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Passenger door locks in old trucks??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by fitzee, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. fitzee
    Joined: Feb 26, 2003
    Posts: 2,862


    I keep meaning to ask this question and I keep forgetting it.In many of the 50`s trucks I have noticed that there are only lock cylinders on the passenger door of the truck. Seen it on a few F100 and notice it tonight on a Studebaker truck. be interesting to know the story behind only having a key lock on the passenger side and not on the drivers
  2. I wondered the same thing when I was doing my '49 chev pickup.
    Someone told me it was a safety thing, so you had to lock the drivers door then slide across to get out on the sidewalk and lock it from outside.
    Dunno if it's right!!
  3. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,222


    What I have heard for decades;

    Started on all cars in the 20s at least. Some cities had laws that you had to exit your car on the curb side, rather than open the driver door into traffic.
  4. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,389

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    It was generally accepted that the driver would exit the vehicle and then walk around to the passenger side and open the door for the passenger.

    While this was being done the passenger would push down on the drivers door handle to lock the door.

    Then the passenger door could be locked.

    It was also thought by some people to be safer for the driver to enter from the passenger side of the vehicle when parked. As mentioned above there may have been laws in some locations dealing with entering and exiting the vehicle.

  5. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,507


    That was so you could let your lady friend (or wife) in...first...and when you held the door for her to get out, you could lock it up...Gentlemen would do that back then...

    A lot of the early 40's sedan and coupes had the same least, that's what I heard as to why they only had locks on the passenger's door may not be 100% accurate.

  6. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 11,262

    from Tampa, FL

    Common practice on old vehicles. Safer to get out and enter from the curb, they once thought. And a bench seat is easy to slide over on.

    Anyone remember the days when you'd unlock the door for your girl and she'd slide over and pull the knob (ha ha) to unlock the driver side door for you? Gary
  7. wizzard23
    Joined: Dec 12, 2009
    Posts: 733


    I always wondered why Barny Fife got in and out on the passengers side.
  8. Same reason that Model T roadsters and touring cars up through '26 didn't have an opening door on the driver's side.
  9. gas pumper
    Joined: Aug 13, 2007
    Posts: 2,957

    gas pumper

    Early 50's .. We garaged and serviced Telephone co trucks. They had a decal on the dash "Curb Side Safe Side"
  10. B Ramsey
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 646

    B Ramsey

    and you couldnt lock your keys inside, at least on the '51 chevy pickup i had. needed key to lock door from outside.
  11. Bad Daddy
    Joined: Nov 13, 2010
    Posts: 829

    Bad Daddy

    I wish that were true on the old Fords. Lock the doors by lifting up on the inside handles and close them while getting out, you're screwed. I learned the hard way with my coupe. Luckily for me I didn't lock the truck. I unlocked the door using an aluminum baseball bat. . .
  12. adamshumard
    Joined: Jan 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,380


    I was lookin at that tonight on my new 53 chevy pickup. Can it be easily swapped over to the drivers side?
  13. What you guys said is true. Both reasons have their validity. Notice, in old movies, the driver (if alone) will open the passenger side and slide across to the driver's side, even if it's unlocked to start with. If you'll notice, most cars really didn't have a key lock on the driver's side until the early '50s. If he was carrying a lady passenger, he'd open the passenger door, open the door and seat that young lady. She'd reach across and unlock/open the driver's door from the inside, and the man would get in.
  14. HOTFR8
    Joined: Nov 30, 2010
    Posts: 2,075


    This is interesting as this concept carried through until the 70's in Australia in many commercial vehicles as they only had locks on the passenger doors.
  15. shoveled71
    Joined: Jun 3, 2007
    Posts: 159


    On mid fifty Ford trucks if you have the Custom Cab option it came with locks on both sides...
  16. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,519

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus

    Both my 32 3W and 40 Ford coupe had a key on the right side. So does my 49 Mercury pickup ... but in 1951 ... Ford came out with the 5 star option on the pickups. The 5 star cabs have a lock on both doors ( plus other upgrade features ) :D
  17. hudson hot rod
    Joined: May 9, 2009
    Posts: 266

    hudson hot rod

    My 56 S100 International truck, lock on pass side only.
  18. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 53,393


    My friend had a habit of unlocking the door, opening it, then locking it again (real quick to do this if you leave the key in the lock when you open the door). So he'd drive around with the outside handle locked. Real easy to lock the keys in the truck that way....
  19. willowbilly3
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,356

    Member Emeritus
    from Sturgis

    In the days (not so long ago) before all the power locks and the keyfob clicker, if on a first date, I unlock the drivers door and let said date in, if she did not slide across and unlock my door as I walked around, there would be no second date. You just knew right there that she had no class.
  20. skidsteer
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 1,251


    I thought this was an old thread when I first saw it. Covered on here about a year ago.
  21. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,389

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    26 and 27 have drivers doors.
  22. Seems like the early Fords had the spare mounted where it blocked the area where a driver's door would be.
  23. Big Nick
    Joined: Sep 7, 2005
    Posts: 847

    Big Nick

    My 52 Chevy has the lock on the passenger side but I had a 50 Dodge business coupe that had a lock on both.

    As far as the law, its still in effect in NY, just not enforced but a few years ago I got a red light ticket and the ADA knocked it down to no points and "opening a door into traffic", so i guess they use it when they can.
  24. HemiRambler
    Joined: Aug 26, 2005
    Posts: 4,208


    I learned this the hard way too. I "locked" myself out of my Ford truck WITH the keys still in my hand. The door lock mechanism and the key lock are two separate mechanisms. It was a weird feeling being locked out with the keys in my hand!!!!

    Live and learn

  25. 57Custom300
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,396

    from Arizona

    Now there is only the lock cylinder on the drivers side on new cars. So much for chivalry.
  26. Does anyone know if there is a aftermarket kit to add a key lock to the drivers door.
  27. BaBa
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 114


    I never could find one. The lock mechanisms on each door are different. On the driver's door you push the handle forward and it locks teh door. On the passenger side it only locks with the key (at least on my 49). I installed remote power locks on mine.
  28. People used to get hit all the time,exiting on the drivers side. That's why it became illegal .
  29. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash

    My '37 Nash only has a key lock on the passenger side...
  30. MoparJoel
    Joined: May 21, 2012
    Posts: 860


    My 57 Dodge truck has em on both sides, dust caps and all.

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