View Full Version : Right-hand-drive popular again?

08-29-2004, 04:48 PM
Lately up here in Canada I'm starting to see a lot of RHD cars but from a different source... Japan!

It's becoming fairly common to see a 1987-era Toyota Land Cruiser with RHD, I believe it's the BJ71 series, I've seen at least six of them motoring around Calgary since moving back.

And today I saw a RHD Mazda RX-7 (second series), it had a different badge on the back and the bodyshell was highly modified, I suspect the engine was also suitably modified...

I'm not sure if you'd see as many late model Japanese RHD cars as up here in Canada compared to the United States as any cars older than 15 years can be imported into the country from anywhere in the world, whereas in the United States it's 25 years.

Super 7
08-29-2004, 06:19 PM
I drove a RHD Elan in Alaska for a prettl good while. It was no problem in town, but on the highway, with all the main highways in the state being 2 lane except for Anchorage to Wasilla and Fairbanks to Eilson pretty much, it was a bit of a pain while passing. Veer to the right to try to peek around the car ahead, or you are fully in the oncomming lane before you can see if it is clear. That can be dicey, and not worth the conversational value of RHD. Of course with a passenger to look for you, it was pretty OK.

08-29-2004, 07:18 PM
Of course with a passenger to look for you, it was pretty OK.

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08-30-2004, 09:19 AM
I'm pretty sure this is true:

For many years (at least up to the 50s), Sweden drove on the LEFT side (like UK) but most of the cars had steering wheels on the left (like US). This was due to the fact that the road-shoulders were very rough and it was important for the driver to be able to see them clearly. Passing was no big deal, since there were so few cars.
(EDIT: I edited the above statement after I realized that I had mixed up right/left and UK/US....duh!)

08-30-2004, 10:35 AM
Right hand drive seems romantic enough and nice if you're in control of the vehicle, but if you have to ride with somebody else in control it's a different story -When my wife and I cruised to the Bahamas years ago we needed to take a taxi from the dock where the cruise ship anchored to the motel - Talk about a "White Knuckled Ride" - Enough to make you sweat!

And here in the US - I don't know how the drivers in anybody else's state are but here in NC they'd be wrecking at every twist and turn for gawking at a right hand drive auto - they're really rare and not often seen here!

Bob M.

08-30-2004, 01:07 PM
Apparently its a bit of a trend with those how like modified Civics and such. Everything Japanese Domestic Market or JDM is somehow better and cool. Including RHD. So some people are converted their cars this way! Of course a lot of it is low mileage imports from Japan. Lots out in BC - they seem to be able to ignore the 15 year old rule there somehow too.

My Scimitar is RHD but I've yet to drive (long way off) but its looks reasonable enough to convert to LHD with TR6 steering rack.

08-30-2004, 03:34 PM
Sweden used to drive on the left side of the road up until 1967, now they drive on the wrong side of the road, i.e. the right. Britain is now the only country in Europe still driving on the left. Of course, the Australians and Japanese continue to exhibit good sense in doing the same. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

08-30-2004, 04:26 PM
Reminds me of the old Joke...

The (***insert suitable country stereotype**) are about to start driving on the left starting with the lorries...., the cars will be moved over next week!

08-30-2004, 07:16 PM
I'll bet you see a righty everyday and just don't realize it. Almost all mail trucks in the US are right hand drive. Driving them really isn't that hard.

09-03-2004, 07:39 AM
I've got a RHD '61 Midget I'll have to dig out and start driving, the next time I get to California. I drove a RHD Bugeye when I lived in Tucson, and it was a major pain around town. However, it was a blast on the Interstate when you were following a truck and eased into the left lane to pass. The trucker would look in his mirror and see no one in the "drivers seat"! I actually thought about installing a dummy steering wheel on the left, but decided that may get me some unwanted attention from the local constabulary. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
As far as the rice burner crowd thinking RHD is cool, I think that in their case it would be scary, as most of these clowns I see can't master driving LHD yet!! Not to mention thet the stereo controls may be harder to reach, (particularlly the volume) and we all know how important that is to them.


10-30-2004, 09:13 PM
RHD may be a pain, but I'd love to bring in a Type R Accord.

I thought about making my Elan RHD, even have the dash and steering rack just not the pedal box. I guess I just wasn't that sure how i would like it.

A guy up in the interior of BC is selling a RHD Anglia wagon for $600.00. That might be fun!

Bruce Bowker
10-31-2004, 11:42 AM
Not sure if it is still the case but there was a time when more people drove right hand drive cars then left.

I also remember reading about Henry Ford and I don't recall why he did it, but changed his cars to left hand drive. Otherwise we would all probably be driving right hand.


10-31-2004, 03:36 PM
Interesting topic. Since I just bought a pair of right hand drive Daimlers, I guess I'm going to find out what its like to drive from "the passenger seat".

Can anyone relate what its like the first time? What should I watch for and how can I be sure I'm not crossingh over the center line? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazyeyes.gif

10-31-2004, 04:39 PM
It's really not that hard. Instead of looking at the road centerline (yellow line) to keep your car straight, look at the outer edge marker (white line). I deliver the mail in a right hand drive truck everyday, so I don't even think about it being backwards. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

10-31-2004, 06:15 PM
First thing you will notice is how strange it is to shift with your left hand. Next you will notice that you tend to drive in the middle of the road because when you're to the right, it feels like you're going to hit every parked car. Driving a canyon road will give the impression you're about to fly off the road. Eventually it becomes completely natural despite driving RHD on the right side of the road.

10-31-2004, 10:22 PM
I deliver the mail in a right hand drive truck everyday, so I don't even think about it being backwards. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

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Oh, so THATS where your forum name comes from! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thirsty.gif

10-31-2004, 10:24 PM
First thing you will notice is how strange it is to shift with your left hand.

