The Model T is the Number One Most Dangerous Car Ever?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: The Model T is the Number One Most Dangerous Car Ever?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rick J. Gunter -- Sparta, Missouri, USA on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 10:42 am:

Check out this new article that appeared on the Fox News site today entitled: "Ten Cars That Are way Too Dangerous to Drive." The number one most dangerous is the Model T Ford. The author said the Model T "...was a complete death trap."

http://www.cheatsheet.com/automobiles/10-cars-that-were-just-too-dangerous-to-dr ive.html/?hl=1&utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=feed_desktop&ref= OB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 11:07 am:

Some of these are dangerous on account of being so ugly they'll ensure a guy
never gets another date, but I see none that could not be considered perfectly
fine if driven within the design parameters of the car in question.

The problem is often not with the car at all. It is with the operator, or the envi-
-ronment in which the operator uses the car being inappropriate for the car.

Once again, some writer just "making copy" to fill read space for his editor.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 11:47 am:


Not even a mention of the vehicle that puts the driver in prime splat position. Ridiculous. It should be #1.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 11:58 am:

That has to be a joke... I have owned, driven, or ridden in at least 6 of them and I'm still alive.
(maybe I'm really in the Matrix - refer to global warming for more info)

I'll admit that the Yugo had little ability to move by itself thus it's best feature was the hand warmer on the rear window, but the Porsche 911 - really?

Speaking about the Yugo - my son went to an auto parts store and said, "Can I get a gas cap for my Yugo?" The reply was "That sound like a fair trade!"

It would be interesting to compare seat time to deaths.
I'll wager a T water pump that the T has the lowest rate! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Aldrich Orting Wa on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 12:02 pm:

I noticed all the cars covered were little cars. The Bronco II was the only this vehicle of any size.

Safety is precisely why I drive a "boat" (1 ton dually). If/when I get into a wreck, I want something between me and the other vehicle.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 12:02 pm:

When people who know nothing about cars try to write articles about cars, this is the stupid BS that results.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Spaziano, Bellflower, CA. on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 12:10 pm:

BMW Isetta.

My dad had an upholstery shop at the rear of Stowell's Furniture Store on Atlantic Bl. in Monterey Park back in the early 60's.

Above the store were two apartments and in one of the apartments lived a single gal that was attending East L.A. College. She drove one of those.

Even though I was VERY young, I still remember my dad saying "Look at that damn death-trap". "You know why the roof opens on that thing"? "It's so they can hose-out what's left of the driver after the crash".


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George John Drobnock on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 12:19 pm:

According to the article -

"The Model T Ford is an automotive icon. During its pioneering 19-year production run, Ford sold more than 15 million of the cars and transformed America into the world’s first automotive powerhouse. Also, the Model T was a complete death trap. When it was introduced in 1908, notable safety features included things like headlights, a horn, and a windshield. After that, you were pretty much on your own. The fact that Henry Ford famously refused to add front brakes to keep costs down didn’t help either."

If memory serves me correctly, practically all early automobiles were constructed the same way. Safety was an evolution in design.

Those interested in numbers and vehicle types - no antique autos listed - may want to review - "An Analysis of Traffic Deaths by Vehicle Type and Model"
www2.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/assets/...26.../SUV-report.pdf
by T Wenzel - ‎2002 -


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 12:30 pm:

My daughter walked away from an impossible bash a couple of years ago when her Honda Civic slammed into an immovable object at highway speed. _The mechanical safety features which came into play included a collapsible energy-absorbing steering column, front crumple zone, shoulder harness and air bag system. _Though the car was accordioned all the way to the firewall, there were no injuries worth mentioning—and I thank God for that.

I would guess sheer production numbers were the deciding factor in awarding the Model T Ford the #1 spot out of the top ten cars too dangerous to drive because pretty much all of the Brass-Era cars were in the same safety category and you can pick nits off a gnat's knuckles over whether it would have been worse to smack that concrete overpass with a fully pressurized Stanley Steamer as opposed to a Tin Lizzie.

Maybe there were a few exceptions which had 4-wheel brakes, but other than that, most if not all of the brass designs can be lumped into the same safety—or lack of it—category. _Yeah, in the modern context, we do things like add electric brake lights and maybe turn-signals, but the practice of traffic-jamming a horseless carriage among modern cars is fraught with all kinds of hazard. _We're protected primarily by extreme vigilance and, as our collector-car insurance companies would put it, "reduced exposure"—meaning most of us don't drive these cars every day*.

