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Old October 13th   #1
Samir
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Why Are They Called Suicide Doors?

I sometimes get the strangest questions from the strangest inspirations. This time from this photo of a car at a car show this weekend with 'suicide doors' for the front and rear.


So why are these doors called suicide doors? Did someone commit suicide with one? What's suicidal about a door?

The answer I found here was:
"The theory is that the forward motion of the car could cause the door to fly open, possibly causing the unlucky person sitting next to the door to be pulled out of the car, or the door itself could be ripped from its hinges. It's debatable as to whether this was speculation or reality, but cars of this era did not have seat belts, so there was nothing to hold a passenger in the car. The term "suicide doors" was therefore placed on vehicles with the rear-hinged door configuration, the theory being that anyone inside was on a suicide mission because of the design."

Do you agree with this? Is this just a misnomer that's stayed with us over over half a century for no reason?
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Old October 14th   #2
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I do believe that if you did open this type door with your hand on the door handle when the car was going down the road at high speed (whatever that might be), you could be thrown out. Or perhaps the ganster sitting next to you would assist by a little push! Ops!!! Accident death!!!
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Old October 14th   #3
AJ Ferrari
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Suicide doors remind me of the Mafia for some reason. The name might imply that anyone who is not a Mafia member that opens the door of a car full of Mafia memebers would technically be committing suicide. Don't mess with the Mafia.
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Old October 14th   #4
1 BAD Z
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I think maybe after you buy a car with or install the doors, you want to commit suicide? jk lol
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Old October 14th   #5
mailman
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Back in the 1950s my sister was indeed pulled out of a car with suicide doors when as a child she turned the handle and the door flew open at speed and threw her out on the street. She is lucky to have survived with only cuts and bruises so yes, I think the definition is appropriate. I have heard the term being used as far back as i can remember.
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Old October 16th   #6
2SSRSinBama
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if you push someone out of them an into oncoming traffic... are they still suicide doors?
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Old October 16th   #7
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Old motorcycles had a "Suicide shifter." This is a common name for a motorcycle hand-shifter, found on early designs from around the turn of the 20th Century to the 1940s or 50s.
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Old October 16th   #8
Samir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2SSRSinBama View Post
if you push someone out of them an into oncoming traffic... are they still suicide doors?
Ummm...no?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Freeman View Post
Old motorcycles had a "Suicide shifter." This is a common name for a motorcycle hand-shifter, found on early designs from around the turn of the 20th Century to the 1940s or 50s.
Neat! Why were they called that?
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Old October 17th   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samir View Post
Ummm...no?
Neat! Why were they called that?
Because the bikes have a clutch that you engage with your foot while removing your hand from the handlebar to shift the tank mounted shifter. It is an art to time your shifts so not to have a bump cause you to loose control.
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Old October 17th   #10
Samir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Freeman View Post
Because the bikes have a clutch that you engage with your foot while removing your hand from the handlebar to shift the tank mounted shifter. It is an art to time your shifts so not to have a bump cause you to loose control.
Yes, that does sound hard.
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