Crash Dummies Retired to Smithsonian

Famous crash-test duo to go on display

By BRETT ZONGKER and Pat Lawson Muse
|  Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010  |  Updated 7:01 PM EDT
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Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

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They are without a doubt the most well-known couple in the crash-testing industry -- their popularity inspiring a line of toys, cartoons and even a video game.

For the past quarter of a decade, Vince and Larry have been promoting auto safety through those public service TV ads. Alas, the dynamic dummy duo is now being put out to pasture, so to speak. They are being retired to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is donating auto safety objects to the museum. Those objects include several costumes and severed limbs that once belonged to Vince and Larry. The crash-test guys will be permanently housed at the museum, in the company of Oscar the Grouch from “Sesame Street” and other pop culture characters.

Meanwhile, the auto safety exhibit also will include a General Motors crash-test dummy, a three-point safety belt from a 1961 Volvo and an energy-absorbing steering column from a 1967 Chevy.

"We learned a lot from Vince and Larry about the importance of buckling up," said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "They are a part of American culture and became household names while educating the public on seat belt use. Their message still holds true today."


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