Re: RARA-AVIS: two queries

From: Jim Beaver (
Date: 06 Mar 2000

It's my understanding that the term originates in the fact that opening one of these doors while traveling at a high enough rate of speed will cause the door to be ripped completely open by the airflow and, if you're still hanging onto the door handle, you'll go with it.

Having had an old Renault 4CV with suicide doors, I can attest to the fact that it's pretty easy to get yanked out of the car that way.

Jim Beaver

> > >1) In Pelecanos' 'The Sweet Forever' he refers to 'a Lincoln with
> > >doors.' What are 'suicide doors'?
> >
> > Suicide doors are front seat doors with the position of the catch and
> hinge
> > reversed from what has come to be the norm, i.e. with the trailing edge
> > the door hinged, so that the door opens "backwards." The design showed
> on
> > a few cars in the '30s, but proved unpopular. Lincoln used the design
> > for a year or two, on the Mark I or II, I think. I've no idea of the
> origin
> > of the term, which I first heard from my hot rodder brother in the 50s.
> > PB
> >
> My neighbors had a 1960 Lincoln Continental. The rear doors were suicide
> doors. When both side doors were open it created a very large opening. I
> always figured it meant that if someone came from behind and hit the rear
> door as you were exiting, it would crush you rather than just tearing off
> the door.
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