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Old 10-27-2008, 11:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Gotta rebuild the boattail

On Sunday morning at 4:30AM I was driving to work at the PSL of 60mph as usual when, unknown to me at the time, there was also someone out driving a blue car who decided to take advantage of the cheaper gas and the reduced likelihood of encountering the highway patrol at 4:30AM on Sunday to test out the high speed capabilities of their car. You could tell they were a total neophyte at high speed driving since they weren't staying in the passing lane (irregularities in the road are magnified at high speeds and the passing lane is smoother because of its reduced amount of heavy truck traffic). They also didn't realize that their maneuverability is greatly reduced at speed and it takes much more time and distance to change lanes when clearing obstacles in their lane. One of the obstacles that they didn't lead out far enough when changing lanes was my car. They slammed into the back of my car at 100+mph while in the midst of moving onto the passing lane so there was about a 1/3 overlap between the front of their car and the rear of my car at the point of collision. I ended up spinning 540 degrees and guiding my car into the breakdown lane while rolling backwards at 20mph. The other car didn't stop, the other driver probably having thoughts on their mind such as the unreasonability of the highway patrol toward people doing 100+ in a 60 and their propensity of doing things like confiscating driver's license on the spot from said people.

Fortunately the boattail worked as designed and having that additional 3 feet of crush space on the back of my car saved the day. The collision used up 2.5 feet of the boattail's crush space and the damage didn't even reach to my car's original bumper still in place under the boattail. There was also some damage on the front where a corner of my nosepiece clipped a guardrail as I was spinning my way down the interstate. This impact also took out the right side headlight and marker light. The car ended up being completely drivable with practically no damage to the original frame of the car. All I had to do was to bend the taillights so they faced rearwards rather then to the side and down, where the collision ended up putting them and the car was perfectly drivable. The aerodynamics suffered from the collision, so I only got 68mpg rather then the expected 70mpg on the drive home.

So now I just need to rebuild the crunched left side of the boattail, replace the cracked lexan rear window, and repair the front right corner of the nosepiece. With the exception of the headlight assembly, I have all the parts I need here at the farm. The materials cost is less than $200, so I don't even reach the deductable on my insurance. I'm sure the high speed enthusiast will have a much higher repair bill awaiting them to repair the damage to their front end. I'm going to take advantage to the rebuild to address a few deficiencies in the current boattail design and to put a brighter array of LED lights on the tail. Physically I am fine other than a slightly stiff neck.

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Old 10-27-2008, 11:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That's a heck of a positive attitude (possibly tongue in cheeck) to a high speed collision. Good luck with your rebuild, and if they find him, rebuild it all with carbon fibre on his bill... since the first one did cost in excess of 2000 dollars to build, which will be difficult with your horribly debilitating neck injury that will cost you 4 years of work
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow, thats quite the story. I'm very glad to see you're pretty much okay.

Incredible contratulations on building something enough to take a hit like that too! It sounds like it stood up amazingly well considering the situation.

Did you call the police? I'm guessing you didn't even get a look at the other car with it going that fast.
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Awesome that the boat tail functioned the way it did in the not so optimal circumstances

Any pictures of the aftermath? Showing your boat tail as a safety device
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wow, glad to hear you're ok, the rest is just sheet metal afterall.

I don't know how it works in the states, but last year I had a hit and run. A month later, I went to a local body shop asking how much they would charge if paid cash, cause I had a 1k deductible on the car. Well the guy told me to call my insurance company cause as far as he knew there is no deductible when you're victim of a hit an run. Sure enough, that's what I was told when I called, plus it did not even count as a claim. Luckilly I had filed a police report the day of the accident, cause the insurance company was skeptical when I called a month after the accident.
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear about the car, you'll have it back up to better than new in no time though. Glad to hear you're not suffering from any injuries other than a serious case of suppressed aggression .

I would call around and see if any of the body shops in the area took in any vehicles with severely damaged front ends, it's not hard to spot white spray paint left on a car hood .

And if your crumple zone was increased that much, that almost no damage was done to anything but the boat tail, I'd take lots of photos and send them to auto makers and show them what a ~100MPH rear ending of a car doing 60MPH really looks like!

Maybe it's time to revamp the boat tail...
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The guy probably thought he hit a UFO or something when he nailed the boat tail, so he figured he better leave!

It's amazing how much that must have absorbed the impact though...the momentum difference from 100mph to 60mph is huge, and to walk away with a stiff neck is great. Good luck repairing it!
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow! Glad to hear you are o.k. We are always reminded here to see our doctor after an accident even if you don't feel injured because neck injuries sometimes don't show up right after the accident.

Take care.
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Glad you're okay! You'd better make sure that fool chips in some money for all the time you spent on that!
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Very relieved to hear you escaped a potentially deadly mishap. (ditto on getting the neck looked at)

On the other hand, disappointed you lost the 2 mpg on the way home afterward.

Looking forward to the rebuild. You know the Ecomodder battle cry; "We want pictures!"

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