By on July 2, 2009

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47 Comments on “At Least the Luggage Is OK...”

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    Chinese Checkers Cab ?

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    If my cabbie did that to me, I would reduce his tip to just a few small pieces of myself.

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    What car is this? What speed? That is a hell of a crash….

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    GrandCharles +1000

    Although it does look like some Chinese knockoff or an old Ford Granada.

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    I’m glad they don’t build them like they used to.

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    what car is that? i want to get my mother in law one for her birthday

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    No way. Someone musta taken a sawzall to key chassis bracing points to make that happen.

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    Crash test videos of Chinese cars are very common on Youtube.

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    1600 MKII

    Absolutely superb! Who would want to survive a headon with a concrete wall, anyway? I mean – whatever happened to suicide by powered motor vehicle?

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    Just like a beer can on a redneck’s forehead.

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    This is why children under 80 pounds should always be seated in a rear-facing car seat, bolted firmly to the inside of the trunk.

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    I agree with sawzall.

    In addition, the trunk must be cubed-out with a block of lead.

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    I remember watching this clip years ago on YouTube. The car, if I remember, was some sort of Holden twenty or thirty years ago and crash tested at 60KPH. I could be wrong.

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    kars: let’s throw one party together for your and my mother in law!

    I’d like to see 4 identical crashtests of:
    – new western european or US vehicle with 5-star crashtest rating
    – new chinese copycat-blingbling car
    – 1985 western european or US top rated car (possibly Volvo or Mercedes)
    – 1985 westerneuropean or US cheap car (Aveo of the day)

    That would show people how important good car design is and why a $ 7,000 car is worth less than a $ 20,000 car.

    I once saw an accident in front of my house with an Audi 80 (possibly 1990?) hitting the back of a Hyundai Accent (possibly 2000?). The Audi lost some coolant, but if it hadn’t been for the cooler, they probably didn’t even need to go to the shop urgently if they could live with the scratches. Driver not hurt. The Hyundai’s rear bumber was in the back seat. Literally. the driver had to go to the hospital. I know this is not scientific evidence on which car is better yada yada yada… but I stick with cars that have 5 star crash rating and all 6 airbags. And possibly have very good ratings in the US and Europe (different test methods, so they need to make the car much more safer in general unlike cars only sold in one part of the world)

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    Is this the Australian government demonstration video about how it is a bad idea to take the front and back halves of two junkers to make one whole car?

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    I once saw an accident in front of my house with an Audi 80 (possibly 1990?) hitting the back of a Hyundai Accent (possibly 2000?).

    … and I once saw an accident between a 1942 Sherman tank and a 2009 summer squash. So what?

    You might have a point somewhere, but when I read the rest of your post all I see is the usual Asia-bashing by a blond-haired, blue-eyed, possibly unionized American. Do I get partial points at least?

    I’ll pit my ’08 Santa Fe against an Audi A3 any day. Two tons of Korean-American steel vs. Euro-design. And they cost the same.

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    It’s either a VB or VC Commodore, and I’ve never seeen one fold up quite like that before. When I think about how much time I spent in these things growing up…

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    don 1967: yes, this is my Asia bashing…. I “bash” my Mazda 3 every morning when I drive to work and my wife “bashes” her Mazda 6.

    Just because I point out the good design of an Audi and the worse design of an older Hyundai (and even Hyundai Fans admit they improved, so they admit they were bad otherwise there would be no improvement). The Euro EuroNCAP tests prove my point when it comes to pre-2000 Hyundais.

    And no, I’m an engineer and work for my money and had to go to school to get promoted, so I’m not really the union promoter you think I’m. I didn’t know criticizing a car manufacturer requires a certain membership with the secret handshake etc.

    I’m German and convinced the German cars are less reliable than the Japanese ones (hence the Mazda). Good, in your mind that makes me a unionized Nazi…

    To topic, enough flaming now:
    It really is important to have a proper design of a car and one can’t just reverse-engineer that. There are contradicting requirements. The car needs to be cheap to repair (for cheaper insurance) and needs to protect the passengers. the latter requires the car “sacrificing itself”, ruining the easy repair. in addition it needs to be cheap to produce, easy to maintain (access to light bulbs etc.), look nice, weigh less….
    The millions of possible crash scenarios (and the crash tests only resemble a few) don’t make it easier. Often manufacturers optimize for the local crash tests. At one time Renault reached the 5-star EuroNCAP crash-test before Mercedes. That mainly because a Mercedes needs to be built to do well in the (much different) US (and I don’t know Asian??) crash tests. Too many compromises. for Renault it was easier with only one market. Overall in real life the Mercedes probably still is safer (some months later it achieved 5 EuroNCAP stars as well).
    What most people don’t realize while they are too busy bashing the car, the Prius is one of the safest cars ever. Proofing that you can have economy without sacrificing safety.

