Car Wrecks From the 1920′s and 1930′s

While cruising the streets of the world wide web, I landed deep within the pages of a great thread in a motivemag forum. It had some outstanding photos of old car wrecks in it.  Once you get passed the whole human aspect of it, it is truly amazing to see.

Many people assume that cars of that era were slow, but the truth is that many models were quite capable of today’s highway speeds.  In fact, the first car to ever reach 200 mph was in 1927.  Sure it was using plane engines, but it does show that America was deeply craving high speeds.  Almost every car in the 1930’s could easily attain today’s 55 mph speed limit, and many of the vehicles from the 1920’s could too.  Although these cars could clearly get up and go, their skinny tires, leaf spring suspension, mechanical drum brakes, and the dirt roads, made their stopping abilities less than stellar.  Just imagine stopping your own “modern” car with nothing but the parking brake. That is similar to what many of the 1920’s cars had.  Compound that with solid steering columns, steel dashboards, lack of seat belts and safety glass, and you were in rough shape in an accident.  So the next time you hop in your car, open your window, and give a quick shout-out to modern technology.

Jeremy Nutt

Hi, I'm Jeremy.

4 thoughts to “Car Wrecks From the 1920′s and 1930′s”

  1. I have noticed a mentality in a lot of commentary which show a great deal of contempt for modern car design. The most mentioned is “old cars were better because they were solid steel, not plastic and they were heavier.” They were heavier, and made of steel, but they were not as structurally strong and their driving characteristic were not very refined. If someone made you drive one to work every day, you’d beg to have your Sentra or Focus back. Mileage was bad, power was low, brakes were bad, not to mention the lack of belts, crush zones, collapsible steering columns, padded dash, no protrusions on the interior, safety cage construction, antilock disc brakes, traction control, sophisticated suspension systems air bags, and much better tires. I recall even in the 60s, wrecks were horrendous, with fatals every weekend. We’d go by the lot where the wrecks were stored and peer into the bloody interiors of these cars. Old cars have their charm, but safety, reliability and performance are the best they have ever been in today’s somewhat less exciting cars.

    1. Very well said. I like old cars more than most, but I certainly wouldn’t want to get into an accident in one. Just thinking about the solid steering column scares the heck out of me.

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