A 2009 Chevy Malibu Destroys a 1959 Bel Air Literally

A 2009 Chevy Malibu Destroys a 1959 Bel Air Literally http://preview.tinyurl.com/n9zohk
VIDEO
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xwYBBpHg1I

It was no way to treat a senior citizen: sending a 1959 Chevrolet Bel
Air hurtling into a collision with a 2009 Malibu at 40 miles an hour. As the video produced by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows, the outcome wasnt pretty, either.
The windshield dislodges, the drivers door opens and the front half of the Bel Air goes through something between crumbling and what looks like imploding as the dummy in the drivers seat flies around like Peter Pan.
The Bel-Air collapsed, said David Zuby, the senior vice president for the institutes vehicle research center in Virginia. The area in which the driver was sitting collapsed completely around him.
The test was to mark the 50th anniversary of the I.I.H.S., a group funded by the insurance industry. The idea was to show how much automotive safety has progressed in five decades.
While some people still think that the big steel bodies and sturdy frames of old cars meant stronger vehicles and good crash protection, the institutes crash test shows that that just isnt the case, Mr. Zuby said. Sophisticated engineering and high-strength steel give modern vehicles a huge advantage.
Heres how the institute described what happened to the Bel Air:
This car had no seat belts or air bags. Dummy movement wasnt well controlled, and there was far too much upward and rearward movement of the steering wheel. The dummys head struck the steering wheel rim and hub and then the roof and unpadded metal instrument panel to the left of the steering wheel.
During rebound, the dummys head remained in contact with the roof and slid rearward and somewhat inward. The windshield was completely dislodged from the car and the driver door opened during the crash, both presenting a risk of ejection. In addition, the front bench seat was torn away from the floor on the driver side.
The I.I.H.S. has crash-tested hundreds of vehicles, and Mr. Zuby said he doesnt know of any that performed worst than the Bel Air.
The institute rates vehicles as Good, Acceptable, Marginal or Poor. The group looks at how well the structure of the vehicle held up and the likelihood of injuries to the head, chest and legs. The Bel Air got a Poor rating in every category.
The 2009 Malibu got Good in every category but the one for the left leg and foot, which was rated Marginal.
And what does this mean to owners of 1959 Bel Airs? Mr. Zuby said driving in a parade was probably safe because the speeds were slow and it was a controlled environment.
I wouldnt recommend that anybody use an antique car like this for their daily driving around, he said.
--
Civis Romanus Sum

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Does anyone believe a 2009 Malibu is going to last 50 years? Or even if you find one, start? And even if by some miracle it started, move? The plastic manifolds would likey be carried off by the ants.

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Canuck57 wrote:

Electronics will be broken in no time. No more heated and powered outside mirrors with lights in them. The mirror glass will fall out anyways.
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I doubt any car built today will last 50 years without extraordinary care. Plastics will crack, electronics will fail, computer parts will be difficult, if not impossible to find, etc.
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They just don't build 'em like they used to. While that old saying is constantly bandied about in regards to modern-day cars and trucks, it's once again worth saying and was the first thing that popped into our heads after watching the video below.
You see, most of the time, many like to think of our old automobiles as tank-like hunks of metal with full frames and acres of dead space in front of the driver and the massive chrome front bumper. While that may often be the case, all those thick bits of steel don't automatically equal safety. This point is driven home by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which decided to celebrate its 50th anniversary by crash testing a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air into a 2009 Chevy Malibu. The results were eye-opening. Says the IIHS of the Bel Air's performance:
The dummy's head struck the steering wheel rim and hub and then the roof and unpadded metal instrument panel to the left of the steering wheel.... The windshield was completely dislodged from the car and the driver door opened during the crash, both presenting a risk of ejection. In addition, the front bench seat was torn away from the floor on the driver side.
Ouch.... an instant death according to the IIHS. And the '09 Malibu? "A high acceleration was recorded on the left foot, indicating that foot injuries would be possible." Well now, as much as we like our left foot (perfect for operating the clutch, ya know), we'd rather take our chances in the new car, thank you very much. Watch the video below in all its car-crushing glory, and take a moment to mourn the passing of what used to be a rather nice '59 Bel Air.
View the attachments for this post at: http://www.jlaforums.com/viewtopic.php?p &445997#26445997
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JLA wrote: <snip>

What a waste of time, electrons, and more importantly two perfectly good cars. I mean, a '59 isn't exactly the pinnacle of 20th century styling, but still. At least they're still making Malibus.
nate
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I'm thinking about when I was a small kid riding around in those 50's cars. It was common at that time for kids to stand on the seat so they could see!
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You have to watch the entire clip, HF. At around 0:45 seconds, you get an interior shot of the dummy in the Bel-Air, and at around 1:06 you get the interior shot of the interior of the Malibu.
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80 Knight,
I'll have to watch the video again. I saw a dark image of the dummys head moving but it was from outside the car.
harryface 91 Bonneville 319,863 05 Park Avenue 88,903
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On Sat, 19 Sep 2009 12:49:44 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Harry Face) wrote:

Makes me wonder if the frame and body were age compromised (rusted)... And...
I thought there was an inside view in the video.
but...
shame ot waste a classic that way.
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(Harry

Makes the remain ones more valuable. Actually know someone who has one, and is in mint shape for it's age. Probably spends as much time polishing it as driving it. But a man must have his hobbies.
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xwYBBpHg1I&feature=player_embedded

A second video showing an inside view of both cars. The dash nearly disentigrates in the Bel-Air, while aside from the Malibu airbags deploying, its' dashboard seems barely damaged at all. Notice how far back the front drivers' wheel is driven back on the Bel-Air, one would think it ends up in the drivers lap, and this is only 40 MPH. Just imagine this collision on a 4 lane highway @ speeds up to 75 MPH !
Sharky
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wrote:

In my younger days, I had a red 59 convertible... Was a fun car, but I don't think that the test was reasonable, considering the age (and questionable condition) of the car.
Sadly when I had mine, the 59 was considered the worst chevy around!
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Unless it had serious frame rust, not much else would make a difference. The lack of airbags, collapsible steering column, cru mple zones, and so forth is what makes the difference.

