Once deemed dangerous, suicide doors are making a comeback on the Lincoln Continental.
Ford is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the long-lived luxury Lincoln line by making 80 cars in 2019 with the classic center-opening doors that once served as the signature of the Continental.
The doors are not just a gimmick or aesthetic flourish. By opening toward the rear of the car, they allow passengers in the rear seats to enter and exit the vehicle more comfortably. Passengers don't have to lean forward to push the door open or pull it closed, for example.
The design was featured commonly on horse carriages, hence the name "coach doors." Over time they had come to be called "suicide doors," thanks to the danger of the wind forcing the rear door open while driving at high speeds, according to automotive historians. This was particularly dangerous in the era before seat belts.