Vintage Crash Tests. How safe is your vintage iron?

1969 Ford Mustang Wreck

What do you drive? For the past fifteen years my daily driver has been vintage or near classic (20+ years old) for all but five of those years. Countless 1960’s Mustangs and Jeeps with a Miata recently thrown in for good measure. As I get older, I tend to learn more towards function over originality. Don’t get me wrong. I am an automotive purist. I’ll curse and mutter underneath my breathe if you turn your 1967 Mustang into Eleanor. If you do it to an original Shelby, well, I might even do it to your face. Don’t get me wrong your have every right to strut around thinking your Nicholas Cage, just don’t butcher a classic Mustang to do it. (If you feel urge to own an Eleanor buy a Dynacorn Mustang Body Shell and make that a clone of a clone. ) -But what I do think is that safe minded upgrades not only increase the drive-ability and value of your car… they just might save your life.

I’ve been to hundred upon hundreds of car shows, and the one thing I don’t understand is purist who go into convulsions when the see well restored muscle car that has been upgraded to have: high back seats, disc brakes, fuel cells, AC, three point seat belts, or a collapsible steering column. Its just common sense. If you going to drive your Trans Am to the car show rather than trailer it, than you want to get there alive. The guy at the show who is pissed off more than likely didn’t even start his car when he loaded on the trailer any way. Let’s face it: cars built in the 1960’s and 1970’s just aren’t as safe as those built today. That extra $1000 you drop on disc brakes and roll cage just might be the best money you’ve ever spent the day a teenager drives their SUV into your vintage ride. If you don’t believe me just watch the montage of crash test footage compiled of 1968 General Motor cars:

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