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Thread: $15,000 new Escalades?

  1. #21
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: $15,000 new Escalades?

    If your Camaro whacked a telephone pole "sideways (passenger side, dead center)" that part of the car was monocoque. The bolt-on subframe is firewall-forward isn't it??? As with the 1960 Falcon/1965 Mustang design, those cars are classified as "semi-monocoque".

    Looking at gov't crash films from the mid-1990s, of cars and trucks into a fixed object, I'd still bet on the monocoque. A fixed object has more mass than an SUV.

    In 1978 I got t-boned by a Buick that ran a red light at about 40 or 50, into the passenger side of my Fiat X 1/9. The car was totalled, of course, but I walked away. If I'd had a passenger, he or she would probably have had a broken pelvis though.

    I wish I could find the link, but on another board a month or two ago someone posted pics of their Scion box that got rear-ended by an SUV. Looking at the photos, it was interesting to note that the crushing of the Scion's body stopped right where the passenger cage started.

  2. #22
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    Re: $15,000 new Escalades?

    MisterD,

    That's flawed logic. Full-size SUVs and Pickups do the best in Government crash tests, most of these vehicles are body on frame construction exactly like most older rear-wheel drive American Cars. So what your saying is anything that's body on frame is unsafe and monocoque is far safer? If that were the case the pure monocoque constructed 1961 Jaguar XKE would be one of the safest cars on the road, we all know that car's a deathtrap in an accident.

    BTW, back in 1989 I saw the aftermath of an accident of a two vehicle head-on collision (both cars were going around 25 mph or slightly slower upon impact). One of the vehicles was a 1988 Jeep Wrangler which had body on frame construction and weighed a little over 3,000 lbs. The other was a 1988 Nissan Maxima which weighed around 3,000 lbs and had unibody construction. The result was the Wrangler had virtually no damage, the only visible damage was one of the sides of the front steel bumper (the side by the driverside front tire) was bent in about an inch or two. The Nissan Maxima on the other hand was totaled, its entire front end was crushed like an accordian. They towed away the totaled Maxima while the Jeep Wrangler drove away.

  3. #23
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: $15,000 new Escalades?

    It hasn't been too long since SUVs and pickups were coming close to failing gov't crash tests. Around a decade or so.

    What I'm saying is that modern cars with passenger cages are safer than old cars without structures designed to protect the passengers, regardless of the chassis type.

    A lot of times the outcome of a wreck is largely the result of chance. A few years ago I was driving my '88 Taurus down a steep hill. It had just started raining, someone in an older Maxima pulled out from a side street. I tapped my brakes and immediately locked up and slid into the Nissan. I had the right of way, of course. I hit square on the driver's side front wheel, the front of her car was bent like a parallelogram from the firewall forward, and it was leaking coolant. My bumper was scratched. But I had all the momentum, and the angles were in my favor. If the position of the cars had been reversed, I'm pretty sure it would be the Taurus that would have been totalled.

    Once on the way to the gym I saw the aftermath of a Suburban or Tahoe that had been t-boned by a Corolla. The SUV was on its roof, wheels to the sky, the Corolla wasn't too bad off, and looked like it would have been driveable if the radiator hadn't been punctured.

    Or there was the story in the news a couple of years ago of a BMW 3-series that was speeding and plowed through a Jeep Grand Cherokee that pulled out from a parking lot. The Jeep was sliced in half, driver killed, BMW continued for another hundred feet or so before stopping, driver and passenger got out and fled.

    Point being that the physics of collisions is largely chaotic, you can't count on things always behaving predictably. All else being equal (which it seldom is) then obviously you and Eric are right that mass will give an advantage. But it's not something that I'd count on.

  4. #24
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: $15,000 new Escalades?

    "If your Camaro whacked a telephone pole "sideways (passenger side, dead center)" that part of the car was monocoque. The bolt-on subframe is firewall-forward isn't it??? As with the 1960 Falcon/1965 Mustang design, those cars are classified as "semi-monocoque"."

    Yes and no; the front sub-frame extends to the floorpans to about the mid-way point (the transmission's rear crossmember support bolts to it here, etc.)

    These cars also had enormous - and heavy (appx. 100 pound) steel doors, too. Much heavier then the door of a Civic, which you could easily pick up with one hand (if they were ubolted from the car). My 'Birds door could only be picked up with two hands - by a pretty strong man.

    Those huge heavy doors also aided the car's crashworthiness, no doubt.

  5. #25
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: $15,000 new Escalades?

    "What I'm saying is that modern cars with passenger cages are safer than old cars without structures designed to protect the passengers, regardless of the chassis type."

    You keep on saying it, but it's demonstrably false. A full-size 1977 Chevy Caprice (or any full-size car of that type) - no air bags or "cages" - is inherently more crashworthy than a modern compact with "cages" and air bags. Size and mass matter. This is not a debatable point - unless you think physical laws are debatable!

    I agree that all else being equal, a car with crumple zones, "cages" and air bags, etc. will be more crasworthy/safe than a car without those features. But you continue to assert that crumple zones/air bags and so on negate or render irrelevant the size/mass of the vehicles in question - and that just ain't so.



  6. #26
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    Re: $15,000 new Escalades?

    I don't select a car based on mass. In fact, the lighter the better. Unfortunately, as we all know, the lightest cars today are 2700 lbs, unless it is a Smart car, which is an absolutely ugly joke with a low top speed and lousy mileage for its looks.

    I don't particularly worry about getting in a crash since the probability is pretty darned low, even with today's snarling traffic.

    I would point out that those big mastadons (with arguably better drivers) that we all enjoy looking at had a lousy safety record. we all know that the death rate was far higher back in 1975 than it is today. (3.3 versus 1.4 deaths/100 mvmt).




