: Mid 1970's Safety Questions

09-03-07, 07:48 PM
I just had some rather random questions in relation to the mid 70's (74-77) fleetwoods and eldorados:

1.Whats the fire safety like on these cars? ie if you get a big smack in the rear or have a serious frontal crash is the car going to burst into flames like some 70's vehicles were known to do? If I buy one of these cars should i keep a fire extinguisher handy?

2.in a frontal crash will the hood fold up like a Teepee in the middle like later cars,or does it fling open, or would it slice thru the driver and decapitate him?
In later cars the whole front section crumples to absorb impact but it seems many people are still suffering horrible leg injuries in these crashes, surely with these big old caddies being solid rather than crumply you would be less likely to get your legs crushed? Or is the massive engine simply forced int the cabin? ( and if you're in a big old car that collides with a car that crumples, then that car does the crumpling for both of you)

3.I understand safety glass has been used on cars since 1927, however isn't this only for windshields, what about the other windows? If you get hit in the side are you going to get sliced by big shards of glass?

4.What are repair costs like for these cars for minor dings eg what sort of cost would you be looking at to replace a bumper and few lights?

5.Wasn't a law passed in the early 1970's that required all US cars to withstand a 30 mph impact with a solid object without injuring the occupants? Was this law actually obeyed and enforced in Detroit? Its hard to imagine a gremlin protecting anyone from a 30 mph whack

Any info would be greatly appeciated I know I may sound paranoid but I'm more curious than anything else as I'm looking at buying a mid 70's caddy soon.

09-03-07, 08:53 PM
They are very safe AFAIK, the passenger cabin is very well protected. For the ultimate in safety try to hunt down an ACRS (air bags) car -they dual front two-stage air bags, like the modern Mercedes, etc. And yes, they still work after years and years. (they tested this in the early 90s when air bags became popular again FYI.) I'd talk to NightWolf, I believe he had quite a smack-up in a 70s Caddy. Plus take into account that almost everything on the road will be lighter than you, except some Buicks and Olds that will match you weight, as will some large trucks (some of them might outweight you by a little, actually). But superior mass is the ultimate safety featuer in car-vs.-car crashes and helps even in car-vs-object crashes unless the object happens to be particularly unyielding, but even K-rails (Jersey Barriers) slide a bit if hit hard.

09-03-07, 10:02 PM
The 1971 models debuted the collapsing engine mounts and breakaway hood hinges, so no, you won't have an engine or hood in the cabin.

Safety glass is all around.