Auto Style Over Safety in 1965

I love the CBC archives. Every once in a while you find a gem that’s funny and shocking at the same time.

The video starts with cars being run into concrete walls at high speed starts this one off and has commentary from members of the big automakers of the day; General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, American Motors, and Studebaker. Very entertaining… But it gets better.

Apparently, industry was the experts on car safety, and some of the public were willing to give up some safety for additional “style”….. If the auto makers were forced to add additional safety features, there would be a public backlash and it would hurt sales.

Once of the funniest things said throughout this whole film was this,

“20% of our cars were ordered without window washers last year” – American Motors Rep.

WTF? What were people thinking back then? Oh wait, seat belts weren’t mandatory until 1966, maybe a few banged their head against a steel dash in a fender bender and it affected their judgment up to that point in history.

Definitely worth watching.