Why don't cars have bumpers anymore?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I don't get it.

    People hang those stupid looking rubber things out of their trunks... or their fenders get all scuffed, scratched, and destroyed...

    A simple piece of hard rubber designed nicely into the fenders would look great, and serve an awesome purpose. Cars used to have them. Who wouldn't want them again?

    Also, this was just brought to my attention by my wife. While I'm about to do my best to mend my ways, I realize why I'm the guy who people scream at for banging into the car in front and in back of me. When I learned to drive, cars had bumpers and it wasn't a big deal. When you park, you know you went too far when you hit the car behind you. :) Not hard, but kinda tap it. I realize finally that not everybody parks like that, but it's taken many years... yeah. I want bumpers back. Anyone agree. Or disagree?

    Would you rather have this:

    Or this:
  2. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    Because more money can be made by not having a useful feature like a bumper installed.
  3. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    yes, I'd rather have a nice blue vintage porche too than whatever that thing in the other picture was
  4. AaronMB


    Aug 17, 2012
    Central Oregon
    I'll take "That Ain't A Bumper: This Is A Bumper" for $.02, Chuck!


    While this thing has obviously come in handy for me, I will say that it is not--and no bumper should be--a crutch to compensate for [one's own] bad parking.

    I'm not sure they make a Honda now-a-days with your kind of bumper; no special order, either, I'm sure. ;) Judging from the rash already present on the rear end, I can't say I blame those New Yorkers for being a little concerned. lol...which is why I drive what I drive.
  5. While modern bumpers might not take a minor hit as well, aesthetically, as an older rubber or metal one, in a major collision they'll do more to protect your arse.
  6. Mysterion


    Jan 10, 2012
    First, that's not a US-spec 911, and I don't think that exact bumper configuration was ever featured in the States.

    Bigger picture: Bumper design is--like many aspects of modern car production--subject to local regulations. Since 1973, bumpers in the US have been required to meet a series of design features, which have brought us to our present condition. Bumpers are required to withstand a minimum impact speed without structural damage, unlike the essentially decorative chrome/rubber elements of, say, typical 1960s designs. They are also height regulations, so that your bumper is more or less at the same level as that of the car backing into it. (This equation gets skewed because many SUVs are legally classified as trucks.) Pedestrian safety is a growing concern in bumper design, too.

    The downside, of course, is that these structures are more expensive to repair once damaged. And, like most everything on contemporary cars, they tend to be more massive in appearance, lacking the delicacy of that vintage 911's bumpers. But, be assured that if you had been driving that 911 when it was new, and a contemporary Cadillac backed into it, your bodywork would suffer badly...You give a little, you get a little.
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Three reasons:

    1) The purpose. Older cars had bumpers meant for pushing as well as protection and preventing body damage. Today a bumper is not meant for pushing, only energy absorption. They are not meant to prevent body damage, but to absorb energy to protect the occupants.

    2) Weight. Older cars had steel bumpers; newer bumpers are aluminum channel with styrofoam covers and a flexible fascia over them - all of it weighing less than the older steel bumper.

    3) Wind resistance. Since everyone is crazed about wind resistance and fuel mileage, what passes for bumpers are integrated into the body and the airflow. Exposed bumpers don't achieve this.
  8. Dominic DeCosa

    Dominic DeCosa Habitual Line-Stepper Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 9, 2008
    Vero Beach, Florida
    DiCosimo Audio
    This thread has honestly made me a little more fearful to be on the road. I can't believe there are people out there who think its okay to bump into other cars.
  9. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    You ever live in a very populated city where most parking had to be done on the streets? It's not that bumping into other cars is okay, but rather it's sometimes unavoidable.
  10. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    Auto body man here. Cars still have a solid bumper (either steel or aluminum)
    But they have a urethane bumper cover over it, both for looks and aerodynamics.

    Modern cars are not to everyone's tastes but they are designed to absorb major impact and save lives. The older ones were not and that is why cars are not made the way they used to
  11. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
  12. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    I'll take a couple shots of the streets right around Knoxville's campus sometime. That area literally has zero parking after 10pm right after the semester starts. If you happen to find a spot, even if you're going to have maybe an inch between the car both in front of you and the car behind you, you're going to take it. I don't have to worry about it because of where I live, but for everyone else it's a legit **** show. Most cars don't look nearly as nice as they do coming into the city as they do leaving it after 4 years of school.
  13. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Here in NY I've gotten really good at parking in spots with literally 1/8 of an inch space in the front and back. It pissess people off big-time, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
  14. Mysterion


    Jan 10, 2012
    I think the real test of city parking expertise is doing this without touching the cars ahead and behind...
  15. I've never seen one of those in my life. :meh:
  16. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I disagree. I think the real test is doing it without caring one bit that you hit the car in front and back 25 times getting in.
  17. pocketgroove


    Jun 28, 2010
    Me neither...
  18. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I can't recall ever seeing a vehicle with one of those on, but holy crap, that is freakin' ugly! It's makes those cheesy, clearly-not-stock, spoilers that wannabe rich kids put on their Honda Civics look good in comparison. :rollno:
  19. Looks like a bib
  20. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I think plastic bumpers and metal body panels are stupid!

    The leading edges of a car (the bumpers) should be made of stern stuff that can take a hit and not cause thousands in damage in minor collisions.

    Body panels should be made of polymer that has color all the way though and doesn't dent or scratch when the car next to you opens their doors.

    My two cents.....