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plee4139
07-28-2017, 09:29 AM
They were so popular for many years then rear doors started to be front-hinged. Anyone know why?

jclary
07-28-2017, 09:34 AM
Well...there's a tiny hint in the first word of this thread title.;)

tbredehoft
07-28-2017, 11:23 AM
The 34 Ford had front doors hinge at the rear, imagine what would happen if one opened at speed!

raprice
07-28-2017, 11:24 AM
Actually, the original use of the term, "suicide doors" applied to 2 door coupes and convertibles with rear hinged doors. Over the years, folks have applied the term to any rear hinged doors as well.
Rog

Commander Eddie
07-28-2017, 11:32 AM
So, is there any record of anyone being injured or killed due to a rear-hinged door coming open while the vehicle was in motion?

Gunslinger
07-28-2017, 12:15 PM
Allegedly, gangsters liked suicide doors for pushing bodies out of cars. At least that's how they did it in the movies.:eek:

greyben
07-28-2017, 12:21 PM
Standardization to front hinged doors was done for conformity. Companies stopped daring to be different.

jclary
07-28-2017, 12:46 PM
So, is there any record of anyone being injured or killed due to a rear-hinged door coming open while the vehicle was in motion?

No "Record," but a 1930 era story.:whome: It's about my grandfather, who died in 1951. So, since it was much later when I first heard this story, I never got a chance to ask him about it. The story goes that grandpa had bought himself some kind of 1930's car with front opening doors. He was traveling down one of the many dirt roads near the flatlands of the South Carolina coast. Suddenly needing to "spit," he intended to crack open the door just enough. Instead, the wind caught the door, jerked him out, flinging him clear of the car! The bottom edge of the door dug into the dirt, spun the car around and wrecked into the ditch. Word was that grandpa was not seriously injured, but bruised up. Story went that he sold the damaged car that very day.:mad:

Greenstude
07-28-2017, 03:10 PM
A friend of mine, while he was a child, fell out of the rear door of a relative's 1947 Studebaker while it was moving. He was very lucky not to be hit by the rear tire.

When our 4 children were travelling with us, I installed Studebaker's child-proof rear door locks on our 1947 Champion. Technically that's not original, as Studebaker did not introduce them until 1948. (A lot of people think the first child-proof rear door locks were on the 1975 Volkswagen Rabbit --- once again, Stude was ahead of its time.)

Noxnabaker
07-28-2017, 03:42 PM
If you're a gangster & wanna throw someone out of the car I reckon 'tis quite a better idea to have front-hanged doors so the throwedout one don't get caught in the door... just my opinion...

Corvanti
07-28-2017, 04:15 PM
If you're a gangster & wanna throw someone out of the car I reckon 'tis quite a better idea to have front-hanged doors so the throwedout one don't get caught in the door... just my opinion...

after having suicide doors on the '40 Champion, i agree with "Noxnabaker". but it would give a gangster a steadier platform to pop some caps on a rival outside the car on a drive-by.:ohmy:

tomlewis
07-28-2017, 05:35 PM
Why does a '34 Ford get mentioned on a Studebaker forum as having front-opening front doors while '34 and '35 Studebakers (all body styles) which also have front-opening front doors are not mentioned?

'35 is the last year for Studebaker to utilize this style and is one of the reasons I targeted a '35 Commander as my latest Studebaker buy. The other two reasons are that I really like the '35 grille and '35 is the first year for hydraulic brakes.

I've had a couple of other front-opening front door cars (Cords) and I can testify that, while they look really cool, if they have rigid front seat frames, they are not all that comfortable to get into or out of for someone my size

Tom

Jeff_H
07-28-2017, 06:24 PM
Story I heard was a cousin of mine (now age 68), as a tyke, opened the rear "suicide" door of the '49-'51 era Lincoln the family had and went rolling out down the hi-way. Got some road rash from what I understand. I don't know if Lincoln had rear door safety locks like Studebaker had as an accessory but seems like it would have been a good thing for that style of door for sure. Of course, nowadays some pickups and vans have rear hinged doors but they are designed so they cannot open separately from the front door being opened first.

Edit...

I believe the early 60's Lincoln's again had rear hinged rear doors and also those late 60s Tbirds also. I've never had a chance to look at one of those so don't know if there is a interlock on the rear doors or not, preventing them opening when the car is moving.

studegary
07-28-2017, 08:09 PM
In the mid-1950s, I was riding at speed in the back of a 1948 Dodge/Desoto when the door opened. It was a scary experience but I managed to stay within the car.

