Crashing est art
December 26, 2012 1:04 AM   Subscribe


 
I can answer this one! Hitting a Ford Expedition at just under 40 mph square on the passenger side front wheel. If my (unbroken!) windshield hadn't been there, I could have reached out over the dash board and touched my radiator.

The Ford driver left on a backboard, I called my wife to come get me and cleaned out my tools and armor from the back and pulled my stereo system before the tow truck came. I developed a bit of brand loyalty after that.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 1:29 AM on December 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


If a Volvo crashes into a Toyota Hi-Lux, what happens?
posted by zippy at 3:29 AM on December 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I upgraded from a 16-yo Volvo 850 (same colour and model as the one in the video) to a 6-yo Volvo V70 in March. I found this unaccountably comforting. Is there any hope left for me?
posted by cstross at 3:59 AM on December 26, 2012


Not just for upright bass players and college professors anymore!
posted by thelonius at 4:31 AM on December 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've always found Volvo drivers who tailgate me at 75 mph a special kind of passive aggressive.
posted by meinvt at 4:46 AM on December 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sadly, Ford managed to gut their management, hopefully they're back now that they've got new owners.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:58 AM on December 26, 2012


From comments: Have you tried to throw Nokia 3310 at it?
posted by leotrotsky at 5:50 AM on December 26, 2012 [12 favorites]


meinvt: That's like a real-life reenactment of Deathproof.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:51 AM on December 26, 2012


About twenty-five years ago there was a horrific highway accident where a tractor-trailer truck tipped sideways and crushed a Volvo 240 that was traveling immediately adjacent to it. It took hours for the fire department to free the driver, but he survived unscathed and went on to do advertisements for a local dealership that featured footage of the wreck and him saying to the camera "The police said it was a miracle, but I know it was my Volvo!".

I miss the old Volvo, back when safety trumped style.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:06 AM on December 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


a robust car ,but any accident can be fatal regardless of car strength .
posted by Ahmed_Nabil at 6:58 AM on December 26, 2012


Volvo: Boxy but safe.
posted by thewalrus at 7:10 AM on December 26, 2012


Why must we always hurt the ones we love?
posted by orme at 7:23 AM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I miss the old Volvo, back when safety trumped style.

The older cars were cheaper to repair after collisions and could indeed survive crashes fine (as depicted in the video) but nowadays the focus is on protecting the squishy humans inside, not protecting the car. Having crumple zones today means you're much more likely to total the car, but also much less of the collision impact gets transmitted to the driver.
posted by xdvesper at 7:25 AM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The older cars were cheaper to repair after collisions and could indeed survive crashes fine (as depicted in the video) but nowadays the focus is on protecting the squishy humans inside, not protecting the car. Having crumple zones today means you're much more likely to total the car, but also much less of the collision impact gets transmitted to the driver.
A relevant, and eye-opening, crash test video from Top Gear, where they crash an old Volvo 940 into a more modern (and smaller!) car.
posted by kickingtheground at 8:20 AM on December 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


What does it take to kill a Volvo?

In the US? Just one repair bill that's too expensive to justify or afford.

Beyond that you may need a modern main battle tank or a nuclear weapon.
posted by loquacious at 8:23 AM on December 26, 2012


kickingtheground: that was Fifth Gear, not Top Gear. And I should note they rigged it somewhat, using an older model Volvo (first sold: 1990; discontinued, 1998). Even so ... moral of video: older cars are death traps.
posted by cstross at 8:42 AM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I 'crashed' my Volvo a couple months ago (very low-speed, into a Renault of some kind) and the Renault was fucked sideways - literally, actually, the whole front was shoved over, dislodging the hood and front quarterpanels - and I had a scratched bumper. Like until I saw his car I was thinking I would be able to maybe just go on my way.

I don't know how it would hold up in the kind of crash in the Top Gear Video but it is newer, has airbags all over and etc and so I hope it would do alright.

