Design: When Big Meets Small

Cars spun along the strip, crashed, smashed, shattered, splintered, and stopped in a downpour of metal and glass. It looked like Indianapolis all over again, but the site was East Haddam, Conn., the event no sport but an experiment in automobile survival staged by the state police department to prove its contention that small cars are more vulnerable than standard models.

The test consisted of driving a big car head on into a stationary small car, and vice versa. Photographs taken at the moment of collision were enough to alarm any small-car owner...

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