Suicide doors were common on cars manufactured in the first half of the 20th century.In the era before safety/seat belts, the accidental opening of passenger doors, especially the front ones where the passenger’s body was adjacent to the door, meant that there was a greater risk of falling out of the vehicle, than with front hinged doors where the airflow pushed the doors closed rather than opening them further. Suicide Doors were especially popular in the gangster era of the 1930s.
After World War II, Suicide Doors design was applied almost exclusively for the rear doors of four-door sedans, if it was used at all. The best-known use of suicide doors on post-World War II automobiles was the Lincoln Continental sedan from 1961 through 1969,and on the unique Lincoln Continental four-door convertible from 1961 through 1967 (the last four-door convertible built in the United States prior to the introduction of the 4-door Jeep Wrangler in 2007.) Many people are familiar with a modified version of the 1961 Lincoln model 74A convertible, known as SS-100-X, because it was the vehicle in which President Kennedy was riding when he was assassinated.
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