Are our cars invisible?

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Tiger Tim
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Are our cars invisible?

Post by Tiger Tim » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:29 pm

Well, it finally happened and tonight I had to use my Klaxon in anger. Some sort of new car nearly backed into my T in a parking lot and it got me wondering; with all the electronic nannies on a new car, can they “see” a Model T? I know that a magnetic sensor at a traffic light won’t pick up my T and there have been studies that show horse drawn buggies (loosely T-shaped in a lot of ways) no longer register as vehicles in most people’s subconscious.

I just wonder what else is blind to our cars.

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Re: Are our cars invisible?

Post by Scottio » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:02 am

Well Tim, you said it FINALLY happened. So I’m assuming you’ve been driving your T for many years and this is the first time its happened. I sure know how you feel about these new cars with all the censers and cameras taking the driver out of the drivers seat. Sometimes I think drivers only see what is a threat. They aren’t looking for a guy on a bike or a horse drawn carriage or a horseless carriage so they don’t see those but if a Freightliner was coming THAT is a threat and even if they aren’t looking for it they sure see that. I haven’t had a close call YET. I live in a city and drive my T often. I avoid driving at night, black car with one tail light, but a close call like yours would be unsettling to say the leased. I guess all we can do is make ourselves as visible as possible and hope that god will watch over us.

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Re: Are our cars invisible?

Post by Jugster » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:19 am

This problem isn't new. Some people simply don't look behind them before backing up. They wouldn't notice if the starship, Enterprise were parked immediately behind them. You handled it in the most proper way; you maintained situational awareness and when some hat-backwards, cellphone-texting knucklehead wasn't paying attention to what he was doing, you were anticipating it in spring-loaded mode to instantly do something about it.

Visually, our cars are extremely conspicuous and non-comatose drivers who are looking out instead of down can't help but take notice of them, but for dealing with such cretins as prefer the Helen Keller method of driving, it's hard to beat The Mighty Ahooga. It is indeed the cherry-bomb of car horns. Hey, look; squeeze-bulb horns are great if you happen to be a little kid on a tricycle and the only traffic you're likely to encounter consist of back-yard bunnyrabbits and butterflies. The rest of us deal with grownup driving situations requiring the type of aural artillery which commands instantaneous, eye-bulging attention—and for that, only a Klaxon will do.

Good man! I hope you gave that oblivious somnambulant a good talking-to.

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Mark Gregush
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Re: Are our cars invisible?

Post by Mark Gregush » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:52 pm

It was a dark rainy night in a lit parking lot right in front of Safeway, driving a gray Chevrolet pickup, same car backed into me 2 times while I was leaving the lot. It's not just T's! :lol:
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :roll:

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John Codman
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Re: Are our cars invisible?

Post by John Codman » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:12 pm

I wouldn't blame the modern electronics.I think the blind spot sensors are awesome, and the bride's minivan backup cameras are a fantastic aid. One thing that I will never understand is why some yo-yos will drive right behind you when you are backing up and the backup lights are on. All of the modern sensors in the world won't protect us from drivers with zero situational awareness.

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Re: Are our cars invisible?

Post by Terry_007 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:20 pm

Common problem these days unfortunately. A couple of weekends ago one of our club members had his 69 Camaro at a car show in a shopping center parking lot. He was leaving, and was sitting at a stop sigh just at the end of a row of stores. A lady parked in the last spot backed out and smashed right into his side door. She came straight back right into him and it wasn't just a little scrape either. Hit him so hard it pushed the door in against the seat and broke the window, which was rolled down inside the door! Her excuse was "I didn't see you in my camera!" These are the kinds of idiots we are dealing with these days. They've come to rely on all the technology and automation in today's cars The reason she didn't see him is because she was so close all she saw was the solid blue door. Why she didn't look in her mirror, or bend her stupid fat neck we'll never know. Don't get me started on turn signals either!@@$DSDXXXX!!!

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Re: Are our cars invisible?

Post by Walter Higgins » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:45 pm

Not in a T, but recently in my newer old car I was at an intersection where the car up front proceeded too far past the white line at a red light. Out-of-state car in a tourist area. Expecting her to back up if a truck came along, I stopped a couple of car lengths short in the event such a thing happened. Well, it happened when a truck nosed right up to her, her backup lights come on, and she floored it. Not expecting that I laid on the horn and started looking to see if I could back up myself and before I had a chance to I thought, "She's going to hit me" and suddenly stopped within less than an inch of the front of my car. At first I just thought it was dumb luck, but I wondered later if she was using a back-up camera. Still, no call for that and she provided way more room for the truck than he needed to complete his turn. Either rattled or not paying attention, once the light turned green she sat forever until I laid on my horn again.

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Re: Are our cars invisible?

Post by Erik Johnson » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:40 pm

My opinion is that antique cars don't "register in the brain" of other drivers like modern cars do.

To the average driver, antique cars are unfamiliar, foreign objects on the road. So, even though they may see the antique car with their eyes, they really may not actually see it in their mind. They are oblivious.

When the average driver sees a modern vehicle, it automatically and quickly registers in their mind and they act or react accordingly. If someone sees an antique car, their mind takes more time to comprehend what they are seeing.

The above is why I believe brake lights and turn signals (especially those that are installed in clever locations as to not look obtrusive) are worthless on a Model T Ford. Other drivers may or may not actually see your brake lights or turn signals and, even if they do, it doesn't quickly register in their minds making the lights and signals worthless.

A couple years ago, my neighbor was rear-ended in his 1936 Ford V8 after he stopped for a stop sign. The brake lights on a '36 Ford are closer to the ground than the brake lights on a modern car. They also aren't as bright as a modern vehicle. Based on what my neighbor told me, I came to the conclusion that the other driver didn't actually see the 1936 Ford in her mind as she was approaching the intersection, even though the Ford was right in front of her

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Gil D'Aquin
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Re: Are our cars invisible?

Post by Gil D'Aquin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:58 pm


I tend to agree with you. I have yet to take my Model T on the road, but I remember experiencing that with my '58 Ford on three occasions. Once, a guy pulled right in front of me at an angle, and then slammed on his brakes so he could maneuver into a parking space. It was as if I wasn't even there. Another time, I was stopped in the street allowing a little kid to retrieve a toy, when an old woman began backing straight out of her driveway toward me. When I saw her backing too close, I began to shout "Hey lady, stop, I'm right here!!" since my horn wasn't working at the time. Nevertheless, she backed right into my passenger door. When confronted with her carelessness, she stammered and said "Son, you need to sit down, you're white as a ghost. You should have honked your horn to warn me".

When I take old Jenny out on the road, I plan to be very conspicuous. Maybe I'll wear a ridiculous hat or something. I liken my Model T Touring Car to the mule drawn carriages I see in the French Quarter all the time. They're very noticeable. Your story does create a kind of ethereal aura around antique cars though. I like that. I suppose I'll put a triangle inside the spare tire on the back, and just drive carefully.

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Re: Are our cars invisible?

Post by BHarper » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:39 pm

Anything to be a bit more noticable.



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Re: Are our cars invisible?

Post by Burger in Spokane » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:58 am

Friends, SFB Syndrome is the leading cause of stupidity in America today.

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More people are doing it today than ever before !

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Re: Are our cars invisible?

Post by DHort » Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:35 pm

Last month I was parked right behind an ambulance on a blocked off street to drop off Mayor after a parade. Some dumb kid went through the barriers in a new mustang and parked almost underneath me. Of course I hit him backing up. Never saw him behind me and of course with the top down he was invisible. Maybe if I had looked in the side mirror I would have seen him, but not in rear view. I think the new mustang is about as high as my fenders.

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