A discussion about which horseless carriage deserves the indisputable #1 spot for lack of safety reminds me of a saying popular among antique airplane owners: "The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the sky; it can only just barely kill you."

*Surprisingly, the safety statistics generated by antique cars—even including muscle cars—compare quite favorably to that of modern cars and the general consensus is that the owners of old iron tend to be very mature, very careful, very conservative drivers. _That would tell me that the most effective safety feature is located between the ears.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 01:21 pm:

Well, the only way for cheap "journalists" to make it these days is to knock down the icons of our past. Makes them seem smart I guess to demonstrate their 20/20 hindsight related to topics they know nothing about. And, the only thing that some people wish to hear, is how evil & wrong we have all been. Where does this loathing for all things past come from? I guess that's what you do when your current generation can only produce toys, such as I-phones, X boxes and reality TV and our "heroes" are former Olympians who have chosen to get their wieners cut off.

I'm done now.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George_Cherry Hill NJ on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 01:36 pm:

I see GM just got nabbed on a recall fix of a recall and now the population goes all the way back to 1996 models? 'Cause the lower pan dribbles oil and thus might catch fire?

Ahhhh......why stop there...that was an iconic note of every model t ever built, right???


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Eagle Ida Fls on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 01:39 pm:

The claim is true. My Model T's are the most dangerous cars I own. Only a miracle can save me now. I was in a Wreck just this morning. Not an accident but my rusty Coupe. It was another delightful drive to and from Breakfast. What a way to go.


Rich !0)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Derocher on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 01:54 pm:

Yesterday it was bacon, hot dogs, and sausage on the bad for you list, today the Model T, tomorrow it will probably be beer or wine! JD


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 02:04 pm:

This world is a dangerous place, you'll never get out of it alive.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Kelsey on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 02:47 pm:

Hmmmm...I notice that there isn't much explanation as to why the Model T is "so dangerous." Compared to the era of the other cars, I stand that it is unfair to lump it into the same category. Now, if this was a comparison of all brass-era cars, the author might have a valid argument.

My parents bought a Ford Pinto and still have it. It was a fantastic car. It's center of gravity was so good that it would easily plow through the winter snow - it even bucked drifts until snow filled up the engine compartment and shorted out the distributor. I also like the body styling of the Delorean and the Fiero. I cannot speak to their flaws, but a friend of mine from Spokane just inherited one and is getting it restored in Seattle.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez-Templeton, CA on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 03:24 pm:

The one thing this writer fails to acknowledge is context. In the teens and twenties people were making the same decisions we are today; is the risk worth the reward? Do I want the better job etc. that the automobile will provide me?

Today thousands of people will strap themselves into a "death trap" and fly all over the world... with full knowledge that if the "imperfect" airplane fails to do what it's supposed to do, the consequences will most likely be lethal. Evidently the risk is worth the reward.

I wonder what some brilliant writer will have to say, from his ivory tower in 100 years, about the "Death traps" we accept as safe enough today.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Seth - Ohio on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 03:29 pm:

I am willing to sacrifice myself for your safety...Please send me all your Model T's :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 03:48 pm:

"A little information can be dangerous". That's exactly what this guy has and he's filling up some blank space with it and probably earning a bit of $ to boot. Hogwash.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells, Hamilton Ontario on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 04:05 pm:

I guess it's easy to bash a famous car from Ford. What would most people say if he wrote the article about Winton or Hupmobile?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 04:17 pm:

Still safer than a motorcycle.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jem Bowkett, Bracknell United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 06:20 pm:

I havent bothered reading the article - any mention of the Reliant Robin, Morgan 3 wheeler, Trabant?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James J. Lyons III - West Virginia on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 06:38 pm:

Next thing you know, some pansy-fied liberal within the TSA or some other bloated federal department will decide that we need to be protected from ourselves and a push will be made to sideline Horseless carriages. That's how it works in this country these days... makes me wretch.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 06:49 pm:

I too believe this will happen James. It just has to be the right (unfortunate) person at the right place and time and some kind of ban will develop. Probably major highways to start because some folks insist, and I agree it's your right, to drive on a road where you can do less that half the posted limit in a vehicle that's a little safer than rolling down the road in a tin garbage can.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Kopsky, Lytle TX on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 06:59 pm:

A similar article came out last year, I think. This guy just copied it. These types of articles come out all the time.

