1967 Chevrolet Energy-Absorbing Steering Column

In the 1930s, several inventors were issued patents for steering columns that collapsed on impact, sparing the driver from being impaled on the column in a crash. Scissors, piston, and spring designs were proposed. But collapsible steering columns did not enter production until 1967, when General Motors began installing two-piece columns with steel mesh that crumpled under pressure as the column telescoped. The mesh slowed impact by absorbing energy. Chrysler adopted a similar column in 1967, and Ford introduced its own collapsible design in 1968. This example was designed for a 1967 Chevrolet Chevy II.
Currently not on view
Object Name
steering column
date made
General Motors Corporation
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
overall: 39 in x 4 in; 99.06 cm x 10.16 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Road Transportation
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Keith Adelsberg

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