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T.J.
T.J. UberDork
4/9/12 8:34 p.m.

Sounds like a sensible verdict has been reached. For the record I too say it's a very bad idea.

I mostly just wanted to get in before the thread lock since the vs. threads have been deemed unacceptable. No idea if this rule has a staff exemption or not.

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 HalfDork
4/9/12 11:21 p.m.
Alan Cesar wrote: Here's the question I pose for debate: Would you put a friend's 18-year-old daughter in a 50-year-old car with drum brakes, lap belts, and so on? Is it worth the potential adventure and good looks involved with an older car?

Hell no

MrJoshua
MrJoshua PowerDork
4/9/12 11:45 p.m.

Every woman I know who had a cool car when she is 18 still talks about it 20 years later. They have had a logical minivan/soccermommobile ever since so the memory of the cool old car they had when they were 18 will always be special.

aircooled
aircooled UberDork
4/10/12 12:45 a.m.

I have a friend whose son drives a 66 auto Corvair. Car is pretty slow, son is a very careful driver, car is a hit at the high school.

Depends on the kid really.

Tell her it is a dangerous car, maybe she will drive it as such. Putting a kid in a car they feel safe in could be a very bad thing.

Btw Corviars have very good brakes for 60's cars .

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH UberDork
4/10/12 8:32 a.m.
icaneat50eggs wrote: It is hard for me to imagine a worse car for a typical 18 to girl.

This. Corvairs are only for the most serious of drivers, not for the typical texting-and-driving teenage girl who drives their car like it's some kind of arcade game vehicle.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
4/10/12 8:36 a.m.

V-6 ?

Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar Associate Editor
4/10/12 9:16 a.m.
GameboyRMH wrote:
icaneat50eggs wrote: It is hard for me to imagine a worse car for a typical 18 to girl.

This. Corvairs are only for the most serious of drivers, not for the typical texting-and-driving teenage girl who drives their car like it's some kind of arcade game vehicle.

Just to be clear: She's definitely not getting this car. This debate is merely academic.

Let's get off the Corvair specifically. Breakdowns aside, I wonder if driving a car of some vintage with the looks to match—and instilling in the driver an awareness of how dangerous a car can be—is better at teaching defensive driving and road awareness than a 230k-mile Toyonda Beater XLS they don't have to care about in any regard.

Does driving a first car that's scary—or at least believing that it's scary—breed respect for the machine, or just complete fear of driving altogether?

I'm surprised no one has made the age-old argument of, "our parents drove on cable-operated drum brakes and spark advance when they were kids, yadda yadda" Does that story change when it's not your car, or—to address the son/daughter disparity—when it's a girl?

I'm not taking sides, just stirring the pot. I'm curious what you guys think.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH UberDork
4/10/12 9:24 a.m.

I drove a scary first car (Daewoo that could barely turn or stop...didn't go too well either, or meet US safety regs) and it didn't make me afraid of driving. And I didn't care about it any more than as a means of transportation. I don't think I was more careful with it any more than required by it's loaded-dump-truck-like agility. Things did get scary when quick braking was required. It had power-assisted hydraulic brakes, discs in the front and drums in the back, but they just didn't do much.

When I got the 'rolla that felt like a F1 car compared to the Daewoo, I was actually more careful with it just because I liked the car. Fun to drive, not hard on the eyes, looked nice and shiny at the time.

failboat
failboat Dork
4/10/12 9:25 a.m.

I think the biggest issue with the "our parents drove dangerous cars" argument is that there are a few key distractions these days. cell phones/smart phones, more features in cars to play with to start with...... Even if your teen kid was able to set aside the distractions and drive their classic car responsibly, you know almost no one else on the road is, and they are in the "safe cars" that will crush the old one.

Back in the day, everyone was all driving the "dangerous" cars

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
4/10/12 9:34 a.m.

My son's first car was a 1963 Buick special. Four door, automatic, 215 V-8., herringbone interior. Same minty green as in this commercial. $600 out of his pocket.

I felt confident with his ability as a driver. He also knew that if I heard about him being a dumbass, he was back on a school bus and/or walking to work.

I never doubted drum brakes, the car was heavy enough to be safe, but all costs came out of his pocket so he may have had a little more respect for it than if it were a gift.

