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Re: MGs for offspring

Subject: Re: MGs for offspring
From: ckr <>
Date: Sun, 01 Dec 1996 16:16:54 -0500

I'll have to go with the 'wait til they're a bit older' crowd on this 
one. The Offspring is just about 16 now, and in the throes of learning 
to drive.  Although she'd like a B, and has expressed interest in having 
one, (and sometimes makes noises about liking the looks of a *gasp* 
Spitfire) I've got severe reservations about letting her (or anyone) 
loose on the roads of Northern Virginia and DC in something that is, for 
all practical purposes, invisible to other drivers (and particularly big 
trucks). She herself, having been in an auto accident with her mother 
(front-end collision at 45mph with a dump truck ... the truck's fault, 
too), and having lived through it, swears by airbags and is a little 
leery of driving a car without one. So, we'll likely have another lbc in 
the family soon, but as a 'weekender' or fun car, rather than her 
primary transportation.

What will we get her? Probably a Volvo or some other variety of armoured 
car. Perhaps something from the mid-sixties with a slant-6 and a lot of 
good Pennsylvania iron in it.  I ran across an interesting study a 
couple of years ago by an independent group of engineers. It tested very 
old cars against new ones in a variety of collisions ... including ones 
the highway safety and auto manufacturers usually ignore, like 
quarter-front impacts.  Their conclusions were probably startling to 
anyone but our, and a few other, list members: in anything but a 
straight head-on collision (in which the motor of the old iron usually 
found its way into the cockpit), you are safer in any car from the 
mid-sixties to the early seventies which has a seatbelt than in anything 
else they tested. The old cars usually absorbed the impact with frame 
and steel plate; the new ones sort of crumple up (sometimes 
disasterously) in non-front end collisions, particularly quarter-fronts. 
Airbags helped, but in situations where they rammed the passenger front 
quarter into a telephone pole or tree, the airbags often did more harm 
than good (ostensibly because of odd torsion forces in the car). I 
remember finding it interesting if not totally convincing ... I'd 
suspect there's an element of randomness that just can't be accounted 
for in any car. Ah, well, the idea is there for consideration.

Cheers and safe speed ...

75 MGB 'Rags'

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