My Empeg mk2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empeg
has been living in my current car for over a decade (and my jeep for 3 years before that). It uses standard ide laptop drives (dual 30gb). The same two drives have been mounted in my car since February, 1999. The only special consideration they get is the rubber mounting grommets holding the drives to the frame of the Empeg. The ONLY issues I've had with this setup was with the rotary encoder getting dirty and now the VFD is getting weak. So now I have an mp3 player that is almost old enough to drive itself that has been parked outsidein a mustang in the elements on the Gulf Coast for the entire time. Nothing on the market yet can do what the Empeg does, at least without me having to take my eyes off the road.
I know my story is anecdotal, but I've had my car 3-5 times as long as most people keep theirs and I just haven't seen the hard drive failures you are talking about. To be fair, the empeg guys did a lot of smart things when they built it, such as using caching to memory heavily. This way that the drives could be spun down when not in use. The drives auto-parked when not active, etc.
And remember, we're talking about laptop drives. They're slow on purpose. 5400 rpm drives are preferable in a situation like this. We're not talking about 15k server class multi-TB storage units.