Yes, I would put a girl in a Corvair also.

Dan

redstack
redstack Reader
4/10/12 9:38 a.m.

seems like a bad idea, get her a focus or such. slow and safe and easy on gas

kreb
kreb SuperDork
4/10/12 9:42 a.m.

I think that you have to be very careful. My sister had a Volvo 122 as her first Car and now she's in her 30s and still drives vintage Volvos!

Seriously, conventional wisdom is to get a teenager a boring car. I'd amend that to say slow, reliable and stylish. When I was young, it seemed that water-cooled veedubs were the rage for girls. The families of modest means would buy base rabbits, and the rich kids would have the convertible versions. The really snotty ones had bimmers.

My first car was a '64 Ranchero with a built 302. I still have the scars in the side of my head to prove it.

edit: A 2nd gen corvair in good condition wouldn't be too bad a starter car if the kid had a modicum of restraint.

oldtin
oldtin SuperDork
4/10/12 9:51 a.m.

A whole bunch of factors at play - but accident rates have been declining for about 30 years. Traffic fatality rates are also declining. Part of it is an aging population = more experienced drivers on the road, part economics - gas is more expensive, less miles, a little slower speeds, cars are more expensive, insurance is more expensive, better/smarter roads and signage/signals. Cars have higher levels of capabilities and yeah, more nannies. I think the biggest factor is experience - if it were my kid, they would be getting a real driver school and a decent amount of seat time.

Much to my irritation and luddite sensibilities, more driver nannies seems to be working so a newer car is safer.

Also saw a study that commercial drivers have significantly fewer accidents than private drivers - again, more experience, but also more significant consequences for berkeleying up - you crash, you may also lose you livelihood. Teenagers aren't very good at understanding consequences.

aircooled
aircooled UberDork
4/10/12 10:08 a.m.
Alan Cesar wrote: ...I wonder if driving a car of some vintage with the looks to match—and instilling in the driver an awareness of how dangerous a car can be—is better at teaching defensive driving and road awareness than a 230k-mile Toyonda Beater XLS they don't have to care about in any regard....

Something to be said about a mussy suspension car with nice and slick vinyl bench seats, NO cup holders and an AM radio. Add to the fact that it is nice looking cool car, you might have a good recipe for super safe driving.

Again, really depends on the kid.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt SuperDork
4/10/12 10:17 a.m.
failboat wrote: I think the biggest issue with the "our parents drove dangerous cars" argument is that there are a few key distractions these days. cell phones/smart phones, more features in cars to play with to start with...... Even if your teen kid was able to set aside the distractions and drive their classic car responsibly, you know almost no one else on the road is, and they are in the "safe cars" that will crush the old one. Back in the day, everyone was all driving the "dangerous" cars

OTOH, a very minimalist car with a stick shift and no power anything can force you to ignore all these distractions and concentrate on driving. After showing my parents I could make an automatic equipped minivan move around without hitting objects, my parents put me in an '81 Datsun 210 wagon that was barely running. My dad's logic was, "If you can learn to drive that car, you can drive anything." He wasn't kidding - I ended up learning clutch control to the point that I later bought a car with a totally shot clutch because I was so used to very careful clutch release that I didn't even notice it was a problem.

I had an uncle who took the "no distractions, no feeling of safety" to an extreme - when my (male) cousin wrecked a second car, my uncle took away his car and gave him a motorcycle. It worked, but I'm not sure I would try this with a girl. Actually, I'm not sure I would try this with any kid; that may be taking it a bit too far.

I'd say a good first car is one that doesn't have anything blatantly unsafe and is not likely to bite you, but also doesn't pamper the driver and forces you to pay attention. So, naturally... the answer is Miata.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku SuperDork
4/10/12 10:25 a.m.

Would this be a question for debate in 1967?

For the record, my Mom's first car was a new 1964 Corvair conv. when she was in her teens.

Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette Dork
4/10/12 10:39 a.m.
Argo1
Argo1 Reader
4/10/12 11:11 a.m.