  7. #27
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: $15,000 new Escalades?

    "I would point out that those big mastadons (with arguably better drivers) that we all enjoy looking at had a lousy safety record. we all know that the death rate was far higher back in 1975 than it is today. (3.3 versus 1.4 deaths/100 mvmt)."

    True - but there are possibly other variables to account for this rather than the cars (as such).

    For example, much as I personally don't like ABS (or traction/stability control) they do "idiot proof" cars - reducing accidents caused by loss of control. But that is fundamentally an issue of driver error. Today's cars are less accident prone (in addition to being equipped with things like air bags, etc. that make them more crashworthy) than the cars of the past - at least, in the hands of the average (and not so skilled) driver.


  8. #28
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    Re: $15,000 new Escalades?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    "I would point out that those big mastadons (with arguably better drivers) that we all enjoy looking at had a lousy safety record. we all know that the death rate was far higher back in 1975 than it is today. (3.3 versus 1.4 deaths/100 mvmt)."

    True - but there are possibly other variables to account for this rather than the cars (as such).

    For example, much as I personally don't like ABS (or traction/stability control) they do "idiot proof" cars - reducing accidents caused by loss of control. But that is fundamentally an issue of driver error. Today's cars are less accident prone (in addition to being equipped with things like air bags, etc. that make them more crashworthy) than the cars of the past - at least, in the hands of the average (and not so skilled) driver.
    I agree. I don't like those features either. When I talk about a safe car, I mean better suspensions and steering, which are things those big mastadons did not possess.

  9. #29
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: $15,000 new Escalades?

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    "I would point out that those big mastadons (with arguably better drivers) that we all enjoy looking at had a lousy safety record. we all know that the death rate was far higher back in 1975 than it is today. (3.3 versus 1.4 deaths/100 mvmt)."

    True - but there are possibly other variables to account for this rather than the cars (as such).

    For example, much as I personally don't like ABS (or traction/stability control) they do "idiot proof" cars - reducing accidents caused by loss of control. But that is fundamentally an issue of driver error. Today's cars are less accident prone (in addition to being equipped with things like air bags, etc. that make them more crashworthy) than the cars of the past - at least, in the hands of the average (and not so skilled) driver.
    I agree. I don't like those features either. When I talk about a safe car, I mean better suspensions and steering, which are things those big mastadons did not possess.
    It'd be interesting to see (assuming you could "control" for other factors) what the effect on accident rates/fatalities a major driver improvement effort (via stricter licensing requirements/more serious training, etc.) could deliver.

    I bet it would be huge - and dwarf the upticks associated with things such as ABS, air bags and so on...

  10. #30
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    Re: $15,000 new Escalades?

    I agree. It depends on what they would teach in the class, of course. Most drivers ed classes simply tell you to observe traffic signs, don't speed, and how to parallel park.

  11. #31
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: $15,000 new Escalades?

    "Most drivers ed classes simply tell you to observe traffic signs, don't speed, and how to parallel park."

    Exactly.

    The thing with driving - as with virtually anything else that involves both native skill and learned ability - is that there is a great variety of skill/ability, ranging from the outright incompetent (and unteachable) to the enormously skilled.

    My gripe is that our system is geared to the lower half of the spectrum - and thus, drivers of higher skill/ability are told "the law" requires them to drive at speeds (and under other general restrictions) designed for those of marginal skill/low ability. It is akin to forcing a high school kid who comprehends algebra to do nothing more than simple addition - because there's a retard in the class who can't handle the algebra.

    I understand that it's not reasonable to expect drivers on public roads to all qualify for an SCCA license in order to be allowed to drive; however, we're at the other end of that scale right now - licensing virtually anyone who applies; requiring next to no demonstrable ability - other than the ability to pull the gear selector into "Drive."

    If I were the real Decider, my dee-cision on this would be that we adopt something similar to the German system - under which the licensing process is considerably tougher, but not unreasonably tough. I'd just want to weed out the current 15-20 percent of licensed drivers who probably should not be driving. We could then do things such as raise speed limits to reasonable levels (80-something mph on highways) and allow higher than 55 on secondary state roads, etc. No more BS 10-15 mph under-posted limits. No more "no right on red" (due to the handful of inept "drivers" who cannot judge oncoming traffic/merge safely without a dedicated green signal). Etc.

    And we could change the premise of our system from enforcing "technical foul" infractions - to going after drivers only when they are genuinely endangering the safety to themselves or others - such as excessive speed for conditions, reckless driving, DWI and so on.

    I know it'll never happen - our society, if anything, caters to the morons at ever greater lengths with each passing year - but I can dream...







  12. #32
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    Re: $15,000 new Escalades?

    And we could change the premise of our system from enforcing "technical foul" infractions - to going after drivers only when they are genuinely endangering the safety to themselves or others - such as excessive speed for conditions, reckless driving, DWI and so on.

    We have abandoned that precept in the UK as it severely reduces the amount of revenus funneled into the coffers of this profligate, useless, bloodsucking .....(you get my drift) gummint, who need every penny they can get to fund their ridiculous social engineering schemes.

    Ken.
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  13. #33
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: $15,000 new Escalades?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken
    And we could change the premise of our system from enforcing "technical foul" infractions - to going after drivers only when they are genuinely endangering the safety to themselves or others - such as excessive speed for conditions, reckless driving, DWI and so on.

    We have abandoned that precept in the UK as it severely reduces the amount of revenus funneled into the coffers of this profligate, useless, bloodsucking .....(you get my drift) gummint, who need every penny they can get to fund their ridiculous social engineering schemes.

    Ken.
    Yes. Sigh.

    We are getting a dose of that here, also. Perhaps a lethal does, ultimately....

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