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Do you ever think about NOT having Airbags?

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  • #16
    I'm no great fan of airbags with one exception: I do like the idea of a small 'face bag' in the steering wheel in conjunction with 3 point seatbelts.
    --------------------------------------

    Sold my 1962; Studeless at the moment

    Borrowed Bams50's sigline here:

    "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

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    • #17
      I have no bags in my 1994 K Blazer.. My son has them in his 1996 Ranger. He was hit last week from behind at a stop on a side street. The drugged up driver never slowed..hitting him at 35-40mph. My son truck was slammed into another truck. They were both stopped at a major street. The druggie would have gone right into the larger street at speed. Instead the 96 Ranger gave it up. Truck bed wrecked..leaf springs bent into a circle..the front of the truck smashed heavily with air bags deployed.
      My son is a strong guy..trains in combat classes even.
      He never knew any of it. The EMT's woke him..out cold from the Airbag..arms ripped up a bit like Neil. Concussion..and lump on head..but alive and with a face..

      My Jaguar has the British safety spear shaft that runs from front to direct to my chest. In an accident I would be skewered ! But then..as the English would say..
      "why did you hit something?"
      At least it has no belts too..

      The 53 Coupe has shoulder harness but typical 50s safety features..
      And my bikes..Yikes !

      Glad he had them..saved him..

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      • #18
        I have definitely thought about it, considering that my 17-year-old son will soon begin using a '63 Lark as his daily driver. He is a very cautious driver - more so than I have ever been in my entire life! But it's not his driving that concerns me

        Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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        • #19
          My Ford Excursion had adjustable brake/throttle pedals to help get smaller people away from the steering wheel..makes it safer fror smaller drivers.

          Airbags...yes, nice to have in Daily drivers.
          Do I worry abount NOT having them in my old cars?
          No. If I did, I wouldn't drive old cars!

          Besides, compared to my old Jeep and Bearcat, the Avanti seems very safe...it has doors and a hard top.

          Last week I flew in a 1936 biplane, when I flew helicopters I flew a Korean War surplus machine older than myself...
          If I was going to be that paranoid about safety, I'd stay in the house and listen to classical music all day.
          Last edited by JBOYLE; 07-31-2012, 06:53 PM.
          63 Avanti R1 2788
          1914 Stutz Bearcat
          (George Barris replica)

          Washington State

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          • #20
            The number one most important thing that contributes to automobile safety is the skill and attentiveness of the driver.

            Unfortunately, it seems like none of the other drivers are paying attention, so that only leaves me.
            RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

            17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
            10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
            10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
            4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
            5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
            56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
            60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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            • #21
              I plan to add a rollbar to hang a shoulder harness on. If I could find a really short steering column, I could use it and my modified Saginaw steering box with the steering shaft from a Chevy truck... no 3 foot long steering shaft

              Jeff T.
              \"I\'m getting nowhere as fast as I can\"
              The Replacements.

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              • #22
                New light planes have airbags...they're built into the shoulder harness.
                I'm sure somthing similar could be put in a car...if they can get less expensive.
                But if you're THAT worried, I'm sure you could buy a pair and put them in your older car...they're probably set off by a set "G" force...so no installation problems.
                63 Avanti R1 2788
                1914 Stutz Bearcat
                (George Barris replica)

                Washington State

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by JimC View Post
                  Not really. I mean, What's the point of an airbag if the non-collapsing steering column it would be attached to just spears you like a fish anyway? Sure, they save lives when used properly, and I appreciate them in our modern vehicle, but anyone driving an old car should be paying extra attention anyway. I don't even listen to the radio while driving the Lark, just so I'm that much more alert about the things around me.
                  I'm working on the Studebaker, Ross or Saginaw, setup to use a collapsible steering column without changing much and using off the shelf parts. Don't hold your breath waiting for it as I have so many modifications and projects to complete before the car is on the road that it might be a year or so before I work on it.

                  I have been concerned with the idea of a small diameter metal shaft coming towards my chest if I was involved in any sort of an accident that moved the drivers side chassis rail more than a foot back. That puts the steering wheel, and the shaft, right at my chest. This would likely happen if I hit a pole, tree, ran off the road. Not a usual event. But, the facts still stand that the steering shaft is a dangerous thing.

