The Cult of Cars, Racing and Everything That Moves You.
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I Wish More Cars Had Sliding Doors

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When you think about the state of the modern automotive industry, I’m sure there are many things you want today’s cars to do better. More power. More electric range. More performance. More autonomous features. And those are all great suggestions. But you know what I want? Sliding doors. I want more sliding doors.

I know what you’re thinking: We’ve finally lost DeMuro. DeMuro has gone off the deep end. DeMuro has listened to so much Jimmy Eat World that his brain is fried and they’re going to find him trying to do laps in a kiddie pool in suburban New Jersey. But if you hear me out, I think that by the end of this column, you will agree that a) sliding doors are God’s gift to the automobile industry, and b) there are many reasons why French workers go on strike.


Here is the situation: I am not sure if you ever find yourself parking your automobile, but I often park my automobile. In fact, I do it basically every time I drive my automobile, usually when I reach my destination, but occasionally when I see there is a Wendy’s on the way to my destination and I really want a Baconator.

Unfortunately, there are two major problems with parking your car in a traditional parking lot. Problem the first: if the spaces are narrow, it is tremendously difficult to open your giant, annoying, hinged doors; doors that were designed back in the horse and buggy days; doors that are also used on many grain storage facilities throughout the Upper Midwest, in order to get out of your vehicle. So what you do is, you open the door ever so slightly, and then you just baaaarely crawl out of your car, like an eel might do if he owned a car.


Problem the second: while you are inside whatever building you have visited, such as a doctor’s office, or a hair salon, or a retirement village, or a store that sells electronics and vaping products, you then have to spend your entire time inside the establishment worrying: is someone going to open their door and dent my car? So then you devote a lot of energy to carefully watching over your car, and when you get home you realize you accidentally bought a television remote instead of a vape pen.

Well, more sliding doors would eliminate both of these issues.

Here’s how: when a vehicle has sliding doors, it is almost impossible for it to dent other cars that are parked next to it. What happens, when you have sliding doors, is that the doors open about three inches, then they slide down the side of the car, and then there’s this huge gap in the middle of the car that you could use, theoretically, to load in a rhinoceros.

The result of sliding doors is that small parking spaces become a breeze, because you can always get in and out of your car, even if you only have a foot or two of space to work with. And then there’s the other major benefit: if every vehicle had sliding doors, you’d never have to worry about your car getting dented while it was parked, because nobody could ever open a sliding door into the side of your car. This leaves you free to browse whatever establishment you wish, and think whatever you’d like. For example: you could visit a shoe store that sells really nice, high-end, top-quality footwear, and you could think to yourself: if an eel owned a car, how the hell would he work the pedals?

Now, I certainly know what you’re thinking this time, and that is: I don’t want sliding doors in my car! Only minivans have sliding doors! And I am way cooler than people who drive minivans, because I went to a party in college where a guy reached into a fish tank and ate a live fish.


But you are wrong. In fact, you’re dead wrong. About ten years ago, Peugeot – noted French automobile manufacturer whose workers are currently striking to get company-issued quill pens – launched a compact hatchback called the 1007, which had these giant sliding doors on both sides. It was a small little car, and it had two rows of seats, and the giant sliding doors made it really easy to access both of them. I love this thing. Whenever I go to France, and I see these on the streets, I always gaze lovingly at them until the owner walks up and says: “Will you join me in going on strike until my company finally gives its workers the tools we deserve, such as Bugs Bunny alarm clocks?”

Unfortunately, the 1007 sold in relatively small numbers, though I chalk this up to the fact that French people were not aware of the many benefits of sliding doors. (Author’s Note: It may have also been because it was ugly.) Fortunately, you now know these benefits, which means we can go forward together and insist that automakers give us what we want: sliding doors. If they refuse, I suspect we can contact the French to organize a strike.


@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars, which his mother says is “fairly decent.” He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer.