Crash Test Wars: 1959 Chevy Bel Air VS 2009 Chevy Malibu

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) celebrated its 50th anniversary the same way we all celebrate our major milestones: by smashing up a classic car and putting footage of it on the Internet.

They performed a crash test of a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu to show the advances made in auto safety in the last fifty years—thanks in large part to the IIHS. Their original video was a hit on YouTube, and the results were no surprise to anyone with a passing familiarity with cars. What the car-buying public has lost in awesome tailfins, we have gained in safety.

Today, Consumer Reports Cars posted an extended “director’s cut” of the video, featuring extra footage and commentary on what exactly you’re seeing in the video.

Incidentally, if you feel like watching newer cars get smashed up a bit, or are just curious how your own vehicle would fare in a crash, check out the Consumer Reports crash test video player, which can provide minutes upon minutes of fiberglass-smashing edutainment.

Video: Director’s cut – 2009 Chevrolet Malibu vs 1959 Bel Air crash test [Consumer Reports Cars]