Unsafe At Any Speed: Minnesota Police Pull Over What May Be World’s Most Unsafe Car

My friend Ralph Nader became famous with his study of “Unsafe At Any Speed,” showing the dangers of the Chevrolet Corvair. He may want to do a sequel based on this vehicle seized by the Minnesota State Patrol. You start with a Ford Pinto (notorious for blowing up in relatively low-speed collisions) and then add a few of these personal touches to make what may be the world’s most unsafe vehicle.


This car was actually pulled over by a highway patrolman. Some highlights (as shown below) included a huge hole in the floor and a gas can inside the car with a hose (running outside of the car) as a make-shift fuel system.

Source: Autos as first seen on Reddit

26 thoughts on “Unsafe At Any Speed: Minnesota Police Pull Over What May Be World’s Most Unsafe Car

  1. Any chance we could talk the car owner into taking a job as Scott Walker or Rick Scott’s chauffeur?

  2. His Ferrari was probably in the shop-again! Seriously, the owner may just be flat broke and trying to get to work, maybe? Take that thing off the road, but let’s not insult the guy. Broke sucks.

  3. Lrobby said it. What’s a broke fella to do? Wanna bet this was an older cat who’s been driving this thing since it was 3 years new and is living on SS or little else?

    Either way, say what you want to say about Minnesotan’s but we’re nothing if not frugal.

  4. Although Lrobby et. al. have point, there is also the responsibility to others not to drive a bomb. If this had flamed at a crowded intersection, “I had to get to work,” would seem a bit thin.

  5. thank the Minnesota Police for taking it off the road before anything did happen Great job and praise to them

  6. The gas tank is pretty genius. I had the fuel pump go out in my 1983 Chevy pickup in the middle of South Dakota and had to do the same thing. Run a fuel line from the spare can in bed to carbruator.. Got me to N.D.

  7. It’s called multitasking. How many times have you heard in interviews, “describe what you have done to be creative.”

  8. I had a ’61 Chevy Impala that dropped its gas tank and the 5-gallon boat gas tank in the back seat did the trick for a few weeks. For safety, smokers sitting in the back seat were required to roll down the window….. And we lived through it………..

  9. Pinto drivers are the safest drivers. They are acutely aware of what kind of car they’re driving.

  10. When you consider that the problem with Pintos was poor protection for the gas tank in rear end collisions, this is probably the safest way to drive a Pinto.

    With the gas tank safely mounted in the front passenger seat there is essentially no chance that a rear end collision will cause the gas tank to explode. Safety conscious drivers will especially appreciate the use of the truck tire for shock mounting the gas tank. And the careful routing of the gas feed line over the fender then down into the the engine compartment assures that it it unlikely that rocks or other road debris will sever the gas line – yet another important safety feature.

    I don’t understand why this car has not been awarded some kind of Ralf Nader Safety Citation. If you are going to drive a Pinto, this is the way to do it. Good ole’ American ingenuity applied to automotive engineering – does it get any better?

  11. I remember back after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, I was south on US 101 towards San Jose, when I saw a car up ahead that had the rear silhouette of the original Batmobile (creased right down the length of the roof). As I passed it, I saw the license plate which read “503 PM” (the time of the earthquake).

  12. junctionshamus,

    Odd bit of synchronicity there.

    Speaking of lemons and stolen . . . my mother had a 1985 Buick Riviera. It was a total lemon. Just one problem after another. It got stolen once when she was in St. Louis on business. The cops found the car two blocks from the hotel where it was stolen with a note on the dash: “Buy a new car.”

  13. Best line of the day:

    “(My) 5-gallon boat gas tank in the back seat did the trick for a few weeks. For safety, smokers sitting in the back seat were required to roll down the window….”

  14. One of my uncles, by marriage, had to switch out the battery from his car to his boat. Otherwise, we couldn’t go fishing

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