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1935 Studebaker Questions

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From: SandyDriver@aol.com <BR>To: peterg@aaca.org <BR>Date: 08/07/2002 04:51 PM <BR>Subject: Question, please <P><BR>Hi, <BR>I am trying to find out a bit of information, please. My aging father-in-law has told me his first automobile was a 1935 Studebaker sedan with "suicide doors." Can you please briefly explain to me what a suicide door is? Also, which make and model of the 1935 Studebaker would have sported such doors? I need this information for a short piece I'm writing about his life. I would also like to know what size motor was in a 1935 Studebaker. <P>Thank you for any information you can offer to me.<P>Sandy W. Driver in Alabama

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Sandy,<P>Suicide doors on a car were doors that were hinged at the back of the door and opened in the front. There are some cars from the mid 1930s with front opening doors such as the 30s Ford, Studebaker, Auburn and others. Also, many early four door models had rear doors that opened in the front (with the front doors opening conventionally).<P>I have always heard that suicide doors got their name, because if you were in a crash and the door opened... you had a chance of being thrown forward out the door.<P>I can't say for sure that this is the origin for the name but it is what I have always heard. Someone may have another explanation why they are called "suicide doors".<P>I have seen front suicide doors on Studebakers from the 20s and 30s. In the early to mid 50s Studebakers, the rear doors of four door models were "suicide doors".<P>Engine sizes for the 1935 Studebaker:<P>Dictator Six - 205.3 cubic inch, 88hp at 3600rpm<BR>Commander Eight - 250.4 cubic inch, 107hp @3600rpm<BR>President Eight - 250.4 Cubic inch, 110hp @3600rpm<P>The above engine specifications were obtained from the 1935 section of the "Official Studebaker Reference Guide" at: <A HREF="http://www.mt.net/~ebenasky/years/1935.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.mt.net/~ebenasky/years/1935.html</A><P>Hope this helps.<P>PS. At the above URL, there are some photos of 1935 Studebakers with front suicide doors.<p>[ 08-08-2002: Message edited by: BruceW ]

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My father just brought up the "suicide door" last weekend. He told me they were called that because if you ever had to slam the door shut while driving (e.g. not closed properly), the second you opened the door, the wind would take it and YOU clear out of the car.

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Thanks so much for the information. I really appreciae it.

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...done that. I did once have my front "suicide door" pop open while traveling at about 35 MPH. Didn't get pulled out but it was scary. Fixed the worn striker plate that caused the problem.<P>And from then on I have made sure car does not roll until I have verified that all the doors are securely latched <strong>and locked.</strong>

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I know this isn't standard stock stuff, but you buy dead bolt pin kits from any rod shop to prevent the "dangling out the door in the highway" deal. It's real hard on those Teany-bobbers. Wayne grin.gif" border="0

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