It also had the widest seats in the industry. That helped me lose my virginity in my father's car, a 4 door hardtop Bel Air. It had the 348 engine too.
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There was an inside camera shot, but the camera didn't survive the entire impact from what I was told.
I don't think the frame was compromised as much as the basic design of the frame of the '59 (actually all big Chevys from 1958~64) was an "X" frame with no side rails. If you look at the camera shot from the passenger side of the car it is obvious the front section of the frame rotated to the left at impact (note the right front fender moves FORWARD at least a foot of so). All that was there to take the impact was the body sheet metal - did you notice how far back the "A" pillar dog leg ended up towards the rear of that car; nearly into the back seat.
That was a sobering piece of video - my dad had a '59 Biscayne 2-door when I was 10 years old and rode many miles in that car at freeway speeds. Thankfully we never had an accident in it or I might not even be here today.
Regards, Bill Bowen Sacramento, CA
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Was that an X -Frame on the Bel-Air?????
harryface 91 Bonneville 319,863 05 Park Avenue 88,903
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I think they where X frames in '59 . Perimeter frame was new for '65 on full size cars that much I remember.

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> JLA wrote: > They just don't build 'em like they used to. While that old saying is constantly bandied about in regards to modern-day cars and trucks, it's once again worth saying and was the first thing that popped into our heads after watching the video below. > > You see, most of the time, many like to think of our old automobiles as tank-like hunks of metal with full frames and acres of dead space in front of the driver and the massive chrome front bumper. While that may often be the case, all those thick bits of steel don't automatically equal safety. This point is driven home by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which decided to celebrate its 50th anniversary by crash testing a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air into a 2009 Chevy Malibu. The results were eye-opening. Says the IIHS of the Bel Air's performance: > > The dummy's head struck the steering wheel rim and hub and then the roof and unpadded metal instrument panel to the left of the steering wheel.... The windshield was completely dislodged from the car and the driver door opened during the crash, both presenting a risk of ejection. In addition, the front bench seat was torn away from the floor on the driver side. > > Ouch.... an instant death according to the IIHS. And the '09 Malibu? "A high acceleration was recorded on the left foot, indicating that foot injuries would be possible." Well now, as much as we like our left foot (perfect for operating the clutch, ya know), we'd rather take our chances in the new car, thank you very much. Watch the video below in all its car-crushing glory, and take a moment to mourn the passing of what used to be a rather nice '59 Bel Air.
In addition to the aforementioned video, the IIHS has also just released a gallery of images, before and after if you will, of the two cars involved in the celebratory crash. Note the passenger compartment of the '09 Malibu, which stays completely intact, versus the Bel Air that crumbles like a cereal box.
Here is a press release and more pictures regarding the video
PRESS RELEASE
In the 50 years since US insurers organized the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, car crashworthiness has improved. Demonstrating this was a crash test conducted on Sept. 9 between a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. In a real-world collision similar to this test, occupants of the new model would fare much better than in the vintage Chevy.
"It was night and day, the difference in occupant protection," says Institute president Adrian Lund. "What this test shows is that automakers don't build cars like they used to. They build them better."
The crash test was conducted at an event to celebrate the contributions of auto insurers to highway safety progress over 50 years. Beginning with the Institute's 1959 founding, insurers have maintained the resolve, articulated in the 1950s, to "conduct, sponsor, and encourage programs designed to aid in the conservation and preservation of life and property from the hazards of highway accidents."
A decade after the Institute was founded, insurers directed this organization to begin collecting data on crashes and the cost of repairing vehicles damaged in crashes. To lead this work and the Institute's expanded research program, insurers named a new president, William Haddon Jr., who already was a pioneer in the field of highway safety. In welcoming Dr. Haddon, Thomas Morrill of State Farm said "the ability to bring unbiased scientific data to the table is extremely valuable." This scientific approach, ushered in by Dr. Haddon, is a hallmark of Institute work. It's why the Institute launched the Highway Loss Data Institute in 1972 - to collect and analyze insurance loss results to provide consumers with model-by-model comparisons.
Another Institute milestone was the 1992 opening of the Vehicle Research Center. Since then, the Institute has conducted much of the research that has contributed to safer vehicles on US roads. At the anniversary event, current Institute chairman Gregory Ostergren of American National Property and Casualty summed up a commitment to continue what fellow insurers began in 1959: "On this golden anniversary of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, we celebrate this organization's accomplishments toward safer drivers, vehicles, and roadways. We salute the vision of the Institute's founders and proudly continue their commitment to highway safety." View the attachments for this post at: http://www.jlaforums.com/viewtopic.php?p '149576#27149576
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Crap! I learned to drive in a 1959 Chevy Impala, same color, Gothic Gold. I'm driving a Cobalt now. That video was a real eye-opener.
Deke
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Man did that Bel-Air blow apart.......really make ya think when you see this.
I wish they had an interior camera set up inside of the vehicle to see what happened to the dummy.
harryface 91 Bonneville 319,863 05 Park Avenue 88,903
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