You can buy a brand new Rolls Royce with rear hinged doors.

oilnsteel
07-28-2017, 08:57 PM
My childhood best friend's sister can testify a 1960s Lincoln suicide rear door will open while moving. Except for some road rash, she was uninjured. The door was never quite right afterwards.

Another friend's father said watching a woman in a skirt exit a car with rear hinged doors could be a rewarding experience.

JT

spokejr
07-28-2017, 09:45 PM
The 60's Lincolns did have an integrated door lock on the convertibles. I think towards the end sedans did too, T-bird sedans did.

Also a close childhood friend fell out of his dad's '49 Cosmopolitan on the Hollywood Fwy around '63 or so, all of 2 years old. A nurse happened to be following behind when it happened. She stopped, scooped David up and told his mother to get in her car and told the dad to follow her to the hospital she had just left. David survived with just light road rash.

As for child sfaety locks on rear doors, Mercedes had those in the 50's.

t walgamuth
07-28-2017, 11:01 PM
I had a 51 Cadillac Superior Hearse with rear suicide doors.....big ones. There was a switch which either lighted a warning light or prevented ignition and had rotary latches in addition to the regular latches.

8E45E
07-28-2017, 11:21 PM
The 60's Lincolns did have an integrated door lock on the convertibles. I think towards the end sedans did too, T-bird sedans did.

The newer Rolls Royce Phantom and Dawn models with rear-hinged doors have interlocks to prevent opening while in motion, and an interlock to prevent the car from moving forward when placed in gear if a door is open.

Craig

48skyliner
07-29-2017, 12:32 AM
The fact is that if cars in those days had seat belts, and if people were intelligent enough to use them, there would be very little danger associated with rear hinged doors. Certainly they would have gone away when the Ralph Nader padded-cell approach to safety was introduced.

One of my favorite designs of the 50s was the Lancia Aurelia, which had rear hinged rear doors, and no posts. I believe this was the first production car with a V6 engine.

http://www.autolit.com/Store/1954-lancia-aurelia-4-door-sedan-factory-photo-ua9615.html

Noxnabaker
07-29-2017, 03:10 AM
Early Fiat 500, 600 & 1100's had rearhenged doors, & Mercedes & DKW (later changed to Audi cuz of bad reputation) & Citroen B11 & B15 "Traction" + 2cv before -65.
I even changed a 2cv AK400 to it, loads nicer to get in & out of as I didn't have to avoid the door in the same way as with a fronthinged.
Soft seatcorners are nice thou, as written earlier here... ;)

Chris Pile
07-29-2017, 04:56 AM
A four door vehicle with normal front doors and suicide rear doors is referred to as having "kissing doors".

8E45E
07-29-2017, 07:36 AM
The fact is that if cars in those days had seat belts, and if people were intelligent enough to use them, there would be very little danger associated with rear hinged doors. Certainly they would have gone away when the Ralph Nader padded-cell approach to safety was introduced.

That was THIS car: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?67591-Orphan-of-the-Day-12-13-1956-Cornell-Liberty-Safety-Car Note the doors on it.


One of my favorite designs of the 50s was the Lancia Aurelia, which had rear hinged rear doors, and no posts. I believe this was the first production car with a V6 engine.

The Nissan Multi minivan didn't have 'B' pillars, either.

Craig

qsanford
07-29-2017, 11:49 AM
I think the suicide reference comes from act of trying to push the car with the door open. When it starts rolling too fast, and you don't jump in quickly enough, the open door will take you down.

studegary
07-29-2017, 07:58 PM
I think the suicide reference comes from act of trying to push the car with the door open. When it starts rolling too fast, and you don't jump in quickly enough, the open door will take you down.

I don't agree with this. The way that I remember it, the term came from people being sucked out when the door opened at speed.

T.J. lavallee
07-30-2017, 10:29 AM
I owned a two door 1959 DKW coupe, a 58' three door wagon (Universal) and a 56' four door saloon all of which had "suicide" doors. Truth is, this door arrangement made entrance into and out of these vehicles effortless. I'll bet it was the fear of the doors opening at speed that forced the auto industry to drop this arrangement. As for my experience, I never once had a door open while these cars were at speed.