                  Stay safe out there. It's not usually your fault.

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                  • #24
                    Lately I spend more time thinking about NOT having air conditioning. No room to add it in an R2 powered Hawk either.... Definitely NOT a "nanny car".

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                    • #25
                      Len, good idea in putting a collapsible steering column in the Lark. One thing though, Studebaker was one of the few manufacturers that put the steering gearbox behind the front axle centerline. Most at that time had the gearbox out front, not far from the bumper itself, so that in a collision other than a minor one, the steering shaft became a spear into the drivers chest.

                      I cringe when I see ones (especially old ladies it seems) maybe just a couple of inches away from the steering wheel & think "if that airbag blows with them in that position, it will do more harm than good!" The systems we have in cars today for the most part are connected to sensors in the seat, weigh the person & if the air bags need to be deployed, are regulated & not a one size fits all situation. Ford is now introducing an airbag in the seat belt so that, along with all the side impact provisions make driving todays vehicles very safe.
                      59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
                      60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
                      61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
                      62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
                      62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
                      62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
                      63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
                      63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
                      64 Zip Van
                      66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
                      66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by 63 R2 Hawk View Post
                        Lately I spend more time thinking about NOT having air conditioning. No room to add it in an R2 powered Hawk either.... Definitely NOT a "nanny car".
                        I decided with all the heat this year that as soon as I have the cash, I'm putting AC in my Lark!
                        '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

                        "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

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                        • #27
                          I'm 57 and as a young driver didn't wear seatbelts. Now I wouldn't think of driving in a parking lot without one on. When I bought my 62 Lark, driving home I couldn't help but think about the non-collapsible steering column that was just waiting to impale me in a head on as well as the lack of airbags. I'm building an old school rod out of my stude and I wish there was a way to put air bags in without ruining the look. I'll get used to it, but that is an example of good technology. Airbags are unobtrusive, but great protection.

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                          • #28
                            Padded dashes and deep dish steering wheels (Ford, IIRC) were the forerunner to air bags, believe it or not! They were credited with saving lives- or at least, teeth- back in the "good old days".

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Warren Webb View Post
                              Len, good idea in putting a collapsible steering column in the Lark. One thing though, Studebaker was one of the few manufacturers that put the steering gearbox behind the front axle centerline. Most at that time had the gearbox out front, not far from the bumper itself, so that in a collision other than a minor one, the steering shaft became a spear into the drivers chest.

                              I cringe when I see ones (especially old ladies it seems) maybe just a couple of inches away from the steering wheel & think "if that airbag blows with them in that position, it will do more harm than good!" The systems we have in cars today for the most part are connected to sensors in the seat, weigh the person & if the air bags need to be deployed, are regulated & not a one size fits all situation. Ford is now introducing an airbag in the seat belt so that, along with all the side impact provisions make driving todays vehicles very safe.
                              Good point Warren. I do recall putting a 61 Lark wagon head on into the side of a mountain and it did bend the front horns of the chassis, totaled the front clip and broke many of the body welds and popped the front windshield out. The steering wheel did remain in the same location, given I did not measure before and after, but was not a thought of it having moved back.

                              It was a those crazy days of my youth and was working on putting a dual exhaust system on the wagon when a friend needed a tow. Having used a bit of wire to hold the exhaust in place we set off. One thing lead to another and I had forgot the state of the car and was hoofing it down the mountain. Then it all came back too quickly. The car was being worked on because the suspension was shot, the rear cross-member was broken and the drivers side exhaust from the manifold down hit the tie rod shaft under braking. So, coming into a corner quite fast all these problems compounded and I ended up going sideways then right into the side of the mountain.

                              This also brought back memories of it not having any seat belts. Never again. Any car after that, no matter how original, I have put seat belts in it if I intend to drive it on the road. I ended up under the dash on the passenger side and my friend was on the road beside the car. Not a pleasant sight.

                              I did get hold of all parts to rebuild it and my uncle, whom I gave the car to for him to restore, used the car up until three or four years ago when he sold it.

                              I will still do the conversion but can now relax a bit knowing I have already tested the original design to limits one should not have to.

                              Len.

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                              • #30
                                Of course, my wife says anytime I go driving I'm in a car with a drivers side airbag.
                                '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

                                "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"

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