Register now to get rid of these ads!

History Safety or Didn,t know any better.

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by christmas tree, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. christmas tree
    Joined: Dec 7, 2009
    Posts: 326

    christmas tree

    Looking at the George Klass site I look at the 40-50 and some early 60,s hot rods It,s a wonder any of us survived. No or very little roll bars,no seat belts, gas tanks in the cockpit,no sheet metal around you, no googles. Safety clothing, white T shirt and Levi,s good enough.I was lucky enough to survive, however some of my friends were not so lucky.
    Countn'Carbs, Stogy and Hackerbilt like this.
    Joined: Oct 22, 2017
    Posts: 62


    i think back in the 60s sitting with my legs over the rear axel of my dragster and i say never any more.....
    Stogy likes this.
  3. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,190


    Being young and dumb we weren't that interested in safety. As teenagers we built a 36 Ford drag car in my Grandpas garage back in the early sixties. It was an originally flathead powered and later swapped to a 327 SBC. I don't even remember us having a fire extinguisher.
    I'm the skinny guy in the middle. IMG_0928.JPG
  4. christmas tree
    Joined: Dec 7, 2009
    Posts: 326

    christmas tree

    Kinda stuff I,m talking about
    Stogy likes this.
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. 30dodge
    Joined: Jan 3, 2007
    Posts: 382


    To me it was all taking a risk on your skills and machines. Now a days how can anyone survive in a car that can't stop by itself, self park and protect everyone with explosive balloons. Some still are not lucky.
    61Cruiser, wraymen and Stogy like this.
  6. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 20,832

    Jalopy Joker

    how about adults & kids riding in the open bed of pick up truck for fun?
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
    61Cruiser, glrbird, brianf31 and 2 others like this.
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 23,825


    Riding in an open pickup bed because the little kids were in the cab with the folks. Did that a number of times.
    I'd have to think one thing that save a of guys with drag cars back then is that they weren't usually that fast when you see the times and mph that they ran then. Early 60's the super stock cars were running in the 12's for the most part and a lot of gas class cars were running in the 12's, 13's and 14's until you got up to the fast cars.
    I remember seeing a dragster at Little River drag strip in 1969 that looked like it had been built using driveshafts for most of the tubing though. That was more than a bit scary.
    Lone Star Mopar and Stogy like this.
  8. Such a great pic

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Gman0046, chryslerfan55 and Stogy like this.
  9. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 9,109


    This Hobby/Sport has been and continues to have an element of danger...always.

    Safety standards have evolved due to the accidents and tragedies of the past.

    We are building to period standards in very many cases here and therefore some of those risks of things happening are still there why because we choose to experience that period.

    My Ole Hotrod has many elements that would be considered pretty darn primitive and less safe than a modern vehicle.

    That is a part of the period picture that I accept and respect every time I put it in drive.

    So with some things it was poor engineering but many others it was the evolution had not taken place.

    I have seen and don't like to see the vintage footage of tragedies involving this sport and it is well documented.

    You will see on many builds here that while many have incredible talent here...Most...not all pass the things they do not have expertise in on to those that do...thankfully.

    The other thing is a great percentage of the membership have been there done that and are quick to point out dangerous or unsafe things when noted. Its yours and everyone around whose safety is at stake here so we ethically should consider what we do to achieve the final product.

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  10. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 2,590

    from so-cal

    . Sitting over the rear end was the very least of your worries
  11. topher5150
    Joined: Feb 10, 2017
    Posts: 1,178


    It wasn't just hot rodders Carroll Shelby raced LeMans in his farm clothes carroll_shelby_overalls.jpg
  12. deucemac
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 847


    Two rules of racing:

    1. People are killed racing.
    2. No one has ever been able to change rule #1
    61Cruiser, v8paul, NWRacing and 4 others like this.
  13. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 2,423

    sloppy jalopies

    Buddy stood on a scrap board, laying across the model A's running board brackets, arm through the windshield opening, his brother driving, he pouring gas down the carb, doing 30 mph on RT.#9, in a baby hemi-ed '30 roadster, and it had no brakes whatsoever..
    the 90's were not that long ago !...
    jbrittonjr and Stogy like this.
  14. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 10,565

    from oregon

    Exhaust tubing roll bars, now there's somebody using their head!:confused:
  15. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 584

    from kansas

    I think a lot changed due to speeds obtainable today. Like stated above in the 60`s a fast race car ran 12`s, in the early 80`s a fast street car ran 12`s. Now you can buy a "factory" demon and run 9`s.

