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Vintage Cars/Question on headrests


Hello Paul.

I am interested in purchasing a 1962 Cadillac, but I feel somewhat conflicted with one major safety issue: the car has no headrests.

1. If I get into an accident with a car like that, what are my chances of getting a severe case of whiplash or a broken neck?

2. Can the car be retrofitted with seats that come with headrests?

3. Also, how much damage could a violent impact have on a 62 Cadillac?

Best regards,


1) As for getting a severe case of whiplash, or a broken neck, there are too many variables for me to answer this aspect of your question.  
2) You need to consider the age of the vehicle and realize that in any accident that a car that is 49 years old isn't going to fair as well as a modern car that is designed for occupant protection in the event of a crash.  You might be able to install a modern seat that has headrests factory installed, however, you also need to make sure that they are properly anchored to the floor, and that the floor is properly reinforced to withstand an impact.  I suggest that you contact a automotive structural engineer for further details.  I can only give you limited information on this aspect.  For this reason, I suggest that if you decide to make this modification to the vehicle that you have it performed by a competent and licensed facility that is familiar with the modification that you are desiring, after consulting with the engineer.  They are ultimately responsible for the change, and you should discuss liability with them first.  Never assume anything when modifying a vehicle.  Any and all modifications from the original factory installation will be at your own risk and peril
3) There is no way to answer this question intelligently, since there are too many variables involved.  If you want to see how badly any car can be damaged, then visit your local automobile salvage yard and ask to walk around to view the cars.  You will immediately realize that no matter how new or how old a vehicle is, any severe impact can totally destroy the car, and leave the occupants and / or the driver seriously injured or even dead.  

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