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    I’m led to believe that advances in chassis design and the strength of steel have made recent vehicles dramatically safer than those even fifteen years ago. Among cars of the same class and generation, weight may win. Factor in any sort of age disparity, though, and I’d choose the more recent vehicle, even if smaller.

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    knightRT: the steel manufacturers got their ass kicked by the aluminum cars like Audi.. so they came up with higher strength steel to keep the weight considerably down.
    Newer cars require high-powered tools for rescue crews and firefighters. Their old hydraulic cutter couldn’t cut-open the newer cars anymore. (I hope they all upgraded by now :-)

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    Yes, this is a Holden Commodore, and yes, it’s an Australian safety video exposing the dark side of unregulated rebuilt automobiles (those rebuilt after serious collisions on the cheap). And it’s older than my grammma. You must get out on Fark more often. :)

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    Holy crap that’s traumatic to watch.

    Maybe I’m just in too serious a mood after viewing that, but I’m a bit dismayed at the mothers-in-law comments.

    I understand the attempts at humor. But still.

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    One of the safest cars ever built: The Volkswagen Phaeton. Phaetons (and the Bentley Continental that shares the same platform) have an entire layer of superstructure that is unique to this platform. The purpose of this superstructure is to achieve a torsional rigidity of 37,000 Nm/degree. This also adds substantially to the car’s weight. The V8 Phaeton weighs in at 5200 lbs and the W12 weights in at 5400 lbs. That makes the Phaetons within a few hundred pounds of a Chevrolet Suburban.

    So, to recap: The Phaeton has one of, if not the stiffest, structures of any vehicle ever produced. It has 8 airbags, state of the art safety and stability equipment and weighs about the same as a full sized SUV.

    Besides the obvious crashworthiness that is a natural byproduct of such extreme over-engineering, the rigidity pays off in different ways as well. Because in the USA the both the Phaetons and Bentleys are supplied with high-horsepower engines and all wheel drive, the chassis must be very stiff. If it wasn’t the cars could twist themselves to the point that the little wooden doors that silently come down over the air vents might bind. The stiffness also is very beneficial at the very high speeds that the cars can reach.

    The Phaetons are governed at 130 MPH in USA, and 155 in Europe. Ungoverned, the V8 model has a top speed of 167 and the W12 model has a top speed of 200. The Bentleys do not employ a governor and thus also have a top speed of at least 200 depending on the model.

    The benefits of the Phaeton’s stiffness and heft are immediately apparent in this video.

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    A couple of years ago, Fifth Gear did a crash comparo of an older Volvo wagon and a new compact Euro-something. The sturdy steel Volvo wagon fared very poorly against the smaller newer car.

    This surprised the hell out of me, since a Volvo probably saved my mom’s life in 1978 when she got broadsided by a drunk in a contemporary Cadillac.

  • avatar

    Funny… my senior citizen mom was complaining to me last week how her car “completely collapsed” when she was rear ended. She was shocked at the extent of the damage for such a low speed collision. She blamed it on poorly built cars and told me that in her day cars didn’t fall apart like that in fender benders.

    I pointed out to her that her day, the car held up at the expense of the passenger. I explained to her how the car is now designed to collapse and absorb the energy of the impact around the passengers. I also explained to her how the monocoque construction of modern car bodies means that they can’t really be pounded out and reused like in the old days.

    Now that she understands why the extensive damage for low-speed accidents, she appreciates it. But it does piss her off that fender benders now cost a lot of money.

  • avatar

    there’s no indication how fast the crash is

    i heard it was over 60 mph which is over what is expected

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    Reminds me of all the ignorant TTAC comments who complain about how heavy cars are these days.

    Do you really want the car in the clip? I mean I’m sure it’s all light and toss-able in the corners….

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    In the end, any car is like that one if you just drive fast enough. Just ask Diana. You might not get creamed, so the mortician’s job will be easier. But you will be dead.

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    Light and tossable, my date! I owned the model Commodore after that and it was a horrible ride. Vague steering, leaned like a 2CV in corners though 500kg lighter than a G8 Commodore and it, too, met a similar end to our star above but in a low speed rear ender.

  • avatar

    the Commodore VB is a piece of crap

    accepted for a 1978 design… quite revolutionary for its time

    and the spiritual ancestor to the current G8/VE

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    While that one’s pretty bad, ok really bad. But, here’s one you’ll see around town, even now: a Volkswagen van, crew cab pickup style. Now, I know I’m picking on low hanging fruit here but this one’s extra bad: the bumper is your knees and the back is reinforced a la pickup bed. Take a look-see:

    edit: I have no idea how fast it’s going in the clip, but I would hazard a guess in the 35-ish mph range.

