It turns out that BMW is not the only automaker to have toyed with the idea of retractable car doors. Thanks to this video evidence, we now know that Lincoln sponsored an even more elaborate car door mechanism in the 1990s. The mule for the concept was a 1993 Lincoln Mark VIII, from which the B-pillar was removed. Instead of a front-hinged door, the coupe features a retractable panel (complete with an electric window) that slides underneath the car body to allow access. The whole process takes less than 5 seconds from start to finish.
According to auction specialist Ron Susser, "Lincoln executives were concerned about the heavy and wide doors on the Mark VIII in the early 1990s, especially in large cities with tight parking spots." Accordingly, so the legend goes, Lincoln outsourced the problem to a company called Joalto Design Inc, which came up with the concept. Unfortunately for Joalto, the Lincoln Mark VIII concept was even less successful than BMW's Z1, and Ford executives killed the idea before it even got to production.
It turns out that current public demand for the one-of-a-kind doorless wonder is not much higher: Susser recently put the car on on eBay , where it failed to attract its reserve price.