Are old cars safe


You hit a Ford F350 or 150 with some modern plastic and thin tin car the truck is not going to get the worst of it… you will.

Here’s what it boils down to and looking at the different ‘thread’ comments, I see younger people that have never really used an older car pretty much in the realm of political correctness and ‘by the book’.

I never drove a ‘modern’ car until I was 65 years old, I’m 84 now so go figure… I drove a Model A Ford 150K as a youngster, cheap gas and insurance for $35 a year. After the military and flying airplanes in Germany I came home and bought a really modern ‘53 Ford convert, then other modern cars up thru’ the years, nary an accident or bumped fender, never had a problem.

Now all of a sudden these cars that America and I grew up with and used on and on are somehow ‘not safe’ ??..

Everything is relative, everybody is a product of their environment, any car is a death vehicle so kid nobody, it’s driving smart and with talent that prevents the death trap, not any car. Are airplanes safe… NO. Are trains safe… NO. There’s lots of ways to die so take heart, get out and enjoy those cars, drive the h**l out of them and have fun, forget the nonsense. Let the nut on the wheel be the only one.



I have a 1975 Mercedes Benz 300D with the 5 cylinder diesel (non-turbo). Suffice to say the car is very slow on acceleration, which can be quite unnerving when merging into traffic. I feel safe driving the car, however I don’t feel safe driving it with the other idiots on the road who are doing everything else except focusing on the road. Not to mention the people that just drive like jerks (riding your tail, cutting you off, getting way too close). You would think people would realize and see your driving a classic car and show a little courtesy. I try to avoid heavy traffic inner city roads and stick to rural roads or less congested country highways, it’s just less stressful that way.


Main thing is to have fun, let the other idiots pass you and crowd up on some other guy, just fall back, give 'em room. I don’t like traveling in these stupid packs of cars, always try to avoid this because if some nitwit makes a big mistake it can involve you also. Stay away, let them go, lay back and just enjoy your fine car.

We do all trips and travel in our '54 Ford Crestline, a real road car, big and roomy, smooth and quiet.

Just have fun.



I daily drive a 1989 BMW 325iX. I couldn’t feel safer behind the wheel, even though the only real safety feature is seat belts. I know I’m paying attention and I’ve always felt safe behind the wheel of whatever car I may be in, be it 90 years old, 30 years old, or 30 days old.


Right ON … the driver is the key, not the car. An idiot in a fancy new car is an accident doomed to happen, if he’s lucky he survives. If not… O’well …



According to IIHS, my young timer, has a lower death rate, which means that it is safer, (both, passive safety and active safety), than the current model!

You cannot accept it, I know.

So, please, have a look:

#1: Passat b35i, passive safety:

#2: Passat b35i, active safety:

The above for the 2wd edition. The 4wd, (valid for, almost, all the cars), is up to 50% safer.

Please have a look:



Warren, you need to include the idiot who speeds 75 mph in an 80 year old car too. And against all rationale, keeps CLAIMING he’s god’s gift to driving.


I seldom even drive the speed limit and almost all of my driving is far from any city, we live on a farm in central MN. ‘Speed’ here as such means little, my cars are as those top engineers made them and don’t get the idea that people are smarter now than back then, they are not. All cars are engineered to work, to handle, to stay on the road, all you need from that point on is a sane head with brains in it, it’s not rocket science. I avoid cities if I can, drivers there are taking huge risks, one mistake and it’s on the 6-bell news, we see it daily.



Modern Cars are rolling computers. I suggest a couple of “programs” to match the drivers’ profile with the capabilities of the car. You take a test to prove your skill level. The car performs on how well you take the test. As you drive if you fail simple tasks related to your test the car will fault to a limp home or “shaming” mode. Only certified shops and lots of dollars can fix it!


I’m not saying that computers won’t be driving cars someday, at least on some highways or whatever but it’s a long way off really, the results so far are dismal at best, sensors not sensing in time, computers not near fast enough and machinery not fast enough. The human mind is far more powerful than any computer, that and some commons sense and you have a good driving ‘machine’.