Here is another one that you wouldn't expect.

http://www.themost10.com/dangerous-cars-in-the-world/

And here's one from the same site earlier in the year. No mention of Model T in this one.

http://www.cheatsheet.com/automobiles/the-10-deadliest-vehicles-on-the-road.html /?a=viewall


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 07:37 pm:

I think Jerry O is right about that wenerless jerk but i also think a motorcycle is safer because of the ability to start,stop,and avoid others.I do not want to say to much but there have been and will always be model T owners who think the same way as this hack!! I tought my grandson to drive his T my T and grandmaw's Model A as the cars are warts and all.I also tought him to handle firearms,reload ammo,cut,weld,and on and on.The butt wipe who wrote said mess is proably a product of someone wetting his lips and sticking him to a tv set on cartoons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bud,Where we might get rained out wednsday!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 07:39 pm:

You would think that was written by some posters on this forum. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 08:01 pm:

Amen to that!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 10:26 am:

The 1 thing most fail to mention is the T was going very slow at the time of production. You would have to operate both the Porche and the T at the same speeds to be able to compare them fairly with other cars.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 11:08 am:

If one compares 1908 design and technology to modern technology then ANY conclusion you want to come to could probably be justified. What I find stupid is that the condemnation first says that lights, horn, and windshield were the only safety items but front brakes are missing. In truth the windshield was made of ordinary plate glass and would have cut you up really seriously if you hit it and as equipped it would hardly be a driver safety item. Simply adding front brakes without a complete front end change would result in very dangerous steering due to positive caster when you ran over a serious bump in the road. What also is omitted is that many car makers of this early era didn't spend the bucks on metallurgy like Ford did so their spindles broke off along with other vital parts while Ford vanadium steel bent but didn't break. Sudden failure of car components was not a minor issue but Ford didn't have that problem hardly at all compared to other cars. Since at one point about half of all cars on the road were T's it would almost be impossible for the T to not be a part of most of the car wrecks. Driver's license not required either for most states. This author's opinion listed 10 cars in no particular rank and likely mainly included 10 cars that he had pictures of. It is not researched at all and is just silly in its conclusions. At best it restates other's opinions. You don't have to know anything at all to state an opinion.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Kelsey on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 01:01 pm:

John and others on the forum:

You all bring up very valid points. His article truly bothered me and I felt I needed to say something. I couldn't find an e-mail address to send him, but I did some research, found that he is on Facebook and sent him a private message. If you have a Facebook account, you can message him at https://www.facebook.com/james.d.sapienza

Compared to the majority of you, I am not the most knowledgeable on the history or components of the Model T or automobile history, so I only mentioned what I have heard from others in the local clubs, ie. an Overland axle braking due to slipping the cone clutch and early Chevys not holding up due to inferior metalurgy. You folks could go into more specifics. This is what I sent him:

If I have the right person, I would tend to disagree with your article that the Model T is the #1 most dangerous automobile to drive. First, you are comparing apples to oranges when you lump a 1909 brass-era car in with cars newer than the 1960s. The automobile was in its infancy then and what Ford produced was state-of-the-art for its day. It wasn't any more dangerous than what any other car manufacturer would have produced.
Granted, he should have updated the Model T during the 1920s when other manufacturers, like Chrysler, were coming out with hydraulic brakes and more creature comforts- even Edsel wanted him to do that, the same guy that got his dad to purchase Lincoln. The transmission brake isn't great, but even then, a 1927 Model T installed with Rocky Mountain Brakes stops just as well as a 1928 Model A Ford. I have driven both - I would know.
Secondly, the reason why you see so many Model Ts driving around today and not Chevys is because Ford used vanadium steel. Chevy's from the teens are an extremely rare find because the cars, when in an accident, crumpled up or simply didn't hold up to the normal wear and tear of every day use.
Thirdly, the transmission, though a unique planetary system, was much safer than the cone clutches used by Willys-Overland or Hudson. I have known guys who have unintentionally popped the clutch and snapped the rear axle.
Yes, Ford's coil system was outdated a couple of years after its initial production; however, the self-charging magneto makes the car unique. If the battery dies, a guy can simply crank the car by hand and start the car on magneto. He is not stranded, as other cars that ran on a distributor.

Let's be fair - if you want to compare the most dangerous cars in history, please keep the cars within the same developmental era.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 01:13 pm:

Don't forget the famed Chevy Corvair. I recently saw a Corvair pickup type driving here in OC. Was a Rare site but was looking good.


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