3-door coupes and other oddities

Every now and again, automakers like to try odd door-combinations - and they rarely catch on with customers.

Staged doors
Staged doors
Hyundai has been on a tear lately, with its cars so popular and in such short supply that dealers like to say they are selling them off the truck.

But when I heard about the latest Hyundai, a sporty compact called the Veloster, I thought to myself, "Hasn't it heard about the curse of the strange doors?"

You see, the Veloster has one door on the driver's side and two doors on the passenger side for a total of three. It is an asymmetrical exercise in utility and styling flexibility that is likely to be at risk in the marketplace.

The same goes for extra doors that don't follow the natural order of things because they are hinged in the rear and open to the front, don't have outside handles, or are otherwise compromised. People who think of themselves as automotive innovators have been fiddling with the basic rear-opening door formula for years without improving it

It's liker trying to build a better paper clip. The original works fine; why mess with it? Customers know the difference -- and they will punish automakers for their unnatural acts.

Herewith, a gallery of three-door coupes and other automotive oddities:

By Alex Taylor, senior editor-at-large - Last updated October 26 2011: 5:29 PM ET
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