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1985 Lincoln Town Car - Longest car door ever?

Dear Ray,

I read with interest your column in today’s paper. It had to do with car body pillars in general and door widths of coupes and convertibles in particular. Unfortunately, you didn’t provide the answer to my burning question: What was the widest door ever built on a production car? Maybe limit your response to cars that came with insert rod bearings rather than cast babbit bearings so that the possibility of my encountering the car in question during my travels could be plausible. Somewhere I got the impression that it was on the Lincoln Town Car of the mid-1980s at 57." Could you confirm, deny, correct, and of course, comment, please? My desire to know is based on riding my bicycle next to cars parked along traffic lanes. How far out from the edge of the parked car should I ride if I don’t want to be “doored” by a motorist who opens his door without checking?

Thank you for your concern with my continued well-being.


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It is not known if Ray ever replies on this site . The difference in the door width would be so little plus just how far the person opens the door . Just measure your vehicle door and add 6 inches and that will cover most of them . You are not going to encounter many old two door vehicles that had large doors anyway.

Got me curious, truck 50 inches, coupe 53 inches.
Two doors generally have longer doors to provide easier access to the backseat.

I will say the 1975 Cadillac El Dorado with a close second being the 1975 Oldmobile Toronado.

I don’t know how long those doors are in inches but it has got to be nearly 5 feet long! You’d need a second number to get your answer tho… the max angle the door can open and the door length.

Now you need some geometry… Door length x Sine (open angle) = distance from car to ride.

Makes bike riding more complicated than just looking through the rear car window for an occupant and assuming they WILL open the door in your path…

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My backyard neighbor in the 70’s had a Lincoln Continental, a huge 2 door with the longest doors I’ve ever seen. His garage was the same standard size as mine and he had trouble getting into his car in the winter.

In the summer he just left it in the driveway.

I think it’d be a 2 door like that Continental, not a Town Car.

Some of the pony cars must have had long doors. Camaro, Mustang, etc.
If there’s a person getting in or out of a car, never expect them to be reasonable with the door. Some bozos just fling them open, and then leave them wide open while they fasten the seatbelt (maybe), adjust the stereo, make a quick phone call to Aunt Bertha, scan Facebook, etc. You know it, I ride a motor scooter and I know it, and any time you assume different you will be hurt.