Being born in Detroit is a little like having a pre-determined destiny - especially if you are inclined toward engineering. It really wasn't a shock when I landed in the auto industry. I spend my days obsessing over your powertrains, making sure that your transmission functions properly. My fellow brother and sister engineers are equally obsessive and its absolutely amazing to see their work in action.
I've heard the complaint many a time from people that "cars just aren't built like they used to be. Remember the days when they were tough as tanks?" All I have to say is be thankful for that. We purposely build them now so they crumple so that the car gets destroyed instead of you.
In honor of the 50th birthday of the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, GM smashed two vehicles together in a head on collision to demonstrate just how far safety engineering has come. Now you might not find this fascinating but the geek in me gets all giddy and excited over it.
Check this out. Here is a 1959 Chevy Bel Air and a 2009 Chevy Mailbu hitting each other head on going 40mph (and watch all the angles so you can really see how each one crumples):
Still not impressed? Did you watch the very end of it? If you didn't, here's a recap:
"...according to safety engineers at the scene, the driver of the Malibu would likely have suffered slight knee injury. The driver of the 1959 Bel Air would have died instantly."
You can see the full article here.
Now that's science. (Thanks for letting me go all geeky...)