Product Summary

Universal Fit, 4.50" Overall Length, 2.25" Arm Length

  • These bear jaw latches are an excellent modern upgrade for many hot rods and street rods
  • Modification to the car door is required to install these latches
  • Main body of the latch is zinc plated for corrosion resistance
  • Additional parts available separately or in kit form to simplify installation
  • Sold separately: choose right hand or left hand side

Key Specs

MFG. Part #
BrandSpeedway Motors

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  • Standard size bear jaw latch works well for vehicles with larger car door shells
  • Adds safety and reliability to your hot rod or street rod car door
  • Works with both rod and cable release door handle mechanisms
  • Can be used for standard or suicide door style installations
  • Additional bear jaw door latches can be used as trunk/rumble seat lid latch
  • Works with steel and fiberglass door shells
  • Installs directly into car door shell or use with optional mounting plates
  • Sold individually in left or ride side car door latch
  • Zinc plated for corrosion resistance
  • Works with shaved door handle systems
  • Mounting hardware not included (mounting holes take a ¼-20 fastener)

Modern Safety for Your Hot Rod or Street Rod

Most domestic pre-war vehicles utilized a car door latch mechanism very similar to what you would find on your bedroom door. A tapered spring-loaded car door latch bolt that when the door is closed, simply slips over a striker plate tongue and seats in a depression or groove. This design certainly works well for your bedroom door, but is not the best for a moving automobile, especially one that has been vastly updated decades later with better suspension, more horsepower, and so on that can really push the car to its limits. Occupants need to be secured (use those seatbelts!) and just as importantly, the doors need to stay closed during hard cornering or worst case a collision that involves a rollover. Enter the modern automobile “bear claw” car door latch that rotates and locks around a robust striker pin or "Nader pin." This style of modern door latch has been used in new vehicles since the early 1960s and hot rodders have been retrofitting them to early hot rods and street rods ever since. Today, Speedway Motors makes this process easier with its Universal Standard Bear Jaw car door latches.

Strength and Security You Can Count On

Our Universal Standard Bear Jaw latch is designed for vehicles with large doors, such as ’40s and ’50s model cars and trucks and other “fat fender” rides with thick doors and plenty of mounting room. Do not worry if you are considering a bear jaw latch conversion for your Model A or other early vehicle with a thinner door profile, as we offer both Slim-Line Bear Jaw latches and Mini Bear Jaw latches to fit a wide selection of door profiles. Our latches are constructed of zinc-plated steel body with all steel internals for long life and feature a two-stage latch mechanism just like a modern door latch for increased safety and strength with great holding power.

Works with Any Door—Steel or Fiberglass

Our Universal Standard Bear Jaw door latches can be actuated via linkage rod or cable and require fitting to your door shell. We do offer mounting plates to make the job easier. The door latch plate features pre-cut openings and mounting holes and can be welded into steel doors or bonded into fiberglass doors. The car door latch bodies feature four .26-inch through mounting holes that accept 1/4-20 mounting fasteners (not included). Depending upon door to jamb fitment a button-head fastener may be your best solution. Overall length of the fastener will be determined by your door and inner structure thickness plus the thickness of the latch assembly and door latch plate (if used). Lock nuts are recommended to secure the latch as well.

We offer additional door latch parts to aid your latch conversion, including the correct size striker pins for the door jambs and bolt-on cage nut plates for mounting and adjusting the striker pins for best door fitment. Due to the universal fit nature of these car door latches and door latch parts, modifications to your door shell, inner structure, and door jamb will be required to convert to these Bear Jaw latches, but the additional safety is certainly worth it in our opinion.

Our Bear Jaw latches are sold individually (left and right side specific) and in kit form with everything you need including strikers, weld-on cage nut plates, and mounting plates. These latches are perfect for builds with shaved door handles or to convert to suicide doors (left latch installed in right door, and right latch installed in left door). Add a pair to your project today and ride safely the next time you hit the road!


MFG. Part #
BrandSpeedway Motors
Overall Length4.50"
Overall Width1.88"
Overall Thickness.75"
Centerline of Holes1.60"
Centerline of Holes (Alternate)3.25"
Arm Length2.25"
Material TypeSteel
FinishZinc Plated
Hardware IncludedNo
Sold in QuantityEach
NotesLatches do not have a lock function, use a locking exterior door handle with these