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That won't be a problem since these are "Pre selector" gearboxes. There is a pre-select shifter on the column like an automatic, then you mash a pedal to change gears. Very odd, but sounds like fun.


10-31-2004, 10:28 PM
Basil, it will be a lot easier to drive the RHD Daimler here, than it was for me to drive a LHD Chevy Impala through the streets of London! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

10-31-2004, 10:39 PM
Basil, it will be a lot easier to drive the RHD Daimler here, than it was for me to drive a LHD Chevy Impala through the streets of London! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

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A few years back there was a lady from England here who went to cross a busy street and looked the wrong way...you can guess what happened.

11-01-2004, 09:26 PM
I deliver the mail in a right hand drive truck everyday, so I don't even think about it being backwards. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

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Oh, so THATS where your forum name comes from! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thirsty.gif

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I never said it was very original /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

11-05-2004, 12:14 AM
Basil, Take a passenger, Navigational Aid, with you the first few times out the daimlers and right hand drive are a bit of a handful.---Keoke /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yesnod.gif

11-05-2004, 02:15 AM
Is this the voice of experience speaking?

11-05-2004, 04:22 AM
Jeff, Never speak without first hand experience, particularly when you do it every day.-Cheers---Keoke

11-11-2004, 11:13 PM
My RHD's in North Carolina bring me a lot of attention and I stay a bit on the confused side myself. The Roadster is RHD with the gear shift on the column on the right, the 37 MG is RHD shifting with the left hand on the floor, the TR6 LHD shifting with the right hand. Thank God for the automatic Ford truck where thinking is an option, but I still go for the floor shift in it, the wifes Jeep is on the floor, Help me!! Wayne

Trevor Triumph
11-12-2004, 02:51 AM
When we bought Hiram the taxi, RHD, we tended to drive with us in the same spot in the road. That is the left side of the car was in the oncoming lane! Not Good. Then to compensate we started to hug the far right side of the lane. Safer but still not good. After a few miles we started to get a feel for where the car was in relation to the lane. Fortunately, we live on less traveled road. It took a little time each time behind the wheel to remember to get in the lane appropriately. The part about passing on two lanes doesn't matter to us, with thirty-five horse power we don't have to worry about passing anything. T.T.

11-12-2004, 10:22 AM
And then of course you have to learn to drive through the McDonalds drive-thru backwards /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif


racing girl
11-12-2004, 10:32 AM
We drove our RHD Ginetta all summer with no problem, it's much easier with a passenger though, to have a quick look before pulling out to overtake. We consider ourselves "driver and navigator!" Where I do get confused sometimes is going from my RHD Ginetta to my LHD Escort (stick) to the automatic minivan. The best though is landing in the UK after a no-sleep redeye flight and picking up a RHD hire car and driving on the LHS of the road again! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif

RG /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/england.gif

11-12-2004, 12:28 PM
but you can pick up your mail without getting out of the car

11-13-2004, 02:29 AM
And you can talk to the driver of the car on your right, face to face. Makes passing the Grey Poupon very easy. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Don Lattimer
12-02-2004, 06:07 PM
Just before purchasing my RHD Marcos, I called a friend with one and asked how hard it was to learn driving on the right-hand side. His comment: "After you make your first mistake, it's easy". He was right! Mine also has the light switch on the left side of the column and the turn signals on the right side. Try that some time...........

12-04-2004, 05:57 PM
Now wait a minute!! I've been driving a RHD Jaguar 420 as a daily driver in the Piedmont of North Carolina for 2 years now. There are at least a dozen other RHD cars I know of including 2 Rolls Royces and an original Mini. Add to that all of the mail vehicles that are privately owned that are RHD Subarus and Jeeps.
My daughter learned how to drive BOTH a RHD and a LHD Jaguar. She prefers the RHD to this day because she finds it easier to follow the side of the road than then figure out where exactly the middle of the road is on a country lane.

It is sometimes difficult to turn left if there is traffic facing you trying to turn to their left (your right). You learn quickly how to develop patience and careful defensive driving skills all over again -- perhaps something everyone needs to re-learn!!!


11-04-2005, 06:29 PM
how long have you been back home in canada?havent you heard?havent you newspaper delivery? no radio? no t.v.?its the new law,everyone must change over to r/h driving by jan 2005!!!!!!!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devilgrin.gif

11-04-2005, 07:17 PM
did you mean '06??

11-04-2005, 11:35 PM
It's always been popular in the UK........

11-10-2005, 04:30 PM
It gets interesting when we dwellers in Great Britain take the ferry to the Continent to cavort amongst the cheese-eating surrender monkeys and dope-smokin' dutchies.

Drive on the ferry on the left- couple hours later, and its off then, on the right.

After a week or two, you finally get to the point where you kind of get it right without constantly thinking about it (and without the wife/co-pilot nervously watching everything done, or not done....)

And then its back on the ferry on the right side, and a couple of hours later off again, but this time on the left....

and the whole process is repeated for the next week or so until you're sure you're home, driving where you're supposed to....

11-11-2005, 09:51 AM
We used to get exactly the same as James, but mirror-image! We lived in France for several years and going back to UK to visit friends and family with a LHD car, even though brought up and learned to drive in UK, was a real PITA!
Around Houston, though, I don't think driving RHD would distinguish you from the crowd. No-one looks when changing lanes anyway!

tony barnhill
11-16-2005, 10:26 AM
I've collected everything I need to convert my '63 MGB to right hand drive except the accelerator pedal & the turn signal switch & steering column cowl

11-16-2005, 11:01 PM
Steering column cowl is available at Moss UK. I had Moss Goleta special order me one a while back. I have a NOS MK I RHD cowl in the box in my garage but I'm afraid to use it!