It was, what some consider, the golden age of automobiles, but were these cast iron bruisers really all that safe? The results are shown in this recent crash test between a 1959 Chevy Bel Air and a relatively modern 2009 Chevy Malibu.

I remember when I wanted to buy my first car, my parents insisted that I go with a big, heavy Detroit cruiser because it would be 'safer' in a crash. But do kids have to be encased in a huge 1976 Buick to be safe in a crash?

In the following video you will see a demonstration crash test between 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and 2009 Chevrolet Malibu which was made for an IIHS 50th anniversary.

In the 50 years since United States insurers organized the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), car crashworthiness has improved. If this was a real situation, the occupants of the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu would fare much better than in the 1959 Chevy Bel Air. Pretty amazing since the Bel Air weighs a third more than the Malibu.

Did your parents make you have a 'tank' for your first car?

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