but my main turf (until the 5sp and the front Wilwoods are assembled) is our "Cold War" Federal roads (basically the two lane blacktops near the Czech border) where traffic is sparse and the main factor is how stupid one wants to be.

    Had to drive through Vienna's rush hour once or twice and it wasn't TOO bad but again one has to plan ahead and be aware of the usual idiots. I actually find the Comet to be more user friendly than my OT everyday car which like most modern hatchbacks has small windows and huge D post limiting view to the rear - my near heart attack moments when missing a nearby car were all in THAT car, not the Mercury which has superb all round visibility!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
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  26. tbirddragracer
    Joined: Jul 25, 2013
    Posts: 58

    tbirddragracer
    Member

    Seven years ago, I T-boned an SUV making an illegal left turn in my '57 T-Bird at 55 mph. The lap belt kept me from
    being ejected and saved my life, but I sustained old school injuries. Broke all the bones in my face, broken
    leg, fractured ribs, other internal injuries, but I survived. Don't worry too much about air bags, but will
    not drive without a shoulder harness. The T-Bird was totaled and it's replacement '57 T-Bird has a
    shoulder harness seat belt system of my design. I still suffer from these injuries, but will never stop
    driving an " old car ".
     
  27. I said the posted speed limit is 65 mph not that people drive 65. If they want to drive 80 plus let 'em.
    Back in April I was headed to a swapmeet towing a trailer on the MassPike running 65. I could see things starting to congest so I backed out. Next thing two cars came together and everyone running 80 piles in.
    I was able to get stopped on kept going.
    I avoid the Interstates when ever I can.

    @Joe H said " this is about twice the speed the truck was designed for"

    Pushing these cars passed the speed they were designed for is nothing new in fact it is what hot rodding ang racing are based on-

    upload_2019-10-22_12-28-17.png upload_2019-10-22_12-28-43.png upload_2019-10-23_12-4-51.png upload_2019-10-23_12-5-20.png upload_2019-10-23_12-6-24.png upload_2019-10-23_12-6-58.png upload_2019-10-23_12-8-23.png upload_2019-10-23_12-8-46.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
    williebill likes this.
  28. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,096

    squirrel
    Member

    There are some differences between driving old cars on a race track today, and driving them on the public roads today. And a huge difference between driving them on a race track today, and driving them on a race track back then!
     
  29. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,270

    pwschuh
    Member

    I assume you mean coffee :eek:
     
  30. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,204

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D Every time that I get in my truck,I just remember what my old flight instructor Ray Bloomer told me decades ago."Keep your head outta the cockpit".Damn good advice.Then and now.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
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