Warning: the video may be too much for classic car fans to process.
We can complain about all the electronic nannies embedded in cars these days because many are legitimately horrible. But looking at old videos from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a sobering reminder that safety tech is also downright lifesaving. Sure, it’s not perfect, but we don’t see many new cars turning into accordions in a head-on collision like some of these classic rides.
In the video below you’ll see several cars crash into each other head-on or at a slight off-set so it’s one front corner contacting another front corner. It doesn’t say how fast they’re going, but it looks to be surface street speeds, not highway.
Time and again the larger car just absolutely creams the smaller car. It happens with the Ford Galaxie vs Pinto, Chevrolet Impala vs Vega, AMC Ambassador vs Gremlin, etc. While being in a larger vehicle still can be a big advantage these days, better car designs have helped even the playing field some.
All this isn’t to say we’re fans of all the safety innovations crammed into cars these days. Some are nice to have, like a rearview camera in a Chevy Camaro or something else with absolutely horrible rearward visibility. But the inability to turn off certain safety aids like traction or stability control so you can really push the limits on a track is just plain annoying. That fact alone makes classic performance cars an absolute joy to drive.
Fair warning: the video is painful to watch if you’re a fan of any of the cars IIHS is testing. Some of them get pretty much obliterated.
What do you think of the crashes in the video? Do you wish new cars were more like the classics when it came to safety, or do you think we’ve made progress? Or do you think it’s a mix of the two? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.