My personal pickup is a '68 Ford F-100 with a 240 six and C-4 tranny, the only diodes in the vehicle are in the alternator and radio. It’s a vehicle I can depend on, I can FIX it and maintain it with no need to hire nobody in the process. I don’t like being held hostage to the high-buck gang, I’ve paid out plenty to these people in my time and don’t intend to go it again.

New cars are fine as long as is under warranty and you keep trading not long after it runs out. I’m retired and don’t have the money to support the automobile industry and fix-gangs anymore.

Happy trails … stay between the ditches …



Sounds similar to graduate licenses. Europe has this on motorcycles, where you have a cap on the engine size/performance until you have garnered experience.

This prevents new riders from immediately jumping on the latest and greatest 1000cc sportbike as their first foray into two wheel transport, which typically doesn’t end well.

A program in this manner for performance or classic cars would certainly be a great thought when cars go autonomous.


Amazing to me how political correctness has permeated our lives, even driving and much more. I got a bike when I was 8, nobody showed me how to ride or fitted me with a helmet because… there was no such thing. I rode my bike 1.5 miles to school when it was possible in Minnesota winter, ice and all, no helmet. At 15 I was able to buy a Whizzer motorbike (Google) kit for my bike, I rode it relentlessly until I got my first car, a Model A Ford as a Junior in high school, took my driver’s test in it, no school was involved. No seat belts, not even safety glass in the windshield but I did put that in, did it myself. Overhauled the engine myself, put on new tires w/tubes myself. In 1951 we had 90 inches of snow, a friend had a ‘29 Pontiac that run, we punched a ten foot fencepost down thru’ the cloth top, jammed it behind the front seat, tied 100 foot ropes to the pole and skied behind that car, about 20mph was the best, it was fantastic fun, we did it for weeks, no helmets no nothing.

How did we survive ??.. Nobody got hurt that I ever recall, some of my friends are still alive, none every died in any accident, car or otherwise. How did we do all this … the answer is simple, we had common sense same as our folks, used our head’ for something besides a hatrack. I did risky flying in the military in Germany, plenty more when I bought my own plane at home. At least that did have a seat belt. No mishaps no wrecks. I’ve never dented a fender and am still trying to avoid it. The fifties were fabulous years, times and fun that none now are ever going to see and it’s sad to me, I feel sorry for the younger generations, I really do, now needing to be run by computers, I’m a computer guy but they don’t run my life.

Have whatever fun you can while you can, things can turn ugly in a heartbeat.

The best guys …



Well, this little stint was done on purpose, I’ve done the really fast stuff on the racetrack, both drag and oval, my two passengers were cream puffs, I doubt either had ever driven without a seat belt let alone experienced anything but dull normal, at least they got a little experience, gives a different perspective.
I’ve never caused anybody an accident but have saved a few from them, saved one guy’s life by tying off both his legs, cut off when a train cut his car in two, lucky the ambulance came fast, other 3 were dead, mangled blood and guts.an ugly sight at midnight in So. Carolina, 1953.


^ @centuryfarm92 I understand clearly. More than just your car was full of it.


I have more miles backing up than you have ahead and … nary a fender scratch. It
'isn’t the car, it’s the driver, you can kill yourself in any of them, there is no ‘safe’ car.


Had many actually but the favorite of all was the plain ol’ Piper Cub, first one I had was a 65 Lycoming, I loved that thing. You can barely kill yourself in a Cub.


Yep… nothing like this old stuff, a great way to just leave, take it cool and relax a little. I never drive our '02 Town Car (Cartier) much over 60, I I can’t get there at that speed … then maybe should have left sooner ??..


Only real risk is the one you create yourself, many nuts out there, the trick is to avoid them, keep away from them. They pass, I fall back the safe distance. Watch every street, corner, road, everything with no distraction, being aware well ahead is a great idea, never take your eyes off in front, to the side and the rear, defensive IS the trick.