QOTD: The Greatest Killer of All Time?

qotd the greatest killer of all time

Earlier this week, I told you about the fellow who was convinced the Dodge Demon was unsafe at any speed. I did not agree, of course; the Demon has been carefully designed to present considerably less risk to its occupants than, say, a swing-axle Beetle in high-wind conditions.

Which leads to a question: if the Demon is not the deadliest car of recent times, what is?

Former TTAC contributor Doug DeMuro said that the Carrera GT was the most dangerous car on the road. A few years later, somebody actually let him drive a Carrera GT, at which point he changed his mind and said that it was the greatest car ever made. I think we can safely discount both of these opinions.

My personal vote for deadliest car of the modern era: the second-gen Ford Explorer, when the tires were (under)inflated to the factory spec of 26psi against Firestone’s preferred pressure of 35psi. The way I always think of the old Ford Explorers is as 1988 Ford Rangers that were loaded way past their original design specs thanks to the additional glass, metal, seating, and people — then driven in traffic like they were Corvettes on Hoosier slicks by their mostly female owner base.

That last point is significant, because very few cars are dangerous when they are driven in a sensible manner by people who are alert and aware of their peculiarities. The old VW Beetles could and did exit the road ass-first under heavy wind but most people who owned them knew to keep the speeds low in those conditions, the same way you would if you were riding a sportbike. The same is true of 3/4-ton pickups on load-rated tires.

What’s your vote for today’s four-wheeled “widowmaker”?

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  • FalcoDog FalcoDog on May 05, 2017

    The Nissan Altima in the left lane yesterday with at least a 12 cars piled up behind it, bumper to bumper, waiting for the ten minutes it took to pass a semi. Deadly.

  • Desertsoldier22 Desertsoldier22 on May 14, 2017

    I would say the most dangerous car I ever drove was a late 70's 911 Turbo. With the weight distribution of a clock pendulum, you could easily get killed if you got freaked out in corner and dared to lift the throttle. Te sight of trees rushing up to you in the rear view mirror was a real possibility if you did not know what you were doing.

  • Teddyc73 The Bronco just doesn't have enough editions and models.
  • ToolGuy @Matt, let me throw this at you:Let's say I drive a typical ICE vehicle 15,000 miles/year at a typical 18 mpg (observed). Let's say fuel is $4.50/gallon and electricity cost for my EV will be one-third of my gasoline cost - so replacing the ICE with an EV would save me $2,500 per year. Let's say I keep my vehicles 8 years. That's $20,000 in fuel savings over the life of the vehicle.If the vehicles have equal capabilities and are otherwise comparable, a rational typical consumer should be willing to pay up to a $20,000 premium for the EV over the ICE. (More if they drive more.)TL;DR: Why do they cost more? Because they are worth it (potentially).
  • Inside Looking Out Why EBFlex dominates this EV discussion? Just because he is a Ford expert?
  • Marky S. Very nice article and photos. I am a HUGE Edsel fan. I have always been fascinated with the "Charlie Brown of Cars." Allow me to make a minor correction to add here: the Pacer line was the second-from-bottom rung Edsel, not the entry-level trim. That would be the Edsel Ranger for 1958. It had the widest array of body styles. The Ranger 2-door sedan (with a "B-pillar", not a pillarless hardtop), was priced at $2,484. So, the Ranger and Pacer both used the smaller Ford body. The next two upscale Edsel's were based on the Mercury body, are were: Corsair, and, top-line Citation. Although the 1959 style is my fav. I would love a '58 Edsel Pacer 4-door hardtop sedan!
  • Lou_BC Stupid to kill the 6ft box in the crewcab. That's the most common Canyon/Colorado trim I see. That kills the utility of a small truck. The extended cab was a poor seller so that makes sense. GM should have kept the diesel. It's a decent engine that mates well with the 6 speed. Fuel economy is impressive.
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