The disappearing car door is labelled a “revolutionary concept in car technology” by its creators Jatech. The disappearing car door is a spin on the convention car door employed in nearly all automobiles today. Instead of the outward swinging hinged doors we are all familiar with, they have developed a door that retracts down into the body of the vehicle. To see exactly what I’m talking about, check it out on their website. Jatech have fitted the disappearing doors to Lincoln sedans, but can do custom fittings to customer’s vehicles of choice.
Vehicles customised with the Jatech doors aren’t the only non-conventional car doors around. Kaiser vehicles, produced between 1945 to 1953, featured some car models which used “pocket doors”, doors which slide into the front fenders of the vehicle, on either side of the engine. I spotted one of these models myself at the Louwman Musuem in the Netherlands.
Although Jatech put some clever market into their “revolutionary design”, the idea is not new. The BMW Z1, produced for a short time between 1989 to 1991 featured vertical sliding doors that slid down into the chassis. The doors, like those designed by Jateach are operated by electric motors. In an emergency, the doors can be operated manually. The body even has improved structural strength, meaning the car can be driven with the doors open or closed safely, although this is not legal in the USA unless imported as a show and display vehicle.
In 1993 Lincoln also toyed with the idea of retractable doors, due to the overly large doors on their luxury sedans. They had a third party company install similar retractable doors on a concept vehicle, but didn’t like the idea and disposed of the concept car. It was sold on eBay in 2007.
So retractable car doors are there roaming around the world, but it seems as though for the foreseeable future our conventional doors will be here to stay. And maybe that’s a good thing, because at least the simple hinge doesn’t require an electric motor with a lifespan.
Via Luke Himself