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Knock knock. Who’s there? It’s the doors


Knock knock. Who’s there? It’s the doors

Know your scissors from your butterflies with this ode to car doors

Motoring editor, reporter and presenter

This week I want to talk about the doors. And before the literary mob sharpens its pitchforks, I don’t mean the 1960s rock band fronted by Jim Morrison.

It’s the motoring section, of course. We’re referring to those handy swinging sections that facilitate ingress and egress. Doors don’t get as much airtime as other aspects of cars’ anatomies, but they really should. They are, after all, a crucial line of defence, sealing occupants in from the outside world. Replete, in some cases, with side-impact protection beams and airbags.

Let’s not forget that, apart from safety, they’re also important technological components, housing switches, speakers, sensors and paraphernalia essential to many conveniences expected in a modern ride. A far cry from the flimsy hatchways of a 1908 Ford Model T, for example. Wood was a popular coachbuilding material too in those days — imagine how ghastly that was in a crash. Talk about a splinter in the side. Suicide doors, anyone? First used on horse-drawn carriages, they were so named because their rear-hinged layout resulted in a propensity to fling open at times, possibly throwing passengers under fast-moving hooves on cobblestoned roads...

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