It’s a wonder we survived.
Many didn’t. The U.S. vehicle fatality rate in 1963 was 5.18 per 100 million miles. Today it’s 1.10. Of course there are many reasons for this dramatic decrease, but mandating the securing all children and occupants within the vehicle is a leading one.
indeed. My comment to our (adult) son, with whom I shared the photo & link:
“It’s amazing that so many boomers survived to adulthood” 😉
Plymouth Fury- the perfect wagon to transport your family, and the six ghostly children who haunt your recently purchased farmhouse.
Yes, that’s it! A blow-up of the image proves they’re ghosts!
My nightmares tonight will be of The Children of the Fury:
Rumor has it that Old Ma O’Leary drowned them all one night, in the wash basin…
“The Children of the Fury”, a Netflix Original.
I see MOPAR people
This brings a new meaning to spirited performance.
This shot is used in the brochure, where the text says that it “swallows kids like a Saturday matinee.” Perhaps this is a new Stephen King story – Christine Has An Appetite?
Lots of comments are posted
Many are good
Some are great
This one killed it!!!
I like how they captured the looks of disappointment in the kids faces that they are having to ride in a Plymouth Fury station wagon.
stacked in there like cord wood. That is a haunting image.
If you pack the children in tightly enough they won’t fly around in an accident.
Perfect for carrying your family of cardboard cutouts.
Of course the safest option is just to never let them leave the house. Sure vehicle
technology has changed dramatically, but until the idiot behind the wheel is rendered
obsolete, the biggest danger factor is the driver and always has been. I just returned
from being in Estonia for a few weeks, and the difference in driver skill there vs the U.S.
was unreal. If we treated driving as a privilege and not a right, I bet traffic fatalities would
drop by another 50% or more.
Speaking from painful experience, the best thing we could do is mandate a minimum 1 yr. license suspension for use of a cell phone and a 5K fine for an “accident”…Almost 8 years later am still hurting and crippled from the imbecile who hit me at 50 mph, never touched the brakes at all. Asshole.
Vehicles may be safer now but people are stupid as shit. More worried about their “freedoms” or rights than being intelligent or giving a damn about the safety of others around them. Sorry to be sexist, but the stupid soccer/surburban wives and their damn industrial sized SUVs are a huge part of the issue here where we live.
If you can’t drive without looking at or having a cell phone in your damn hand, well maybe you should not be allowed to drive at all.
This x a billion or ten.
I’ll go you the rest of the way on that one: the ban needs to cover all phone conversations. Handheld-versus-handsfree is a bogus distinction as far as phone conversations are concerned; the main distraction in talking on the phone while driving is cognitive, not physical—what’s going on in which parts of the brain during a conversation with someone who’s physically present is very different to a conversation with someone who’s not.
Texting and other such handheld faffing is obviously another thing, so if you get in a crash your phone usage will be thoroughly checked. If you are found to have been actively using your phone—that is, it was doing anything other than passively sitting there feeding you nav directions or serving up songs—you are automatically at fault, no matter what excuse you cook up, and your insurance won’t cover you (can you really afford to be using your phone while driving?) and you will be made to suffer.
Moreover, the automakers need to be spanked and regulated hard to rein in their sub-sub-submenu-driven tabletized controls and “infotainment” systems. Controls, all of them, need to be designed such that either they can be operated reliably without looking, or they cannot be operated unless the car is parked.
That said, I object to the reasoning pushed by the grieving parents in this article. Yes, absolutely, the seatbelt-unbuckled dashboard light and chime/buzzer/whatever should look at all the seating positions in the car, not just in the front seat, and shame on the automakers for their usual stalling and disingenuous babble about how the technology just isn’t there yet (and some stuff). But their daughter unbuckled to slide across the back seat and take a very important, urgent selfie with her friend, because every waking moment has to be publicly documented right now on Fecebook and Instagram and Tiktok and Whatsapp or else…um…look, it just does. And then there was a crash, so she died. Raise your hand who thinks the outcome would’ve been any different in this case if a little red warning light had come on in front of the also-teenaged driver and the car had gone “beep-beep-beep”. Nope! Daughter made a stupid decision, parents suffer the consequences, car’s not at fault.
Very large sounds of agreement here, most especially in relation to truly disgraceful tablet controls. It’s an entirely avoidable issue, and have no faith the market will fix it. After all, Mercedes-Benz itself, rightful claimant to be called inventor of a hell of a lot of modern safety basics, now also festoons its dashboards with distracting televisions of zero ergonomic worth, all so the driver can have anything up to and including his ears heated and massaged as he drives.
No, the basics aren’t hard to specify, so regulate the hell out of them. Regulation (which, do tell, the bastards fought tooth and nail against) is the only reason we got the universally, vastly safer cars we now have. The car industry sure as hell aren’t going to be the ones to admit that so much of this distracting bilge is a bigger danger to their own customers than stiff steering columns and no belts.
In fact, I have such cynicism that I wouldn’t mind betting that in some dark files somewhere, the industry has already have already compiled the stats and test results that have told them it, but have taken an actuarial punt.
Maybe she’s commuting and put kid window stickers on there to use the HOV lanes.
I’m picturing Paul behind the wheel with a bunch of us CC’ers stuffed in the back. I think we’d be having a much better time, although I wouldn’t want to go cross country like that.
We survived to adulthood, but back in the good old days everyone knew someone who was killed or seriously hurt in a major car crash, and nowadays everyone knows someone who walked away from a major car crash.
