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Discussion Starter #1
Can front and side air bags be installed? Is there a metal plate we should have instaled in the trunk? I heard something about danger of fire. What other safety features can you recomend? 3 point belts? TIA! Patty
 

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air bags? haha thats funny

Go for the 3 point belts, high back seats, collapsable steering column, and some fuel tank solution. Also, things like disk brakes, sway bars, and good general maintanance on all the suspension and steering, as well as some lighting system upgrades will all go a long way to lowering the chances of the worst.
 

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Well.....with enough money, anything is possible. You might also consider a collapsible steering column.
Just about any idea can be engineered to work, but it is (mostly) the cost effective ones with substancial benefit that are approved and produced. How much are you willing to pay?
 

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Parts vendors sell a metal plate that is installed behind the rear seat to aid in the gas/ fire problem you've heard about..call Matt at Ponderosa listed on front page..
Since collision safety/results seems to be important to you do the dual master cylinder conversion on the car to replace the single one you probably have..will lessen the chance of major brake failure..leading to collision..
A pretty bad injury will result in major impact from a headon due to the "spear-o-matic"s steering column.One from a 68 model or later cn help in that department..Will cost more than the dual M/C change over tho.
Shoulder belt in a convert could be the most costly. Would think you would need a new model seat, possibly not even from a Mustang that would allow the shoulder belt to pass thru the upper area of the seat. Then a welder/fab type guy might be able to get the belt mounted to floor in the the passeenger area with some imagination/crativemess. Probably cost less than the airbag idea of which can only picture that costing between 1500 and 2500 bucks due to cost of bags much less the activator system and not sure there is anybody who'd assume the liabilty for that install.
If you now feel this car should not be driven please call me. I'll be glad to safely dispose of this health hazard for you free of charge!!!
 

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For the 3 point seat belts - Virginia Classic Mustang (and maybe others) sells a kit to put the 3 point belts in a convertible (something that is on my list as well).

In a convertible, the steel plate behind the seats is a wasted effort - doesn't change the fact that the top well cover is all that separates you from the trunk. You'll need to go with a fuel cell or something called Tank Armour to make it safer.

Last but not least, as everyone else said, get a collapsable steering column and a dual master Cylinder for the brakes and you'll improve your odds.
 

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You post sounds like a concerned mother :)

1. 3 point seat belts
2. Collapsable steering column
3. "Tank Armor"
4. Kelsey Hayes 4 piston style front disc brakes (www.ssbc.com)
5. Good driving School

Modern cars are designed with crumple zones allowing the car to bend up to absorb the impact of the collision meaning that for every acident, a modern car suffers more damage than an older car (up to a point...90MPH into a stone wall will total anything). In each of these 'crumple' zones is a sensor that measures impact speed and tells the computer to either fire or not fire the air bag (very simplistic of how it really works). To put air bags in an old mustang, you would need to jury rig up sensors around the car....fab up a mounting system for the shot gun mounted bag that won't kill you, wire in a computer controlled, and pray because you can't test it without totalling it.
 

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Though your concern for safety is commendable, retrofitting an airbag system is not really viable especially if you expect to pay someone else to do it....civil liability prevents most mechanics from installing such a system without massive amounts of engineering and testing.

Don't forget, these cars are 35 +/- years old and they're still here.....not to mention all of us who drove these things around long before airbags (and seatbelts!!!) were commonplace. Somehow most of us survived.

Make the upgrades suggested by others and drive with some common sense and your risk of injury will be reduced significantly.
 

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You have to weigh your love for these old cars against the dangers of driving them. It's not practical to make them as safe as a modern vehicle. In my opinion, the best thing to do if you worry about safety a great deal is to stick with the late model Mustangs. They can be almost as much fun to drive and are a lot safer.
That's just the practical answer. I'm not trying to discourage you! I hope you decide that driving an old Mustang is worth the risk. :)
 

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The short answer is no.

Your question might have been, "can a 1964 1/2 mustang be a safer car on the road then a 2003 mustang?"

The answer to that one is a qualified "yes".