  • avatar

    I know that crash, was done at 100kph (62mph).
    It was done here in Australia at ‘Crashlabs’ which is in New South Wales owned by the RTA.

    As others have said it a Holden Commodore from the early 1980’s. There is also a VW Van that gets demolished I’m told that was done to test the facilities (mainly the puller motor and concrete slab.So big cargo and high speed.

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    @ cjdumm: The point of the 5th gear test was to test an older car with a good safety history ( the Volvo) against the newer style of safety: a stiff chassis (the Renault minivan).

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    Maybe I’m just in too serious a mood after viewing that, but I’m a bit dismayed at the mothers-in-law comments.

    You obviously don’t have a mother-in-law …

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    umm, watching this made me think.. what was the point in making a car again? if my chances are the same as a bicycle, motorcycle, or a pedestrian? hahah.

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    that bodyworks going to need a fair amount of tapping out

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    The video just reminded me once again why I keep my ’76 Chrysler New Yorker…

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    This thread makes me want a Phaeton.
    “that bodyworks going to need a fair amount of tapping out”

    heh heh… :-)

  • avatar

    Ford produces some exceptionally safe vehicles.

    Among the best are these 5 star / 5 star rated vehicles from 2009:
    – Taurus
    – Mustang
    – Explorer Sport Trac
    – Taurus X
    – Escape
    – Explorer

  • avatar

    kaleun :
    July 2nd, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Just because I point out the good design of an Audi and the worse design of an older Hyundai


    No, the design of the Audi isn’t better than that of the Hyundai. It’s more expensive.

    It’s only better if it’s safer at the same price, or cheaper at the same safty. For the same reason, we wouldn’t say an M1A2 is a better transportation than that Audi.

    For a person of a certain income, that Hyundai may actually be a safer choice. Yeah, during the Hyundai’s service life, the owner faces 0.01% more chance of dying in a collision than the Audi owner.

    But that same owner, having saved $30k by choosing the Hyundai, has 20% less chance of going bankrupt in the sub-prime crisis and decreases his chance of dying due to unable to pay his medical bills by 0.1%.

    The numbers are, of course, all made up by me. But the point is clear, money = safety and that money may be better allocated somewhere else. So, if we have to judge the overall safety of a car, we must consider the extra cost that will have to be drawn from elsewhere.

  • avatar
    A is A

    A couple of years ago, Fifth Gear did a crash comparo of an older Volvo wagon and a new compact Euro-something. The sturdy steel Volvo wagon fared very poorly against the smaller newer car.

    This surprised the hell out of me, since a Volvo probably saved my mom’s life in 1978 when she got broadsided by a drunk in a contemporary Cadillac.

    The video you mentioned.

    There´s evidence for the assertion that the Volvo 700 (the Volvo 900 tested in the video is a reskinned 700) was the safest car in the world in the 1980s.

    In the 21st century, a small Renault is safer.

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    You guys are too critical of that car in the crash test.

    Didn’t you notice the right rear door was hardly damaged?

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    “The test was conducted in 1992 and was part of a series of tests to commission our crash test facility. The test was of the drive system, not the car.

    The car was a standard ‘second hand’ car except that the tail shaft was removed. 300kg of sand ballast was placed in the footwells and boot and a ballast dummy (75kg) was placed on the rear seat.

    The test speed was 100km/h into a solid concrete reaction block.

    Colin Jackson
    Crash Barrier Manager
    RTA Crashlab
    (02) 9830 1721 “

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    @ Nicodemus:

    Aweee. You took all the fun out of that video. LMAO.

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    wsn: that brings the question what defines a good car. is the Aveo better than an Audi A8 because I’m less likely to go bankrupt and kill myself for being bankrupt? (on the other hand I don’t have to kill myself because I can’t stand the Aveo anymore)
    While I agree that a good car definition also includes some life-cycle cost and price, producability, I think most people would agree that Audi is better than the Hyundai (no pun, it is just a different market). More expensive, sure.
    the Hyundai also might be more expensive than the more expensive competitor due to depreciation. For example, My Mazda 3 5-door costs $ 2,000 more than a comparable Lantra. After 5 years, I’m sure I have an easier time selling the Mazda than the Hyundai. and as a former Hyundai owner I know hat their warranty doesn’t apply when “all of them have the same problem” or if it is “working with a workaround. It doesn’t work as expected, but that doesn’t mean it is broken”

  • avatar
    Kevin Kluttz

    don1967 made me spit my m&m’s!!!

  • avatar

    Hmmm… I just watched a bunch of cars hitting concrete walls and each other at 290 Kilometers per hour (180 mph)… and the drivers all got out and walked away…

    It’s too bad nobody cares enough to actually spend the extra $200 per car to build a safe one.

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