    As speeds increased and times fell the need to be safe while doing it changed.

    Henry didn't design model A`s to be safe in a wreck at highway speeds of 70 mph if he did I'm sure the model a that we have would have been designed a whole lot different than it is.

    I've seen hot rods in the shop that are scary and the idea of them sharing the road with other cars can be at times unnerving while other ones I'd feel totally safe in at 70, 80 mph. That's why I try to over engineer safety into every job I work on.
  16. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 9,109


    I get a kick out of this pic but it could easily have become tragic
    and things were already dangerous enough and then this happens...
    There is some evidence of protection with that crash bar up front...oh and a helmet


    Another thing to consider about safety back in the day was much
    as these Guys and Gals loved to race safety took time, cost money and
    added weight so all the dots were not necessarily connected...but again the carnage and death
    must have and did ramp up the rule-book and safety committees/boards. I would even say that there was big money in car racing and the drivers although coveted and worshiped they probably weren't paid very well and may have been somewhat disposable. I am certainly not an expert in this. I even believe that racers probably pressured the owners for better conditions to ensure they were safer in these dangerous places. In making the statement about owners and working conditions I am sure many of them had compassion and did strive to do the right thing as a lot of them were hands on racers so this is not an affront to the good side of the industry

    This is my assumption and one need only to read a bit into for example @racer-x's modern day adventures of running a vintage car in a modern world...there are incredible lengths that are taken to ensure the one behind the wheel stands a chance.

    There are many racers here in this near surgical industry now and I do understand this thread is about the Hobby as a whole including street but racing hugely influenced the street scene we enjoy today...

    Great thread topic @christmas tree

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  17. steinauge
    Joined: Feb 28, 2014
    Posts: 1,505

    from 1960

    I cant say much about other peoples practices since a lot of my younger years were spent racing motorcycles.I have always believed that if you voluntarily get on the bike or in the car it is prima facie evidence that you understand and accept that you may be killed doing this .
  18. trey32
    Joined: Jul 27, 2014
    Posts: 246


    Where would we be without risk takers??!!!
    RMR&C, Stogy and Kan Kustom like this.
  19. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 9,109


    Getting killed is definitely a inherent risk but the racers of today have years of change in attitude and evolution in safety technology protecting their ass. Again our hobby is period so technically speaking our safety is minimized and yes I choose to jump in knowing there is risk. But as @deucemac said in racing but also in every vehicle we drive in death can happen despite all precaution outside of the bubble will always have risk but risk can be reduced depending on how you play the game.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  20. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 9,109


    That no doubt predated the official rollbar...
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  21. Oilguy
    Joined: Jun 28, 2011
    Posts: 317


    I notice similar risks taken looking at old videos on subjects such as how cars were built. No safety glasses, loose clothing, no guards over chain drives, no hand rails, limited lighting, etc. But then again we do currently see nose rings, lip rings and ear rings worn by fab people on those TV shows; you know the ones. And there is always the starter on the street race TV show that stands between two 1000HP cars when they launch. I remember back in the 60's people would laugh at you if you put seat belts in the family sedan: "Seat belts are for race cars". We have come a long way, thankfully.
  22. billsat
    Joined: Aug 18, 2008
    Posts: 413