If the owner spends substantial time and money to upgrade the car's braking system and tires AND expends considerable effort and money to make sure the remainder of the car is structurally sound AND the DRIVER of the old mustang is substantially more skilled, more aware, and more careful than the driver of the new mustang...the old one will be safer by far...right up until the point that something runs into it.

Old mustangs don't have air bags, anti-lock brakes, crumple zones (at least by design), side impact beams, a trunk floor above the gas tank, high back seats, 3 point belts, head rests, a colapsible steering column, or significant rollover protection (in the convertible model you own). AND, that compares the car as built...an unrestored 64 1/2 has almost 40 years of rust and deterioration in it by now.

They aren't designed to protect the driver or passengers nearly so well as a modern car...so the key is not to crash them.

Phil
 
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Though i hate them, i have sold and installed the "fire shields" under previous ownership of what is now my business. They do make a "fire Panel" for the convertible. There are two types one for 65-66 and one for 67-68 the 67-68 looks like the cardboard panel that hides the well liner in those years. the 65-6 model also mounts in the trunk and covers the area where the well liner hangs down. the only way i sell them is as anti theft devices(keeps someone from just popping the back seat or cutting the top to get in the trunk. ) if you'd like one for your convert just email me. i also sell the shoulder belt conversion from custom accessories and am actually looking at being able to add a shoulder loop to the kit to help guide the belt over your shoulder.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
LOL! Yes, I am a concerned mom of five... I have loved this model car since I was a very smail child.
Thank you all for the reasonable and common sense advise!
PattyM
 

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If you're afraid of the car sell it to someone who will enjoy it. I had a rear firewall constructed at a sheet metal shop. It cost about $15. I drilled a few holes and installed it. I doubt that it will help much in a major rear-ender. If you want safety get a fuel cell. A fuel cell shouldn't cost more than $1,000 plus installation. Air bags? You can get anything that you are willing and are able to pay for. Airbags probably won't cost more than $10,000`to $20,000. Good luck.
 

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Patty. Life is fraught with all sorts of risks. Some that we are willing to accept and some that we are not. It is impractical to think that you could insulate yourself from injury in a 64.5 Mustang convertible to the same or similar degree as you would in a new BMW sedan. If you can't accept that level of risk then you should probably sell the convertible to someone who can. Do not hack the car up to install these "safety" features even if you can afford it. It would be like cutting down a significant piece of original art because it didn't fit into a niche in your hallway. If you decide to keep the car then reasonable modifications have been suggested such as dual master cylinder, disk brakes, three point belts and a collapsable steering column. My personal opinion of the steel splash plates ahead of the fuel tank is that they are a great little money maker for accessory sellers that was dropped in their laps by an overzealous press who were looking for another GM side mounted gas tank scandle. All cars from the 50's, 60's and early 70's have the same gas tank configuration and people didn't get regularly roasted then and are not getting bar-b-cued now. If they were then those self same press types would have it all over the front pages and the T.V. Relax and enjoy your vintage Mustang as it is or replace it with one of those boring "safe" cars. Don't try to fit a 40 year old square peg into a modern round hole.
 

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I just finished reading the new Mustang Monthly. On pg 32, American Pony lists the Steel Rear Seat Divider for $69.90. They offer it for all 1965-70 Mustangs and ask that you provide them with the year and body style. They can be reached at 1-866-717-7711 in the United States, and 1-866-837-3555 in Canada. Mustang Monthly also indicates that the '69-'73 high-back bucket seats will bolt right into the '65-'68 Mustang (pg 37.) That in itself, is a safety feature, as the seats help to protect your head and neck in the event of a rear-end collision.

Just my $0.02 worth.
--Jason
 

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perhaps the best safety feature any car can have is a seasoned and trained driver....

I seriously believe in defensive driving courses and emergency evasion maneuver training...

Check out Bob Bondurant's driving school....the pricing is just right and can save lives as well as money, time AND the agony of repairing what could have been avoided.

just my opinion though
Roberto
 

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about highback seats: most of you are recommending the late model seats because of the head and neck support. but if you still like the original seats, you can buy headrests for your early model stang that will provide comfort and safety. you can buy them from california mustang or mustang depot
 
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