What is a Bear Claw style latch? It is a latch with one or two rotating catches that wrap around a striker pin or bolt. You can mount the striker on the door or on the body door jamb whatever the situation calls for. The strikers are typically mounted on the door jamb while the latch mechanism is mounted on the door. The set I prefer to use are pictured at left, they are the large AutoLoc latches. Aspects of the installation can be difficult, but overall installation by experienced fabricators goes pretty smoothly.
The benefits of a Bear Claw latch are more secure doors, smoother shutting doors, more responsive unlatching, inside of door mounting for cosmetic purposes, and ease of placement on vehicle. Attachment of different types of door solenoids and mechanical openers are easy on AutoLoc's latches with their latch release design. Latches can be ordered with or without door lock mechanism, but usually are ordered without door locks because they're typically installed on cars with shaved (removed) exterior door handles. One of our current projects has just been equipped with AutoLoc Large Bear Claw latches. The plan is to install the stock exterior door handles with a micro-switch to activate a solenoid releasing the latch. To ensure a theft secure door we will install a set-up that cuts the power to the solenoids, along with everything else, when the keychain on the drivers keys is a set distance from the vehicle, the interior handles will still be mechanical for safety reasons.
The possibilities are endless when you start with bearclaw latches as your platform. There are many styles of bear claw latches for your doors to your decklids, and plenty of ways to release them. With safety in mind these are your best bet over most pre-60'S latch designs, so DO NOT hesitate to order yours today.