The real Achilles' heel is as loquacious says. About once a year I think about selling it and inevitably tell myself the same thing each time - as soon as it stops running. This has been going on for about five years now...
posted by From Bklyn at 8:46 AM on December 26, 2012


So, what is the current equivalent of a Volvo?
posted by Ber at 9:06 AM on December 26, 2012


Agreed, loquacious. Crashing my 2000 S40 would be a mercy killing at this point, as it's dying a slow death of a hundred different maladies. When the guy at the shop said it would cost $1,400 to fix it, I said screw it. This weekend I'm going out and buying a Honda.
posted by Rangeboy at 9:08 AM on December 26, 2012


The older cars were cheaper to repair after collisions and could indeed survive crashes fine (as depicted in the video) but nowadays the focus is on protecting the squishy humans inside, not protecting the car.

I support crumple zones and doing everything possible to protect the squishy humans. I just miss the old ugly-but-safe Volvos. They had a certain sincerity about them--you didn't buy a Volvo because of how it looked or how fast it could cruise along some coastal California highway, you bought one because it was by far the safest box on the road. Safety and style may not be mutually exclusive traits, but in older Volvos there was absolutely no question which one took priority.

Newer Volvos are absolutely safer than the old ones, and they may still be relatively more safe than other contemporary vehicles, but the car has become just another luxury brand chasing the same demographics as all the others.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 9:09 AM on December 26, 2012


I've got a 1983 240dl, and a 1995 850GLT with a 2000 v70 engine in it. Love them both dearly. The swede bricks just have a special charm and are dog easy to work on. My little 240 is pushing 230k on the original engine and transmission and just. won't. die. I got a spare engine and transmission for it on CL a while back, thinking I'd do the swap and rebuild the original when it finally crapped out. Still waiting...
posted by stenseng at 9:34 AM on December 26, 2012


I vastly enjoy the boxy eurosafe elegance of a 240 in fact.

Went off the road in a 240 wagon, blasted through the safety rail and through a field before smashing into a tree. My 9 year old sister was in the back seat and peeved to be woken up from her nap.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:39 AM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


it was by far the safest box on the road

I'd argue that this honor should go to the old Saabs 900 and 9000.
posted by hat_eater at 10:26 AM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you run an old 240 long enough, eventually all the body pieces will fall off and you'll be left driving a naked chassis and engine.

Mine had 225,00 on it, on my third hood, second hatchback and god knows what number quarter panels after innumerable (for me) fender-benders. Finally let it go for $400 cash after our first daughter was born and we consolidated two old cars to one bigger new one.

Volvos: Drive 'em to the junkyard.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:34 AM on December 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


My 1981 240 wagon only died at 30 years old after
1) The rear end crushing a 6' x 10' hole in a wooden commercial building after I forgot to set the parking brake. Volvo damage: scuffs on rear bumper rubber
2) Partner taking out front clip/hood/grille on the rear of another car. Unbolted/sawzalled off the wreckage, bolted on/tack-welded replacement, and voila.
3) Dashboard fire around ignition switch, caused by who-knows-which previous owner's kludged wire splices. Even fast work with the extinguisher couldn't leave enough to justify repairing it.

Although I replaced it with a 1983 VW Westfalia, my head still turns for a 240 wagon.
posted by Dreidl at 10:44 AM on December 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


In 2004 I became the second owner of an '88 240 DL sedan that served me extremely well. It cost me 800 dollars. Every piece of plastic on the car had dry rotted, and I ripped the back seat out to make room for my Marshall full stack. I don't have any really cool stories about it but I miss that car a lot.
posted by triceryclops at 10:49 AM on December 26, 2012


The Fifth Gear test showing the 940 isn't necessarily indicative of the safety of a modern front-wheel drive car. The 940 is a RWD platform and so has much older roots than the 850, which was a completely new design when it debuted. Here is a video of an 850 driving off of a cliff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN4o8TERuoY

Their engines and transmissions are their weak points, but there is nothing quite like driving a turbo 850 when it hits boost (except maybe an 80's Saab 900 turbo).
posted by tmt at 11:31 AM on December 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Have you tried to throw Nokia 3310 at it?

