Weeks ago I was in an intense period of looking for a car, which for me is a borderline obsessive activity. I spend hours per day just scouring every car sales website I can to the point where I know about any one of many cars for sale in a week. Sometimes, you stumble upon things you thought you would never see, and this 1986 Porsche 944 was one of those.
It’s a 944 with suicide doors. Huh? Just suicide doors, no other obvious modifications. What a bizarre choice.
Since you’re on a car site I’m guessing you know what I mean by that — doors that are reverse-hinged, effectively opening backwards — are colloquially called “suicide doors.” The origin of this name is dubious; apparently, it simply sprung from their inherent unsafety.
I took to Google and asked it “porsche 944 suicide door kit?” and it came back with nothing specific, just a bunch of universal kits. What’s unusual is that most of the kits I see are vertical “lambo” door kits that can also be installed backwards, and nothing application specific for the 944. Also, they’re a bunch of strong-looking billet hinges that I cannot spot in the listing for this car.
Of course, I found it on Facebook marketplace, which is where all the Craigslist kooks migrated to after CL got its $5 posting fee. The seller provided a total of four photos, all bad, and half of them of the suicide doors. The description doesn’t illuminate us any further, it just says that the car runs good and that they’re asking $14,500 for an otherwise normal 944.
Looking closely at the images, not only do I not see hinges or anything typical of those door kits I see, I’m almost sure I’m seeing factory Porsche door latches and factory-looking hinges. I can’t see the other side of the latch, but the door frame metal looks modified and cut almost like someone just mirrored the door by swapping the sides. Sounds like straightforward engineering, but… why?
Who thought that they would take a normal old 1986 944 and just put some suicide doors on it. What possesses the mind of that person? My theory is that this conversion was done early, potentially with the first owner in the ’80s, judging by how clean and stock-looking the conversion is. A modern one would be a lot more blingy. I suspect that this car works properly and feels like it has some level of quality, or it’s so custom that it’s irreversible.
Either way, this was a weird find and was unquestionably overpriced. Good luck to the seller, and if someone buys this weird thing let me take a look at it. Should we bring suicide doors back? If you have thoughts, well, the comment section’s open.