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"suicide" doors

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  • #16
    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.

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    • #17
      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.
      Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by spokejr View Post
        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

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        • #19
          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-la...to-ua9615.html
          Trying to build a 48 Studebaker for the 21st century.
          See more of my projects at stilettoman.info

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          • #20
            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...
            sigpic

            Josephine
            -55
            Champion V8
            4d sedan

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            • #21
              A four door vehicle with normal front doors and suicide rear doors is referred to as having "kissing doors".
              The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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              • #22
                Originally posted by 48skyliner View Post
                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.c...rty-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

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                • #23
                  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.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by qsanford View Post
                    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.
                    Gary L.
                    Wappinger, NY

                    SDC member since 1968
                    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                    • #25
                      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.

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