Quote of the Day: Did Cars Really Maintain That Gap Back Then Edition

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

“If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend.” Doug Larson, author of Don’t Shoot the Decoys: Original Stories of Waterfowling Obsession.

Robert Farago
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  • Cpmanx Cpmanx on Sep 08, 2009

    The numbers speak for themselves--traffic fatalities from 1957 to 1997: Annual US Highway Fatalities The recent numbers show the trend continuing. Fewer total fatalities in 2008 than in 1957, despite the much larger population and much greater number of miles driven. All that technology actually does something!

  • BuzzDog BuzzDog on Sep 08, 2009
    @niky: "...back when men were real men, and cars were rolling coffins with lap belts." You had lap belts if you were lucky! My Dad buried them between the seat cushions so that they'd be out of the way for all seven of us. We had more than one neighbor who went even further, by cutting them out of their new vehicles. In his memoirs, Lee Iacocca wrote of a letter he received from a disgruntled woman who owned a 1956 Ford, which was the model year in which the car company promoted safety with an optional "Lifeguard" package that included seatbelts. Her complaint was not that uncommon for the time: "The belts are uncomfortable to sit on!"
  • Menno Menno on Sep 08, 2009

    The pre-American Motors (1954 merger of Nash & Hudson), 1950 Nash Rambler compact was very ahead of its time in many ways, including the fact that it was a "dressed up deluxe" car including niceties standard - you know, stuff like a heater, and ventilation system. It also had the worlds first (?) at least, American's first ever standard equipment seat belts (pretty much patterned after airplane safety belts, as was the case until the 1960's). Nash executives (read: Mr. Mason, the CEO) wanted the car to be safer for the public. After seeing letter after letter from the (ignorant and ill educated) public saying that they felt the seat belts made them think the car was LESS safe, Mason relented and had them deleted as standard equipment, I believe before the 1950 model year was even finished. Mason was actually a hell of a nice guy, a real man's man; a sportsman (he helped start Ducks Unlimited, for one). He was also "rotund" and smoked cigars, which brought him to an early end just post-1954 American Motors' merger. He died and his protege', a certain George Romney, took over those oversized shoes at the top and brought American Motors to success and survival. Romney then went on to lead the state of Michigan as Governor, after which AMC slowly began to sink. And yes, Mitt Romney IS the son of the late George Romney.

  • Fincar1 Fincar1 on Sep 08, 2009

    Ahhh, the good old days... I remember how I felt the day I discovered that three hard stops would totally fade the brakes on my father's 1950 Packard so that I had all I could do to get it stopped a fourth time.