When it comes to buying new cars, safety is usually a huge factor for buyers. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new or used car, safety is usually one thing no one is willing to sacrifice. These days, though, cars have gotten incredibly safe. At least as long as you wear your seatbelt.
But if you happen to have an interest in living on the wild side, there are definitely some classic cars still out there that had a reputation for danger that went beyond lacking airbags or crumple zones. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
The Ford Pinto
When it comes to dangerous cars, there is no doubt that the Ford Pinto comes to mind. While it may not be among the group of cars with the highest fatality rate, it shines bright in the public eye as a pinnacle of poor engineering. The first subcompact offered by Ford in the US was among the smallest Ford in production since 1907.
Across many lawsuits and recalls, there is one problem specifically that landed the Ford Pinto on the bad rap – a small fender could send the car up in flames. Due to the location of the fuel tank, it was likely to rupture in a rear-end collision, causing the car to set ablaze.
The Chevrolet Corvair
Contrary to the opinion of many Corvair enthusiasts and fan clubs, the Chevrolet Corvair is another media favorite when it comes to the topic of dangerous cars. This mid-engine car may have been a classic among collectors, and it does still maintain a relatively large fanbase regardless of one major engineering flaw. A fault rear suspension made the Corvair likely to flip over when cornering.
The Pontiac Fiero
The Pontiac Fiero has many times been referred to as a mid-engine death trap, but General Motors claims the fault is in the maintenance, not the design. Fieros ran hot and leaked oil – and hot oil already sounds bad as it is. Combine hot oil and a hot exhaust manifold and you get a fire. The Fiero’s design might have been hot, but its tendency to catch on fire was hotter.
Regardless of the dangerous images portrayed by the media, you can still drive these cars on the road today. If you can find one that hasn’t caught fire or flipped over yet.