The British car industry led the way in many things, not all of them entirely good. Well, to be honest, many of them not good at all. Amongst its lasting legacy was a strange commitment to sharing doors between models.
Quite why British Leyland felt it necessary to compromise its new designs by forcing them to share doors is unclear. Presumably the cost of making the doors was not a huge consideration when compared to the compromises it bestowed. And yet the idea persevered - from the monstrous Maxi and Landcrab to the Maestro and Montego, British Leyland continued to throw obstacles into its own path, presumably for the sheer joy of attempting - and failing - to overcome them.
Here, then are our favourite door-sharing designs.
1. Saab 9000 & Lancia Thema
Lancia wanted a saloon, Saab wanted a hatchback. So of course when it came to seeking synergies in their shared design, they chose the doors. Namely the items which, if shared, would work smoothly with one configuration but not the other. The result is a Thema that looks ok and a Saab that had to make do with a very 80s wraparound rear screen in order to look faintly normal. Bizarrely, when Saab created a booted 9000 it looked awful, like a Kim Kardashian prototype. On wheels. From Sweden.
2. Peugeot 309 & 205
The Peugeot 309 was really a Talbot, until Talbot suddenly ceased to exit just before the car reached the market. So it became the 205's bigger brother, except that quite a lot of it - and not just the doors - are from the smaller car. Think running gear and suspension too. That most buyers overlooked is proof of the dowdy Pug's innate abilities. Even if quite a lot of those abilities really belong to another car.
3. Maestro & Montego
4. Jaguar S-Type & Mk2
5. Maxi & Austin 1800
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