About 20 years ago, paraplegic Larry LaBute converted a 1938 Lincoln Zephyr so he could drive it without having to leave his wheelchair. Not only did he add hand controls, but he had to lower the floor and widen the driver’s area to accommodate his chair. A lift had to be installed to to pick up the wheelchair and rotate it into place.
To make room for all of that meant taking out the tunnel for the drive shaft (and significant modifications to the Zephyy’s unibody), resulting in a need to also convert the car to front wheel drive. That was accomplished with a small block Chevy engine, running through an Old Toronado transmission ultimately driving the front end of a Chevy Blazer 4X4.
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One such car would be a major accomplishment. Recently LaBute finished his second wheelchair accessible classic, a 1950 Bentley Mk IV lightweight saloon. The Zephyr had suicide doors, creating a large opening. To make enough room for the lift to operate in the Bentley, which has conventionally hinged doors, LaBute had a frame constructed to which the two doors were permanently fixed. The assembly opens sideways, like a slideout expansion on an RV, creating a huge amount of space for the lift to work. When the doors are closed, however, they look completely stock, as does the rest of the car.