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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This makes me wonder if the super-strong front bumpers saved a lot of cars, but few, if any, lives. This is the bumper structure of a 1958 Chevrolet BelAir. Just a few years earlier car bumpers were spring steel that absorbed and deflected energy. This is like a battering ram, with extra battering in the center. The frame horns run just short of the bumper They attach to a boxed frame. Extra carnage for whoever, or whatever, you hit.

There is so little between you and the strong bumper to deform and save you from being battered, bad on the outside, and far worse of the energy gets to your squishy innards.

I'm not bashing our old toys, just reminding you what they can do to you, and anyone that gets in your way.

Crankset Automotive tire Saw Automotive design Table


Automotive tire Bicycle frame Wood Bumper Bicycle part


Hood Wood Motor vehicle Bumper Trunk
 

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The bumper on the 56 DeSoto my father and I built has a similar setup. The front bumper is a solid piece with funky y brackets that attach to the frame rails. The whole assembly was stupid heavy fully assembled with the brackets, it took two of us to align and install.

That being said, I am always nervous in that car due to the awareness of how much safer modern cars really are. At least those around me have crumple zones lol.
 

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What's the back story here? Why wouldnt which vehicle have an engine, and why would a sawzall have been involved?
The doubt comes from the old car being a rust bucket. Look at the cloud of rust as they smash together. A fresh chassis would not spew orange dust. Thus is was noted as not a totally pure comparison to note technology improvements.

However, most of them probably do have rust so an actual crash happening today would be somewhat realistic. Just the usual no critical thinking when presenting results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What's the back story here? Why wouldnt which vehicle have an engine, and why would a sawzall have been involved?
Yes, they will bring out the old rust trope, too, but many people have seen the car as it's still on display, and there was no rust, to speak of. It was 50 years of dust.
 

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Guess I would be a little embarrassed to argue that older land yachts are more safe than modern cars, and then buy my wife a new X5, etc.
 

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1950s America was completely out of pocket
 
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Yes, they will bring out the old rust trope, too, but many people have seen the car as it's still on display, and there was no rust, to speak of. It was 50 years of dust.

50 years of red Georgian clay to be exact. The car was in great condition and was bought for around 8K at the time iirc.
 
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That bumper looks downright flimsy compared to the ones on my 1986 Pontiac. The rear bumper assembly (which has a very heavy steel inner beam) takes two people to lift. The front is a little lighter because the inner beam is aluminum, but it's still obscenely heavy by today's standards. I bet my car would actually do fairly well on the modern small-overlap test, because that's more about deflecting the vehicle away from the obstacle rather than absorbing energy. The fixes that automakers applied when modern cars failed the initial small-overlap test basically involved welding a steel "tusk" to the corners of the structure. Probably not necessary when you have a 120-lb bumper beam!

Obviously those early big-bumper designs were mostly inelegant, but I still love a well-engineered 5 MPH bumper, like the brilliant free-standing ones on the AMC Pacer. I guess the new solution is collision-avoidance systems rather than useful bumpers.
 

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Good stuff.

One thing about the old bumpers is that they were great for those who park by braille.
 

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Ill never forget the day someone backed into my chevelle at the gas station. I was furious. I was sitting inside just ready to get out and pump. I looked at the honda civic and saw their entire quarter looked cut through like scissors i figured when i turn to look at my chevelle itll be destroyed. I looked to only see a reflection of myself in the bumper. I looked at the guy and he said please heres 200 this is all i have. I told him to keep it. God bless chrome bumpers
 

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I hear ya. This was around 1988: My dad told me he was once at the base gym had the '71 Caprice at the time. An airman tried to park next to him, it was snowy and he was driving a little too fast in his Hyundai. He hits my dad squarely in the rear bumper. His front end looks like an accordion, my dad's car had nothing. Airman asked what my dad wanted to do ( file a report, etc) my dad said he was good to go.
 
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