1967 was a whole different world... My first car was a 1961 Corvair 700 coupe with a 3 speed. I bought it with my paper route money when I was 15 and rebuilt the engine before I got my license at 16. The 3 speed was pretty simple: (1) Stoplights (2) Corners (3) Go straight. A good car for the times but not a good choice today. Plus it got me hooked on rear engines and ended up costing me a lot of money later in Porsches.

fasted58
fasted58 SuperDork
4/10/12 11:13 a.m.

teenagers need airbags

poopshovel
poopshovel PowerDork
4/10/12 11:16 a.m.
amg_rx7 wrote:
Alan Cesar wrote: Here's the question I pose for debate: Would you put a friend's 18-year-old daughter in a 50-year-old car with drum brakes, lap belts, and so on? Is it worth the potential adventure and good looks involved with an older car?

Hell no

+1. Daughter or Son. I don't think anyone that age really realizes how dangerous driving is until that first wreck. I didn't. Neither of my brothers did either. We all wrecked in high school. And my dad was letting us sit on his lap and steer when we were Five.

poopshovel
poopshovel PowerDork
4/10/12 11:20 a.m.
Teenagers aren't very good at understanding consequences.

THIS!!!!!!!! Whenever there's a fatal wreck in Atlanta involving a teenager, Boortz goes on a big rant about how we shouldn't offer licenses at 16. He argues that the part of the human brain that assesses risk is not fully developed until early to mid-twenties. I believe that.

gamby
gamby PowerDork
4/10/12 11:57 a.m.
93EXCivic wrote:
e_pie wrote: 18 year old son, yes 18 year old daughter, no

I would switch that. The girls I knew in HS were much safer drivers then the guys.

I would say it depends on the girl.

A local 16 y/o girl just died in an SUV rollover a couple of days ago.

http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles/2012/04/08/news/11307551.txt

Great parenting, too--it happened at 3:20AM.

A safe, boring, slow passenger car is all a teen needs.

SVreX
SVreX UltimaDork
4/10/12 12:01 p.m.

Absolutely not.

Alan Cesar wrote: Does driving a first car that's scary—or at least believing that it's scary—breed respect for the machine, or just complete fear of driving altogether?

Neither of these is true.

Driving a first car that does not have reasonable modern safety devices (including seat belts) is just taking an unnecessary risk for no reason at all. It's like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute- some people have actually survived, but suggesting someone do it is just plain stupid.

Driving a "scary" vehicle might not be bad, but it is the realm of off-road activities- tractors, motorcycles, 4-wheelers, or cars/ trucks driven off-road at speeds that would not kill someone if they hit a tree or drove into a ditch.

I do, however, also believe that the worst thing that can be given to a new driver is a modern automatic transmission with all the bells and whistles and seating for lots of friends. It encourages the mindset that all "distractions are good distractions". Add to the mix a couple of cell phones, some loud music, a little alcohol, and perhaps a video game and....

The best car for a new driver is a MANUAL transmission vehicle with a couple of scratches and minor dents (keeps the "pride" thing down, so not everyone and their boyfriend is wanting to pile in all the time). It is also good if the seats are a little bit ripped, no AC, no monster stereo, good fuel economy, easy to work on, and paid for in cash (preferably the cash of the new driver).

How good the student is at repairs (and perhaps self-defense) determines how broken down the vehicle can be.

ohms
ohms Reader
4/10/12 12:11 p.m.

if she loves cars and driving, then educate her on how to handle an old drum brake mostly manually operated car. She'll be a better driver for it (and probably realize how awful her friends are at driving). I was 15 when i got my camaro with manual steering and manual drums - my stepdad showed me how to drive, how to always leave room, etc etc etc. Also learned early on how to feel a car's reaction to dips in the road, and all that. And now im the worlds greatest driver. (haha!)

if she;s not into the whole car/driving thing that deeply, then dont do it. an accident in that old corvair, regardless of whos at fault, can injure her pretty badly.

KATYB
KATYB HalfDork
4/10/12 12:14 p.m.

i dont think male versus female needs to enter the equation. my first car was stupidly fast for a first car and yet i was just fine. my partner had an eagle talon tsi as her first car and she was just fine. i have friends who had 4 cylinder mustangs who wrapped them around trees. whether car is slow fast safe of dangerous doesnt matter its how responsible the driver is. my cousin was given a brand new volkwagen golf in like 1997 took him 3 days to be laying upsidedown in a ditch cause he flipped it. then got another one and did the same thing 2 weeks later.

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