    My mother grew up in rural NC during the thirties and forties. Her dad was old school to say the least, in fact they all were because they knew no other way. They kept hogs, cows, and goats. I once asked mom how her father hooked his live stock trailer to the old Fords and she said "what trailer?" Come to find out that whenever he transported an animal it went in the back seat and the kids rode the running boards. Mom said they considered it to be high adventure. She's 84 now and is still a tough old bird.
    Bruce Fischer, wraymen, pat59 and 6 others like this.
  23. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 9,109


    Amazing...the dirty thirties...we got it real good...
  24. GTS225
    Joined: Jul 2, 2006
    Posts: 1,040



    Hmmmm. I suggest this; The "change in attitude" and "evolution in safety technology" that you tout wasn't really voluntary. It's been forced down our throat by people who stuck their collective noses into our business in order to exercise more control over us and what we do. It may have evolved on its own, but thanks to folks who seem to think they know better than we do what's good for us, it was accelerated faster than it might have evolved on it's own. While in the end, it may have been a good thing, I think it should be talked about in a very frank manner, rather than sugar coating it.
    Safety technology was forced on all of us by nosey nellies getting federal regulations in place that dictated how automobiles were built. Just look at Ralph Nader and the Corvair, and the help he had by publishers and news writers, as one example.
    NHRA may certainly have regulated themselves, right along with NASCAR, but that would have been independent of governmental regulations being forced upon them by the regulations that were foisted upon the auto manufacturers and thus, the general public.

    Sorry.....I'm getting off my soapbox now, before I get too political.
    Stogy, wasn't beating on you specifically, just using your words as a launching point for my tirade. My words ring true, to a certain extent, but I may be getting a bit carried away by my loathing of governmental interference of our daily lives.

    61Cruiser, egads, Charlie K and 4 others like this.
  25. I have heard a story about someone using water pipe for a rollcage. (a common practice at one point)
    However this guy left the water sprinklers on the pipe. However instead of being concerned about the driver being hurt by the sprinkler heads in an accident, the tech inspentor thought sprinklers were a great idea in case of fire!o_Oo_O
  26. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 9,109


    Thanks GT I am just talking with my view from the fence...It's very serious stuff for is precious...ones decision on change can take a life so yes change no doubt had negative effects too in the positive. I always like to think the committees at every level have competent people who understand the sport or hobby being regulated. I totally understand your frustration as decisions impact sometimes making moving forward tough to move and tough to bear and the right people are not always there as you say making the change. I consider myself fortunate to still be able to have an Old Jalopy...many places such a liberty is impossible.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  27. My friend Richard Parry just found this car in a barn with trophies and helmet
    Built in 1957 and parked in 1960
    1959 Mid-State Speedway Class B Track Champ

    Check out-
    The fuel line inside the car
    The chain seat belt mount


    The trick fan belt and mechanic wire gas tank mount!
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  28. Henry didn't realize those kind of speeds on a public road anymore than anyone would think of a truck hauling a 80,000 Lb. load across a bridge in the 20's and 30's. Yet those old bridges continue to carry the 80,000 + Lb. loads daily. Second quote would have stopped him from even making a Model A.
  29. I very much agree with this......^^^^^ BUT- sometimes, people just get a lil carried away..... Yes- for sure "time period", which I'm all in favor of, but- throwing a lot of HP, and beating it like a drum with such, magnifies things to a whole different level......
    Live the past= Hell Yes! The past safety rules/regs/ideas= maybe not so much......

    Poll for the guys that were "there"= the pioneers/forefathers, what have you.......
    With some- and I mean SOME, of contraptions of day's gone by, willing to strap your ass in there now? or, because the older ,smarter,wiser has kicked in? Hell- you did it before.... Now?;)
    Stogy likes this.
  30. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 9,109


    One thing I will add from a visual stand point the Jalopy and Indy racers lost some visual ambience with the addition of the safety frames, hoops and bars but watching the footage makes one easily understand the need. It is interesting how also the monstrosities of safety barring did downsize as technology advanced and it seemed to become more internal making again for a more visually appealing vehicle and it may have been more to do with wind resistance at speed than looks as I am eluding.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2013 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.