Safety first?

The Jaguar pedestrian protection bonnet brought back a distant memory.

Your interesting item on the Jaguar pedestrian protection bonnet (Safety in the bag) and the accompanying photographs brought back a distant memory.

In 1972 or 73 I went, with a school car club to an open day at the Road Research Laboratory at Crowthorne which had a range of safety cars, both on show and being demonstrated — with dummies of course.

Most of them had the idea of large soft body parts/bumpers fitted to stop injuries but one — on a Toyota sports car if my memory serves me correct — consisted of a bar that wrapped around the front edge of the bonnet/grill, and was hinged at the base of the windscreen/door pillars.

On impact, this bar would lift up and bring the bonnet up with it, which changed the angle of the person’s body so he or she landed safely on the car bonnet — a sort of ‘scoop’ effect, but very similar to the Jaguar idea.When demonstrated it seemed to work very well.

I often wonder what happened to this, and the other ideas that were shown that day. Does anyone know, or remember, any of this?

Adrian Wakefield