Lincoln Revives ‘Suicide-Door’ Continental in 1960s Nostalgia

(Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln luxury line, hoping to recapture its Rat Pack glory days, is bringing back so-called suicide doors on a special edition of its Continental sedan.

Lincoln Revives ‘Suicide-Door’ Continental in 1960s Nostalgia

Lincoln rebooted its flagship with great fanfare just three years ago. The classic 1961 model -- which also featured doors that swing open like a clam shell -- became known as the Kennedy Lincoln because it was favored by the 35th president.

Lincoln Revives ‘Suicide-Door’ Continental in 1960s Nostalgia

But the revived Continental never caught on as luxury buyers failed to re-embrace the sedan amid a mass exodus to sport-utility vehicles, including its successful stablemate, the Navigator. Continental sales have collapsed by almost 30 percent this year.

Ford said it will build just 80 copies of the 2019 Continental Coach Door Edition, about three day’s worth of sales at the current pace. At more than $100,000, this version is more than twice the price of the base model, which starts at $46,145. It comes with a variety of extras, including a bigger backseat with a tray table and tablet holder that can be stowed away. The luxury sedan, built at a factory in Michigan that is cutting a shift of workers, goes on sale next summer.

Suicide doors earned their nickname because backseat passengers could be flung from the vehicle if they opened the rear door while it was moving. The Continental’s doors are electronically controlled and can’t be opened if the car is going more than 2 miles per hour.

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