R107 Crash Testimonial - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-20-2010, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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R107 Crash Testimonial

Back when I was 18, I crashed my fathers 1987 40000km Arctic white R107 with blue interior that was in unbelievably immaculate condition.

I had my girlfriend at the time sleeping in the back, a friend in the passenger seat. I nearly collided with a deer, cut the steering wheel hard into a cliffside. I was going 60km/h before I hit the brakes so maybe about 45km/h at impact?

The car bounced off the cliff, the rear end hit a guardrail. My girlfriend woke up from the noise, however the impact was almost like hitting a bag of jello and she did not even slam into the front seats.

Nobody got injured to say the least. The fender was digging into the front tire and both front and rear tail lights were totally smashed. I put a wedge underneath the front fender to lift it off the tire, put the spare on it, and drove it home another 150km to the repair shop ($18000+ of damage).

The car did not have airbags, which I am extremely thankful for. But really... I was amazed at how well the car took the crash. The impact shock was dampened completely and did not enter the cabin whatsoever.

Since I've owned the Ford Ranger - a vehicle that I've impacted on different occasions while off roading. It has a 6 point roll cage with moly tube and plenty of dampening material, done professionally, SABELT 5 point harness for driver and passenger, and Recaro bucket seats. I can say that it has never offered the luxury of such graceful collisions. One particular accident was similar to the R107, at similar conditions while driving through rural Oregon to our favorite mud pit. I hit a patch of sand around a corner and smashed the passenger side into a cliffside at 25mph.

Post collision; my lower back was hurting me bad, my right knee got scraped by the underside of the dash - I refused stitches because the cut was so shallow and I used superglue until I got home. My Dickies were torn across the ankle, and I was extremely nauseated for a couple days despite having no head impact. My friend that was sitting passenger has had 3 herniated discs from a prior injury which required EMT help to get him out of the harness and seat properly. He needed to get X-Rayed and MRIed. Extremely luckily there was no damage done to his fused back but he was in tremendous amounts of pain for an entire month due to his fused lower back being stressed like that. The roll cage was fracture tested at both tubing and welds and had 0 damage. The harnesses have been replaced since.

There was such a large difference in occupant damage at low speed collision. I had only wished it was a Benz quality crash on both occasions. I am confident the S600 will provide ultimate passenger safety in case of an accident beyond what the 107 chassis did. The price of a good used MBZ is too cheap compared to the month of unbearable pain my friend suffered and could not go to work.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-20-2010, 06:47 PM
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Sorry to hear about you and your friend's injuries, but I don't think comparing a Mercedes-Benz with a roll bar stiffened off road truck makes much sense.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 08C300 View Post
Sorry to hear about you and your friend's injuries, but I don't think comparing a Mercedes-Benz with a roll bar stiffened off road truck makes much sense.
Thanks for your sympathy but it was fairly minor. If it wasn't for my friend's previous injuries it would have been much easier to shake off.

It kind of made sense to me to compare? They are the same era cars, similar weight, wheelbase, overhang, power, braking distance, engine configuration, cabin space, passenger count, no active safety, etc. Same driver... Similar situation...

A 6pt. cage on a Ranger wouldn't be considered "stiffened." It's a minimal cabin protection plan for properly installing a race harness and rollover safety. There may be some minor chassis stiffening at the center of the vehicle but nothing that would affect crumple zones, bumpers, fenders.

In the case of a unibody, where even a basic b-pillar bar would be considered chassis strengthening/stiffening and affect offset collisions (and most of them are offset) due to the nature of the chassis wanting to warp.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 11:43 AM
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The key difference between your caged Ford and the SL is that the SL was designed to absorb the impact in a predetermined way, while the Ford was stiffened to prevent the cabin from deforming. So the Ford transfered the forces to you, while the SL absorbed the impact forces.

That's why the SL was easier on your body while the Ford, also with out much interior padding, caused more injuries despite the cage and harness.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 06:11 AM
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I know this is an ancient thread, but it is probably the best topic and location for a thread like the one I created maybe 5 years ago in the 107 section, primarily with the intention of trying to learn how 107s perform in a rollover. I have read about the stiffened A-pillars, but wasn't super impressed when I cut one open.

I will be back to edit and add links and pics. Glad I found this thread!


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