I was taking a couple of Cllrs to Beaumont Fee in Lincoln and they asked 'where are the seatbelts?' 'This is a 1969 car. There aren't any. But there is internet access!'
The space behind the front seats in an 1800 isn't just two chairs to sit in and be bored. For such a short car, there is a lot of room in the back.
The twins make it playspace.
Adults make it a conference room. One Cllr was kneeling in the footwell, at one point, and using the back seat as a desk. If you flip up the armrest, that's enough space for where the computer goes.
You can't do that in a modern car.
I am very aware of the safety advantages of seat-belts both front and back, when speeds exceed 50 km/h. But between Grantham and Lincoln? 50 km/h? Don't make me laugh!
I don't drive that fast. If the engine starts pinking on unleaded, I back off. The last vehicle I overtook was a tractor. In about 2013.
if someone had slammed into my car, maybe by a misguided overtaking attempt, well that would have been four bye-elections. My passengers were City and District, as well as County Cllrs (both), they have dual mandate.
CM was (illegally) in the front seat (she's not old enough) and Tz was curled up in the front footwell (omg unrestrained twin). CM and Tz are my twins.
In the back the Cllrs were discussing Road Safety.
An 1800 turns wasted time into Conference time. In a modern car you are strapped down and you can talk, and that's all. In an 1800 you've got three Cllrs with five mandates and three computers. They are going to talk policy.
These cars are seriously fun, we all know that. But they are seriously useful too.
After Conference, a Cllr stopped the car (it was just about snowing) to get on the phone to point out necessary road improvements. She took pix. She's on Lincs Roads.
1800s are interesting cars that carry interesting passengers.
I took three Cllrs to East Midlands Party Conference. Glorious day, beautiful countryside, and quite a pretty car. Did they notice? Did they fook.
What they did notice is just how spacious the back of the 1800 series is. The lack of seatbelts means they can use their computers (the car has WiFi access using 3G), the parcel shelf becomes document storage, and a City of Lincoln Cllr slipped her safety belt, relinquished the front seat, and squirmed between the seats (I was negotiating a roundabout at the time) to kneel in the rear footwell to look at a computer - just as my kids do. I tell them not to, it's not safe.
What the girls are doing is not actually illegal, you can party in the back if it's a pre-1969 car.
As I drive it slow, their risk is low.
Last Edit: May 15, 2016 12:55:42 GMT by midnightblue: Some, but not all, incoherence removed
Sorry, MB, I do struggle with your happy acceptance of the kids being unrestrained in the car. One of the first things I did with mine was to get static belts added in the rear. Dad was most insistent when I learnt to drive that every other motorist was a potential idiot. 39 years later, the last 20 some driving as part of my living, I would amend that to every other driver is probably an idiot. UK standards of driving are appallingly low. Given that my twins liked driving around in the car, belts and boosters were the only safe way to do it as far as I was concerned.
I think you have to bear in mind that much has been made of the enormous strength of the shell and how the engine will go under the car in the event of a head-on collision. But - the car has no side impact provision whatsoever by modern standards, and, having recently made an in-depth investigation of how the boot and rear floor is constructed (I'm still welding....), I have serious doubts as to how the car will perform if struck from the rear with any real force.
Consider - your car will be around 50 years old. Rust never sleeps. I would suggest that every surviving 'Crab has rust in it somewhere and that the massive strength of the shell is at least mildly compromised.
I fully support what Chris has said and recommend that every passenger is belted at all times. When my daughter was a baby and travelled in a carrycot I managed to restrain it between the front and rear seats and tie it down but still felt vulnerable.
Think about this. Would you run into a brick wall at 5 mph, the answer is almost certainly no. Now think about 20mph you are talking serious damage.
There are safety videos on Youtube from the UK, I believe, showing how one strapped in passenger is killed by an unstrapped one. Or try these:
There is no such thing as perfect safety. There is damage limitation.
Firstly, I don't use main roads, I use minor roads, outside rush-hour. I rarely even see another vehicle. In France it's not the Autoroutes, it's rarely Routes Nationales, it's usually minor roads. This is what GPS is for, you can just delete all major roads and it will plot your route using minor roads. If you are in a rush to get from A to B, take a plane and hire a car. With seatbelts. I'd rather take the Wolseley.
Secondly, the average speed I achieve is around 15 - 20 km/h. My kids are Canadians, have grown up on Vancouver Island, and most Lincolnshire villages have five times as much European-era history as anywhere in Canada. They want to stop and see. In the RR they are strapped down and they can't see out of the windows. They get fractious.
If Lincs County Cllrs, who have their own cars, choose to travel in mine, well they are responsible adults and it's their choice.
If I fitted rear seat belts then they become mandatory. If you feel safer in a safety belt, you can ride in the front, that does have a seat belt.
Lincolnshire doesn't have a motorway, it has a couple of dual carriageways (which I avoid), a few notorious blackspots like the High Dyke, and a lot of rural lanes which are well suited to an 1800 single-carb automatic.
23rd July 1988, 12.53, not that you remember these things,but Heaven is a Place on Earth by Bellinda Carlisle was playing on the radio. I was stationary (ie zero mph - Mercedes 230E so one step down from a tank) when a bar steward driving a Transit type van rammed into me. I was wearing a seatbelt so survived, albeit a very different life. I was told that without the belts the accident would have been fatal. It is not how you drive, however slowly you move, it is the other idiots out there
My Moggy didn't have rear seat belts (I didn't get around to refitting them after I restored her) so NO ONE ever travelled in that back seat.
Lincolnshire has pretty crappy road statistics because we don't have a motorway. Motorways are the safest roads. We've got mostly Roman roads with hidden dips designed for marching legionaries, not 21st century traffic. These pull down the statistics.
Most accidents are on the A1, the A15, and the A46. And the High Dyke. I don't use any of them. I use C roads.
Would my kids be safer if they were belted up? Undoubtedly. But...
They grew up belted up in kiddie seats in the RR. They couldn't see out. They couldn't move. They hated wasted time in the car.
They love the Wolseley. Papa! vogliamo vedere! means we stop and they look at a mansion or a church or cathedral. Or even a vineyard. They are interacting with the environment, and the people. This is enriching their young lives.
My kids speak three languages, and they don't emerge from a vineyard without a bunch of grapes apiece. If there were degrees in cuteness, they'd have doctorates.
In the RR, they'll watch Frozen. Again. Because they are strapped down and can't see out.