[rescue] What a load of...

Sheldon T. Hall shel at artell.net
Fri Sep 28 03:14:39 CDT 2007

Sandwich Maker writes ...

> i won't dispute that cars today are safer and handle better, and that
> they are more powerful - though i don't know why they need to be.

Safer because they are unibody, which crumples in a crash, but with rigid
passenger compartments.  Also, these days, we have padded dashboards (since
'68), impact-absrbing bumpers (since '73), seat belts, airbags, collapsible
steering columns, etc.  Cars 30-40 years ago had separate frames, no
designed crumple zones, and little, if any, concern for the driver.  That's
why we have fewer road deaths in the USA now than 40 years ago, although our
population is up about 40%.

On the "more powerful" front, though, I'm not so sure.  Remember, in 1963,
anyone could buy what was essentially a NASCAR racer right off the showroom
floor.  The famous "Fastback" Ford, complete with 427 CID engine, enormous
4-barrel carb, and somewhere around 400 horsepower.  For something so large
the acceleration was astounding, and kept being so until well over 100 MPH.

Even my mother's '63 Pontiac Bonneville 4-door (389 CID, "gas saver"
2-barrel) could tow a trailer at 110 MPH, with 5 people and their luggage

For a little more money, say $6,500, you could buy an E-Type Jaguar, which
was an honest 140 MPH car, with very decent handling and braking.  When it
wasn't in the shop.


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