A classmate died after crossing the center line about 8 weeks into my senior year. She was 16 and going home from school. She was in a late 60s Dart IIRC. All of us attended her funeral. I’m now in my 50s and I don’t know anyone who has died in a wreck since.
Follows modern-day recommendation not to have children sit up front.
This fury wagon reminds me of an accident I witnessed as a 12 year old. One driver blew a stop sign and struck a 1963 Plymouth Belvedere wagon just about where those kids are sitting. Plymouth got spun around and launched a complete taillight assembly into a ditch farther down the road. Fortunately no one was seriously injured and I took home the tail-light for a souvenir.
I distinctly remember my parents having lap belts installed in our 61 Plymouth wagon. Obviously, the car had not come that way originally. I’m not sure what inspired them to do this in advance of a summer road trip right around 1966 or 67…but they did, and we two kids stayed buckled up in the back seat from that time on.
I’m not sure those kids aren’t pasted in from a stock photo.
Too bad we can’t run a similar ad today. Social media would melt down if it did.
I think this is the 20 passenger version, because there is one more seat for a front passenger and room for another 9 kids to look out the windows on the drivers side. The middle space between them in the back is for a few dogs. And this doesn’t even use the roof rack!
I know, right? And just look at all that hood space going to waste!
Old cars and passenger safety is a touchy subject with vintage car fans, especially vintage car drivers. Obviously, old cars are not nearly as safe as newer cars. The difference depends on the car, it’s age, and the type of collision that it is involved in. Interestingly enough, there was a thread posted on the HAMB (Hokey Ass Message Board) about this subject.
The OP shared a low speed accident that he had in an early 1930’s based Hot Rod. Another driver had suddenly turned left in front of him and he T boned the car. he didn’t even get a chance to slow down much before impact. He was unbelted and bent the steering wheel and broke the windshield, sustaining injuries to his arms, knees and legs. A very honest discussion followed with additional posters adding their stories. It evolved into a post about adding shoulder belts and other equipment.
Degree of exposure is the key element, if you never drive the car you’ll never be in jeopardy. If its your daily driver than you are in a more hazardous position. There’s only so much that you can do to improve the safety of a really old car.
I’ve had reason to think a lot about this recently. Last week on our return trip home from Angels Camp we encountered the aftermath of a multi car collision on a two lane highway. It appears that a p/u truck pulling a rec trailer rear ended a small sedan which was pushed into the cars in front of it. The small sedan sustained major damage to almost every side of the vehicle. Air bags were all deployed. There were already first responders at the scene. It didn’t appear that anyone was seriously injured. In an old car the outcome might have been much different.
My 3 sisters, 2 brothers and I grew up in the 1961 version of this Fury, although the 6 of us were sitting in our seats with our seatbelts on (after Dad installed them, I figured) at all times. We do have a pic of the 3 girls, several years earlier standing up in the back seat of Dad’s ’49 Merc convertible as they flew down the highway. The old man put an end to that kind of fun before I (#5) arrived!
When you have too many for a mere station wagon – there’s always the Arkansas convertible.
I had a friend when I was 16 or 17 who drove an H body Pontiac Sunbird hatchback, who would take me and up to six friends along, two up front, two in back, and three or four riding under the open hatchback facing rearward with our legs dangling out the back. That, in retrospect, wasn’t all that safe. I also remember a summer camp that actually drove us in a flatbed truck looking like that pickup, minus the side walls or tailgate. Never exceeding 20mph or so and only for two-minute drives, but still.
I think that the kid sitting to the extreme rear of the car is smoking a cigarette.
Looks like he has a doobie. Wish we could see his eyes.
I remember that some ’60s and ’70s wagons with third rows had ashtrays in the way-back, despite the 3rd row seats obviously sized to fit kids. Seemed most prevalent in GM wagons but not sure if they actually were.
If my Dad were still alive, he’d take one look at that photo and utter, “Must be Catholics.”
(As my family was.)
I grew up that way too. Family reunions meant seeing dozens of cousins all at once.
I know Mopar B bodies aren’t exactly small, but it sure feels like one having a rear passenger and cargo area that’s 9 kids long… might be stretching it a bit, eh?
I’m a generation removed from the Boomer era, but my parents and most others I grew up with didn’t pay much attention to seatbelts, at least in my formative years. There is still a part of me that longs for the simplicity of those earlier times, where we could just hop in back of Dad’s truck on a hot summer day and take our seats on the wheelwells for low speed trips in town. I know it ain’t safe, but the freedom to move around still has its appeal. For the record though- I actually don’t practice what I’m preaching, and haven’t for some years.
I really don’t see any problem with fitting all those kids into that wagon….
Look how many young women you can fit into a Mustang!
How many of these pillared or 4 door sedan style wagons were built versus the 4 door hardtop (pillarless) wagons were made ?
I worked alongside a fellow carpenter who owned a hardtop ’64 wagon and I was mesmerized by the beauty of it with all the windows down……
Would make losing a few of the 10 little troublemakers a bit easier; one less pillar to get hung up on as Billy ejects from the second row seat
Whew ! .
I remember those cars and many before them that were total death traps, yes it’s a wonder anyone survived considering the amount of drunk drivers there were back then .
Pops didn’t have seat belts in the 1954 gray-market VW Kombi but he did have them in the 1959 Peugeot and every other vehicle I can remember .
Only fools fail to install seat belts in their oldies, or use them no matter what .
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Copyright 2011 - 2021 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.