Jalopnik Crash Week Begins: 1959 Chevy Vs. 2009 Chevy

The magnificent collision below, performed for the 50th anniversary of the IIHS, demonstrates how far car crash technology has come in 50 years. Now we're using it to announce next week's Jalopnik Crash Week! The video, plus an explanation, below.

Our fascination with crashing covers the entire spectrum of thought, emotion, and frankly, respectability. Certainly we all want our cars to be safer, but on any given day you can hear someone complaining that safety has made cars less enjoyable. People love watching a good car crash, but hasten to add that they hope nobody was harmed. And while most people don't want to be in a crash, almost everyone loves telling stories about near misses, bad driving and out-and-out crashes.

So, to commemorate the dark side of the culture we love, we'll be taking a look at crashing from all sides next week, from a world atlas of bad driving to explorations of safety technology to the impact of safety on motorsports. Meanwhile, let's wish the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety a happy 50th and thank them for the incredible video — and try not to verbally castigate them for destroying that classic metal Chevy beast. Still wonder whether cars haven't gotten safer in the last 50 years? See what happens when a 1959 Chevy Bel Air crashes at speed into a 2009 Chevy Malibu.

See what we meant about "dark side?" Tell us what you're feeling after watching this in the comments below.
[video via IIHS]