Car safety has come a long way in the last fifty years. These days comprehensive crash tests are performed, damage to occupants assessed using the famous test dummies which contain an array of sensors and accelerometers and airbags installed to minimise serious injury in collisions. Crashes that would have resulted in fatalities in previous decades are usually ones people can walk away from. Nowhere is this seen more dramatically is Formula One, where severe crashes at over a hundred miles an hour now rarely result in injury to the driver. Sadly this wasn't always the case, in addition to Formula One having a long and dangerous history, general motorists too often paid the price for a car designer's brilliant idea. Before the mandatory use (or even inclusion) of seatbelts, occupants of a car were frequently thrown about inside, or out of a vehicle on impact. The interior of many cars of the 40's and 50's were literally a death trap; much emphasis was placed on style and design, and very little on passenger safety. As a result, many victims found themselves crushed or disembowelled by the steering wheel or column, which was originally designed as a rigid system that didn't deform in a head-on collision. Car roofs were also not designed to withstand roll impact, coupled with the range of movement through the side windows and windscreen by occupants not restrained by belts, traffic accidents on American highways often involved collecting limbs and body parts in the aftermath. Serious injury, even at low speeds, was common due to the use of sharp surfaces, chrome dials and art deco styling in hard materials. Fortunately, common sense eventually prevailed as the popularity of motoring saw the death rate climb vertiginously on national roads. Intense publicity and punitive damages following design flaws on car models also helped shift the focus on safety for car manufacturers. During the 1970's the infamous case of the Ford Pinto served as a warning shot for major manufacturers. After realising that the fuel tank of the Pinto was vulnerable in rear-end collisions, papers emerged in civil cases showing that Ford had calculated the cost of a recall and manufacturing re-tooling against the potential instances of compensation for injury or death. Ford has estimated it would save money by not recalling the cars, but when the full list of their culpability came to light in court, the settlement risked bankrupting the company. Ford lawyers spent the next few years settling out of court before a safety recall and fix was issued. Thankfully, one of Ford's other car ideas never even saw production. Basking in the (radioactive) glow of atomic 1950's optimism, the Ford Nucleon was to be steam engine powered by a uranium fission reactor, once science had enabled one small enough to be included in the back. Much thought and design went in to the streamlining futuristic wings, less into the practicalities of how occupants could drive to the shops without fatal radiation sickness, or whether a minor shunt between two Nucleons would result in a megaton nuke blast.
The little engine that did Ford stuck its three-cylinder, one-litre EcoBoost engine into a Formula Ford race car and went for a blast around the legendary Nrburgring Nordschleife circuit.
What car is considered to be the first musclecar? I've heard alot of people say the Oldsmobile Rocket 88.then some people say the Chevy Bel Air.while others say the 49 Mercury or Chrysler Imperial.they claim that somewhere around the late 40's to early 50's, hot rodding was born.from taking older cars sometimes from the 20's and 30's.stripping them down , chopping the roofs, and lowering them.creating Duece coupes, custom Mercs, and the Model T Ford looking rods which remind of the Plymouth Prowler and Formula 1 racecars.In effort to attract young people, I have read and been told that larger engines from family sedans were put in small lighter cars but this was not as radical as a ponycar from the 60's.in which John Delorean is credited with making.by putting out the GTO. name the year, maker, model, engine, transmission, and horsepower of the car which you know to be the first "muscle car" produced by a car maker.
Your comment " larger engines from family sedans were put in small lighter cars " would be exactly correct if said " larger engines from family sedans were put in INTERMEDIATE cars " That is the definiton of Muscle Car. Dodge Sport Fury originated that with '62 Dart Max Wedge. T-Bolt Henry's,,,Vettes,,Supercharged Tbirds,,,,,SuperDuty Ponchos,,, and a BUNCH of other very powerful cars were NOT "Muscle cars". Too Big,,Too Small,,,they were Full-Sized,,they were 'sports cars" Intermediates with Big Block Hi-Performance Engines is the definition of "Muscle Car" Some surprising Examples to some folks> Mustangs and Camaros are NOT intermediates. Therefore NOT Muscle Cars Fairlanes & Chevelles>Musclecars Anybody can call anything whatever they want to call it. Max Wedge Dart=1st Muscle car Anybody who does NOT know about that,,,should look it up for theirself for their own edification
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