Do you want a strong car? Well, it’s certain you don’t want that falls apart or stalls when you try to start it, but how strong do you want it?
What is a Strong Car?
People aren’t quite sure what strength means in a car. A quick web search suggests most people equate strength with safety. That might be the case if you are talking about strong suspension, or strong brakes. But what about strong doors or strong designs? It seems that not everything about your car needs to be strong. It’s about comfort and familiarity too.
If it means indestructible, well, there’s a market for those too. Although, many such “strong cars” like the Jeep, FJ Cruiser and Nissan Xterra have been discontinued.
The History of the Term
Classic cars were generally strong cars. Historically, roads weren’t that great and even if you lived an urban lifestyle, as late as the 1970’s, you might well encounter unpaved or poorly maintained roads. Also they didn’t face as much competition as today’s market so most cars will built to be sturdy. Also these cars weren’t as complex as modern cars and simple usually equates to reliable.
Recently, however, safety and sturdy are less associated. Crumple zones for example, tell the car how to sacrifice themselves in order to absorb impact during collision, which in turn keeps passengers safer. So the trend is away from strong car unless you need something specifically for off road or hauling. Being a sturdy runabout is not seen as a priority in today’s cars, only that they are safe.
As previously mentioned, one of the best ways to make a strong car is to keep it simple and sturdy. That necessitates different design decisions, particularly in suspension. So most modern strong cars aren’t known for their handling.
Internationally though, AvtoVaz of Russia gives us one of the strongest cars available commercially, the Lada Niva. This unholy combination of all things practical is a new look strong. It looks a little like a Yugo and a Toyata FJ had a baby. It’s sorta cute in a way, and almost feminine.
It’s an off-road, compact SUV, with a unibody and a plush interior. It drives like an SUV, hard to handle, but fits in city parking spots. If you’re exactly the right person for it, it’s exactly the right car for you. If you’re not the right person, you will find it off-putting.
So are Race Cars Strong?
On the race track, cars run hard for long periods of time. They also get bumped into. Race cars are the extreme version of the modern idea of strong the engine is powerful, but the body is fiberglass. The goal with race cars is to protect the driver and allow new parts to be cheaply and quickly replaced. All cars are, to a degree, being constantly replenished with new parts throughout, but this is extra true. Only a percentage of the car that starts the race is present in the car that finishes the race.
What about 1st Responder Vehicles
Now we’re closing in on the idea. Police, fire, and EMS are generally outfitted according to municipal guidelines that stem from the needs of that area. Fire trucks obviously have the best type of fire gear for the type of fire they see most, but have you ever seen some of the emergency response vehicles? Each city has to decide what public service agency will deal with what type of crisis. Road issues like breakdowns increasingly go to DOT responders who can deal with non-emergencies like break downs. Because these vehicles have to respond to unknown problems in difficult or dangerous circumstances they are well equipped to route traffic safely around the problem and trained to asses and call in specialists if an injury has occurred.
Search and rescue is largely staffed by volunteers who bring out their own equipment most of the time. Still, some of these heroes tool-up as well as any government sponsored vehicle and train just as well too. But does cool equipment make a strong car?
Security! Can Someone Call Security?
For a security car strength is a specific thing; a car needs to be bulletproof, in other words provide ballistic protection. Don’t confuse bullet resistant with bullet proof. Most folks will tell you there is no real bullet proof vehicle. They haven’t seen Cadillac One.
Every few years a president will order upgraded the Limo detail. Donald Trump’s Cadillac One is a whole new creature, befitting a polarizing President. Not only does it have a special “armor” which prevents the penetration of bullets it can also shielded from underneath to stop IED mines (Improvised Explosive Device mines). The tires won’t go flat and the drivers are specially trained to perform skill evasion manuvers at high speed in that exact vehicle.
In order to support the weight of the armor, the suspension is reinforced and the engine is horsepower is topped out. (See our post on presidential limos.)
They have radically increased the technological equipment from simple office style car phones to coded wifi and satellite communication. Whenever Trump is aboard there is also several bottles of blood of the President’s own type just for safety’s sake.
If you’d like to do-it-yourself a bullet-proof car it can take between $40,000 and $100,000. It would be cheaper just to put bullet proof glass and install armor plates in a car than to start from scratch. Naturally Cadillac One is built custom from the ground up, and has always been so. Creating a bulletproof or armored car is certainly big business, especially given the high profile clients.
Just what makes a car a “strong car” is probably in the eye of the beholder, but admit it, however you define it, you want one.