[DML] Re: DeLorean Crash safety
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[DML] Re: DeLorean Crash safety

He shoots, he scores.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with Jack Martin.  It's
irreplaceable reports of unique experiences like yours that make this
list worthwhile for me.

Rick Gendreau

--- In dmcnews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Bob Brandys <BobB@...> wrote:
> Claude,
> You are correct that the Bricklin was designed as a safety vehicle.  
> Being in the safety field for over 30 years  now, I was very involved 
> in vehicle safety, back in my younger days at grad school.
> The Bricklin was brought out at the time of the first air bag cars.   
> GM build over  20,000 full size air bag cars, in 74-76.   Mostly Olds 
> and Caddy.    The were a $300 option know as the "air cushion restraint 
> system."  These air bags were much safer than the current design and 
> never killed any kids.
> However, there was a debate whether air bags were needed in a 
> adequately designed car that could absorb crash energy.
> The DOT contracted to have 2 safety vehicle built in 1975  without air 
> bags to test this energy absorbing concept.
> Interestingly, these two vehicle had gull wing side doors.   These two 
> safety vehicles disappeared when Regan became president (along with all 
> the information on making tires quieter (but that's another story).
> Bricklin followed up on this crash energy absorbing/dissapating design 
> and built the SV1.  You could crash into a wall at 50 mph and walk 
> away.  Bricklin even proved this in a live real test.   The main design 
> feature was a steel frame that would crush like an accordian bellows.   
>    Note: this 50 mph survivability without major injury still exceeds 
> the current air bag safety requirements.
> DeLorean used a different energy dissipating principal, that of glass 
> fibers breaking - and dissapating energy.
> Jack Martins, (who died of a brain aneurism about 5 years ago) was the 
> air bag safety consultant to JZD.   Jack was a good friend of mine and 
> I still own his 1976 air bag Oldsmobile.   I restored it, just before 
> he died and he was really happy about the fact that his car was saved.
> Jack and I discussed the safety differences between the D and the B 
> many times.  Overall the Bricklin was the superior safety vehicle.  
> However, if JZD had installed air bags in the Ds, they would have been 
> almost equalivent.
> Jack was also influential the design of other safety features in the D. 
>   For example, the front pillars are padded with about 3 inches of
>   The doors have hip displacement absorbing panels and there knee pads 
> on the front dash.
> The energy absorbing front pillar pads only became a mandatory safety 
> feature about 5 years ago.  JZD and Jack were way ahead in this safety 
> feature.
> In addition, to all the other reasons why GM wanted JZD out of 
> business, Jack felt that the DeLorean safety features also scared GM 
> because a better engineered car could be used at trial to show a 
> negligent design by another car company.
> Jack was a expert witness in many product liability suits against, GM, 
> Ford and Chrysler.   Some of his cases were just unbelievable in the 
> stupidity of the engineers who designed stuff.   Many times it turned 
> out the engineers never did the designing-it was young, underpaid, 
> inexperienced draftsman who were told to just make up something that 
> works.
> I really believe that if JZD has been allowed to stay in business, he 
> would have been the first car with standard air bags.  His vehicle were 
> designed for them from day one.
> Anyway, who said that the rear tires don't fit in the bonnet.  They do 
> in the 2015 Delorean.
> Bob

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