Crash

The cliched idea that European cars are small, poky deathtraps is gradually subsiding in the American consciousness (although occasionally it pops up in relation to things like the smart car and the new Fiat 500). However, this story from Design, July 1968 cites statistical evidence for the prejudice: ‘The publication of safety investigations, and a report just issued by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, made at the request of the National Highways Safety Bureau, show that during 1966 more British cars were involved in accidents in Massachusetts than any others. Many of them were sports cars, which everyone knows have a higher accident rate than average, but the ordinary saloon also came in for criticism, and often had a higher fatality rate (if not a higher accident rate) than its American big brother. Poor safety design was one of the factors blamed, as well as lack of space in which to absorb or dissipate the impact of a crash, and high power-weight ratios.’ The differences in scale are rather staggering: Ford USA versus UK Fords of the same era (not that UK Fords competed directly with American ones).

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Otis Blank on his 1966 Mercedes-Benz W108 250SE at Motoring Con Brio, a sort of shelter magazine for cars / a brilliant little traffic flow applet (via / Barchetta, many thousands of Italian automobiles / Hark, a vagrant, brilliant comics / Sinetracts, ‘my collection of Turkish cult films from the 60s and 70s’ / Design Language News, including nice drawings by Kiel Johnson (website).

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Nickname buildings march across London’s skyline. Why is it that the buildings that really deserve corny nicknames – step forward Ferrari World – never get them? Related, opening day images from Ferrari World. We’re fascinated by this place, as you can tell, for its combination of ham-fisted architectural exuberance and utterly un-selfconscious brand overload. It seemsto have an enormous amount in common with Disney’s forthcoming Radiator Springs Racer at Cars Land. Granted, the Cars film was awash with licensing, including Ferrari. But the idea that any brand or franchise can be distilled into a theme park experience seems simplistic at best.

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Tumblr round-up / Digger Listener Runner, mostly photography / Stronder, imagery / huynhvi, fashion focused (occasionally nsfw) / ticklr, music and design / Atomic Spin, art and design / espacegeneric, art and installation / if we don’t, remember me, film stills recreated (brilliantly) / dvdp, psychedelic geometries / Dark Silence in Suburbia / A perfect commotion, art and photography / Escape into Life, art, design and scans / jumping.yj, architecture / PAavotekhti, architecture.

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3 Responses to Crash

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Crash « things magazine -- Topsy.com

  2. angela says:

    I’d never heard of a “regular” automobile called a “saloon” before…

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