JUNE 22, 2010: WE ALL HAVE A FOUR DOOR CAR IN OUR REAR VIEW MIRROR

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There has always been a practical side to family life.

 

‘Once kids are part of the program, you have to add two more doors to the family chariot.’

 

It just happens.

 

The two door hardtop from the early days of marriage gets abandoned at the dealership for something with more doors.

 

These days a four-door sedan comes in a very dynamic package because manufacturers recognize that great lines do not have to be excluded from the car with more than two doors. Such was not the case with cars from previous generations. A four-door sedan rarely shared the rakish body lines of its prettier cousin, the two door hardtop.

 

The four door sedan was essentially a functional hauler with all of the aerodynamics of a box of Kleenex– and with roughly the same curb appeal. All of the above is the basic party line for many car guys as they butcher four door sedans for their rust-free sheet metal donation to a two door hardtop or convertible restoration.

 

We don’t agree.

 

Obviously a four-door sedan was not exactly the stuff of adolescent erotic dreams when we were kids, but they were a big part of our lives. They were probably the first car ride home from the hospital for most of us in our first days post partum.

 

Most of us got crowded into the back seat of four-door sedans and station wagons for summer holidays with our over-sized Baby Boomer families. Success on these trips was any incident where the car-sick kid was closest to an open car window. Either that or emergency back seat exits from these situations made all of us glad that there were more doors.

 

 

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Our parents had the practical angle of a four-door sedan figured out long before we did as their kids. We wanted the sporty look even though we had overlooked the obvious drawbacks to a back seat in a two door hardtop. The kind of back seat with less leg, head and, most importantly elbow room. If you had an uneasy truce with your siblings before you started a long summer holiday road trip, rest assured that prolonged incarceration in a two door hardtop would produce a war zone. Possibly a car-sick war zone with plenty of collateral damage.

 

 

All of this discussion leads to our basic point: There is always room for more doors at a car show. They are a big part of the automotive past for everybody and they have gotten better looking with age. They share the same basic look of the more glamorous hardtops, so they are an unmistakable presence on today’s roads.

 

 

Park an old four-door sedan in any shopping mall lot and it will steal the show. It’s not even a close contest. They have a distinctive brand and year look from a bygone era and even people with no car love in their souls will take a long look at them.

 

 

So let’s give our faithful four doors their just rewards- a place of well-deserved honor in car world.

 

Jim Sutherland

 

 

 

COMMENTS

DENNIS:”Have you priced a 40’s thru 60’s era 4 door sedan lately?”

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