Hah! I had one of these for years, and used to justify keeping it (vs a fancier phone) by saying "I could throw it at a brick wall and it would be fine."

Then one day, sitting at lunch with co-workers, the subject came up and I trotted out that same old line. A coworker looked at me, looked at the phone, looked at the brick wall about six feet from us, and looked at me again. So I shrugged and threw my phone at the brick wall without hesitation.

While everybody else recovered from their shock, I picked up the phone, and sure enough it was fine (although it had some new scuffs.) I used it for at least another few years before water damage finally made it somewhat flaky.

Best little phone ever.
posted by davejay at 12:02 PM on December 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


I also have a Volvo
posted by davejay at 12:18 PM on December 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I upgraded from a 16-yo Volvo 850 (same colour and model as the one in the video) to a 6-yo Volvo V70 in March. I found this unaccountably comforting. Is there any hope left for me?

I dunno. How do you like your Folvo?


At least it's not a full on Ford.

The third generation employs the Ford EUCD platform and has been marketed since 2008 as the V70 (discontinued in North America after model year 2010) and the XC70, an all wheel drive model.

Don't mind me--just sour grapes from a Saab person, which was in the same situation vis a vis GM before it collapsed. At least Volvo has a post-Fordist future. (LOL.)

My brand needs braaaainnnnssss...:shambleshambleshamble:
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:37 PM on December 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also re: Top Gear -- I'm still miffed that in their brand retrospective they liked the GM Saabs better than the 900 and 9000. One of their more incomprehensible judgment calls.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:47 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Newer Volvos are absolutely safer than the old ones, and they may still be relatively more safe than other contemporary vehicles, but the car has become just another luxury brand chasing the same demographics as all the others.

So what you are saying is that you care more about the image and brand than about safety?
posted by Authorized User at 2:31 PM on December 26, 2012


I got my first Volvo this year. A 2004 V70. There's a reason that used ones disappear nearly as soon as they are available. I very much look forward to passing it on to my son in another 12 years when he gets his license. And if I get in a horrific accident with him in that time, I'm much more confident that he'll survive it and make it to 16.
posted by sciurus at 2:47 PM on December 26, 2012


snuffleupagus: as of 2006, Ford had not destroyed the Volvo nature of the V70.

The turning circle is for shit compared to the 1996 850SE, but in most other ways it's an improvement. Doesn't feel like a Ford at all. And I like driving a boring grey estate car -- a diesel, no less -- that can do 0 to 60 in 8 seconds. Six speed manual gearbox and turbocharged 2.5 litre engine FTW.
posted by cstross at 3:47 PM on December 26, 2012


Crashing est art

Crashing is art.
posted by nathancaswell at 4:34 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


snuffleupagus: as of 2006, Ford had not destroyed the Volvo nature of the V70.

This is good to know. My SO will eventually want to replace her S40, which was selected for its pre-Ford model year.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:07 PM on December 26, 2012


We've a 1990 240 wagon, the wife says it's her last car... 250,000 miles on it....
posted by HuronBob at 6:07 PM on December 26, 2012


You are probably killing the people in the other car due to the rigidity of your volvo so perhaps that should be a factor into your decision to drive a tank.
posted by srboisvert at 9:16 AM on December 27, 2012


This is good to know. My SO will eventually want to replace her S40, which was selected for its pre-Ford model year.

You do know the pre-Ford S40 is as much a Mitsubishi as the Ford ones are Fords, right?
posted by davejay at 12:46 PM on December 27, 2012


You do know the pre-Ford S40 is as much a Mitsubishi as the Ford ones are Fords, right?

I've read a little bit about the Volvo/Mits joint venture, but the impression I gathered from browsing Volvo forums was that the first version of the S40 is still primarily a Volvo design that was well received by Volvo people. I'm not the one who actually drives it, so I can't speak to how Volvo-like it is to drive. Although the turbo sounds and feels about right from the passenger seat. (Speaking of which the classic Saab 900 used a Mits turbo from around 1990.)

I never did look into the "Carisma," though. How similar is it to a S40? That could be disheartening.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:02 AM on December 28, 2012


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