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NON suicide rear doors

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  • Body / Glass: NON suicide rear doors

    I plan to make sure our "new" '52 Commander four door sedan is safe and dependable and let my son and daughter-in-law drive it some, with their three boys in the back seat. Seat belts will be installed first. I would like to put some sort of safety locks, besides the factory door locks on it to make sure one of the boys never opens a door while going down the road. I don't want to modify the car any more than necessary to do so. Any ever done this? Got any good ideas? Thanks.

  • #2
    IIRC, Studebaker had a safety lock that would not allow the rear doors to open unless the door in front was opened. Someone else will help with more details. Good luck.


    • #3
      It was in the accessory catalogs for 47-52. A spring loaded pin that pinned the rear doors solidly shut unless the front door was opened. Probably not a lot of them left, but probably not very expensive if you found one.

      In the interim, you could just remove the inside door handles until finding the official accessory.
      RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

      17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
      10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
      10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
      4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
      5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
      56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
      60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible


      • #4
        SI used to have them. Pg 91 in the old catalog. If they don't, it is not hard to figure it out.


        • #5
          The door lock kit is AC-1822. I installed one on my 1951 Commander 4dr when the kids were young. There are two pins, one for each side, that go thru the door post (drilling required) and when the front door is closed it prevents the rear door from being opened. There is also a metal plate that can be swung up or down to activate/deactivate the pin(s). The photo below shows a partial kit that is missing one of the plates and the instructions, but gives a general idea of what it looks like.

          Click image for larger version

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          Dan Peterson
          Montpelier, VT
          1960 Lark V-8 Convertible
          1960 Lark V-8 Convertible (parts car)


          • #6
            Yeah, I probably will just remove the inside rear handles for now. I don't want to do any modifications (that a
            re not easily undone) unless they are what would have been done to install the accessory locks. If anyone has an extra set, I'm your guy. Thanks.


            • #7
              They're in SI's online catalog:
              3H-C5 "The Blue Goose"


              • #8
                Also available from Stephen Allen for $22.

                "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                '33 Rockne 10,
                '51 Commander Starlight,
                '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                '56 Sky Hawk


                • #9
                  For whatever it's worth....Back when these cars were newer you rarely heard of anyone falling out of a car. Now, with seat belts, it should be impossible.
                  "In the heart of Arkansas."
                  Searcy, Arkansas
                  1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                  1952 2R pickup


                  • #10
                    Yeah but think of the damage to the car that can be done if the wind catches a rear door and jerks it open at 55+ MPH. Not to mention startling the driver so much he or she might lose control. It happened once when I was riding in a friends '39 Chevrolet 4-door sedan. I was riding on the passenger side in the front and there were two other guys riding in the back. Evidently the passenger in the right rear failed to properly close and latch his door because almost as soon as we got up to cruising speed on the inerstate it flew open. We all practically needed clean shorts. The hinges were "sprung" on the door and it was difficult to close after that. Imagine if that happened in something with "suicide" front doors that are usually wider than rears, like say a '33 or '34 Ford two-door sedan! Yikes! Clean shorts time sure enough!