Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Top 5 ... most unusual car doors ever

Why put a normal set of practical and reliable car doors on your innovative sports car when it could grab all the attention with a pair of these. They don’t just open, they…

SCISSOR… Alfa Romeo Carabo The iconic Lamborghini Countach might have made these famous, but the 1968 Alfa concept car was actually the first to show doors that scissored upwards. Designed for the Bertone design studio by Marcello Gandini (he designed the Countach too), the Carabo’s name is derived from the “Carabidae” ground beetle. Don't you just love the showgirl. And her helmet.

FLAP… Mercedes SLS AMG In homage to the magnificent, 300SL “Gullwing” of the ‘50s, the latest Merc supercar also features a pair of doors that hinge upwards from the roof. V cool… unless of course your garage is narrow and low ceilinged.

BUTTERFLY… Alfa Romeo Stradale A bit like the Lambo’s doors except these so-called dihedral doors don’t just move up, but slightly outwards too. The Alfa – an extremely rare and beautiful road car based on T33 race car – was the first production car to feature them in 1967.

LIFT… Ferrari Modulo Why have doors when you can make the entire roof lift up? Paolo Martin of design studio Pininfarina was thinking waaaay out the box when he came up with this futuristic concept car for the 1970 Geneva Motor Show. Based on a Ferrari 512S chassis, the car won a number of international design awards. The Buck Rogers of Ferraris....

DISAPPEAR… BMW Z1 This was a bit of a surprise. By 1987 we’d thought we’d seen just about every door permutation possible…until those clever lads in Munich turned up at the Frankfurt Motorshow with a new roadster with doors that simply disappeared. Push a small button... and Wolfgang's your uncle... the small doors retracted into the car’s body. It went on sale in 1989.

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