Design and Assembly

Recently we returned to the theme of A-pillars.

Peugeot 1007
Peugeot 107

I went hunting for the ones where the door panel and A-pillar share a surface. It means a shutline runs down the “visual” A-pillar which is itself continuous with the cant rail. It didn’t stop there… I found these three interesting ways to divide the bodyside. Above: note the door’s top edge cuts into the visual A-pillar. The actual A-pillar is partially exposed and part covered. Neatly, there is no need for a pressing to extend from the edge of the roof down to the sills.

Nissan Juke
Nissan Juke

You might not like the Juke. I think it’s great fun. Look at that surface expression.  What is hard to avoid conceding is that the panel break-up is rather clever, especially at the rear (the Murano also had a clever trope). Look at the panel with the fuel filler cap. It is bounded by the door so, again, a smaller pressing can extend from the A-pillar to the rear arch and no further. Nasty welds can be hidden under the door.

VW New Beetle 2
VW New Beetle 2: don’t ask me if I like this car.

When does the pursuit of smaller pressings become a problem? When you notice immediately how many there are and the small pressings require more panel gaps. I count five panels on the Beetle and the least satisfactory is the one under the A-pillar where you’ll see a little triangular gap. The Juke has four panels and the thrifty Peugeot four as well but one is a sliver.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

4 thoughts on “Design and Assembly”

  1. Richard. It’s hard not to take it personally that you are focussing on what I’m sure you know is, to my eyes, a particularly unpleasant shutcrime in the Juke – even if not on a par with the current Focus. Yes, there’s a single panel behind the rear door, but I can’t help but imagine these as unfixed components, and the meandering shape of that rear panel irritates me greatly. Admittedly, just the other week I was admiring the masterful rear side panel of my Mum’s Golf 4 so maybe I’m being extreme.

    The more I think about split A pillars , the more I dislike them. They infer weakness.

  2. I have seen doors that completely include the A-pillar (therefore abutting the windscreen) and cut into the roof referred to as autoclave doors, as that’s what they look like. I believe the Fiat Uno was a pioneer of this style.

    1. Yet again I cite the Golf Mark 4 as an exemplar of that. The Mark 3 tried, but used a very wide black fillet to avoid the door frames having to curve. And the Mark 5 reverted to door and pillar. But the Mark 4 did it perfectly.

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