The rear-hinged suicide doors that evoke the 1961 Lincoln Continental apparently will make a comeback — part of an effort to bring some old-school pizazz to the modern Conti.
The Continental of that era became known as the Kennedy Lincoln because it was favored by the 35th president. Indeed, the best-known use of suicide doors on post-World War II American automobiles was on those four-door Continental convertibles and sedans that remained in production through 1969.
During its make meeting at the NADA Show in Las Vegas, Lincoln showed dealers a photo of the Continental with the rear-hinged doors and disclosed plans to build the model, according to multiple dealers in the room who didn't want to be identified.
It's not the first time Lincoln has considered suicide doors. The brand toyed with the idea as recently as 2007, but it was a source of tension among designers. Conventional rear doors won out during the process because they were deemed more feasible for a production vehicle.
The company did not discuss timing or details about the doors on the Continental, sales of which have fallen 30 percent through the first two months of this year from the year-earlier period.