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Old 19th May 2017, 01:22   #41 (permalink)
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The Skyliner was the one I always wanted. 140 microswitches IIRC

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=19...14dLWwHfDTLQM:

Gosh, this was it to a T. Same seats in that mature finish.

Pal used to put on his white band suit and drive the Clacton Carnival Queen about - sitting up on the back. For some reason folk used the car as a collecting bucket and hefted pennies into it. Big old pennies. The finish was the new Diamond Enamel, but not that diamondy. The car was wrecked - all with people's generosity.


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Old 19th May 2017, 05:00   #42 (permalink)
 
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Old rumor has it that putting the driver in the seat closest to oncoming traffic was supposed to be safer.

We (US) drive on the right, and the driver's position is in the left side of the car. All y'all elsewhere do it backwards, with all your driving on the left and the poor driver still right there in an oncoming lane, almost.

I don't really care, personally. I'll drive in any lane available, from either side of the car.

I'm not one who comes up in carpool rotation too often, either, which I also like a lot. The puking and pooping and peeing takes time out of my day when I have to go hose the car out.

And I can't say that I like the praying, screaming, and fainting too much either. Makes it hard to text, because all of it is so distracting. I hate people who pass out or faint, because it takes a lot of effort to get someone who's comatose out of your car.

You can't just leave them in it, because of heat. And fresh air. And stupid laws.

I've tried driving over the curb and parking under a tree, which didn't make much difference for the fainted person and more or less got my car towed away.

You can pretty much drive on any side of the road in this country, so long as there are no distinct dividers, but be very careful about driving on the wrong side of a turnpike or divided highway.

The same idiots who fall asleep while driving their cars will get supremely upset if you do this.

Somehow, we can adapt to oncoming traffic under certain conditions, but not universally. It seems to really tax some folks' ability to concentrate and just drive their own darn car. We've become a nation of sheep.

Cheers!
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Old 19th May 2017, 05:43   #43 (permalink)
 
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While living in the States I'd occasionally be asked why we in the UK drive on the 'wrong' side of the road.. I'd retaliate by explaining that it dates back to when we rode horses on the more narrow twisty roads of the UK.. Horses always being mounted from the left and riders commonly carrying swords (try mounting a horse from the right with a sword dangling from your left side and you'll be singing soprano at the next ale house stopover)... mounting the horse while on the left side of the road made more sense as you'd be standing at the side of the road... if on the right side of the road you'd be standing in the middle mucky part of the road. So while the Brits were out there building an Empire the rest of the world were standing around in horse sh*t.
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Old 19th May 2017, 05:56   #44 (permalink)
 
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Here's a place that switched sides and then switched back again.

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Old 19th May 2017, 06:54   #45 (permalink)
 
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The Italian rule of the road history is complicated, as at one time it was different in the town and the country (can't remember which was which).
I am fairly sure they drove on the left in the country, and right on the town. But I am still curious to the reasons behind it.
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Old 19th May 2017, 07:32   #46 (permalink)
 
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With the Poms if yer wondering how something became the 'convention' then always look first to the Navy. The old time ships that were pointy at both ends (think Viking long boat) had the hand held rudder oar on the right hand side of the boat - the 'steer board' side. And to stop the right hand side rudder being damaged by docking they always docked to the Port side of a boat. Hence now on aircraft we have port and starboard sides and car drivers sit to the right in Rule Brittania land..





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Old 19th May 2017, 07:55   #47 (permalink)
 
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The RHD layout of some early French and Italian cars flowed from having an external gearchange. It was easier for right handed drivers to change with the right hand so they had to sit on the right. That doesn't help me, I'm left handed. All Lancias up until about the late 1950s were RHD.

If you watch Western films, the stage coach driver always sits on the right. That's so he can manipulate the whip on the right side, without it getting tangled up in the gubbins.
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Old 19th May 2017, 08:02   #48 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Yamagata ken View Post
If you watch Western films, the stage coach driver always sits on the right. That's so he can manipulate the whip on the right side, without it getting tangled up in the gubbins.
What, exactly, are gubbins and where can I get some?
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Old 19th May 2017, 08:16   #49 (permalink)
 
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Why is it always 'left hand side' and 'right hand side'?
Why the 'hand' each time even when the hand isn't involved?

Left side and right side seem quite adequate.
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Old 19th May 2017, 08:20   #50 (permalink)
 
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Gubbins are the technical bits. If you look at the front end of a stagecoach (or wagon) There are shafts, chains, harnesses etc. I don't know the correct terms, so gubbins serves very well. That's where you can get some, but if you don't have a wagon handy, you can take your computer or washing machine apart. Then you'll have plenty of gubbins.
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Old 19th May 2017, 08:28   #51 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Sallyann1234 View Post
Why is it always 'left hand side' and 'right hand side'?
Why the 'hand' each time even when the hand isn't involved?

Left side and right side seem quite adequate.
Could it be to do with trying to be more explicit, an attempt to avoid confusion over the words "right" and "left", which have more than a single meaning?
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Old 19th May 2017, 09:06   #52 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Yamagata ken View Post
The RHD layout of some early French and Italian cars flowed from having an external gearchange. It was easier for right handed drivers to change with the right hand so they had to sit on the right. That doesn't help me, I'm left handed. All Lancias up until about the late 1950s were RHD.
What puzzles the easily confused is that no cars seem to have been built with the gearchange to the left of the driver in a LHD car. The idea that drivers should use their favoured hand for gear-changing is actually not too sensible, as you don't need much sensitivity to whack the lever into whichever position will give the gear you want.
Early cars with the outside gear lever also had the handbrake on that side and it controlled the intended prime braking system. That means that slowing for a junction and changing down to the gear you need next does take some dexterity.
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Old 19th May 2017, 12:29   #53 (permalink)
 
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Re the thread starters original question, I understood that Henry Ford was the person who decided that American cars all should be LHD.

National Geographic - the Right and Left stuff - why countries drive on different sides of the road

It's interesting talking to Americans on various forums. Invariably, without fail, when RHD and LHD and country differences are raised, the Americans all insist, "I could never learn to shift gears with my left hand!"

However, the vast majority of Australians are naturally right-handed, but I've yet to hear any Aussie complain about how difficult it is to change gears with the left hand.

Funnily enough, Caterpillar, originator of the crawler tractor, that quintessentially American machine - and the machine that has changed the face of the world over the last approximately 100 years - has had its gearshift mechanism almost always on the left of the seat, since the 1960's.
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Old 19th May 2017, 13:54   #54 (permalink)
 
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It's interesting talking to Americans on various forums. Invariably, without fail, when RHD and LHD and country differences are raised, the Americans all insist, "I could never learn to shift gears with my left hand!"
Gear shift in the US? Not very widely used if at all. No idea about real aussies though, all the rental cars i got there had automatic transmissions. That said, switching to the other side wasn't really all that difficult, just when thinking hard about something else i noticed after around half an hour that i was driving on the wrong side, which didn't matter much, didn't meet any other traffic for another two hours on that road, and they have those insanely low speed limits.
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Old 19th May 2017, 14:28   #55 (permalink)
 
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Via MungoP: While living in the States I'd occasionally be asked why we in the UK drive on the 'wrong' side of the road.. I'd retaliate by explaining that it dates back to when we rode horses on the more narrow twisty roads of the UK.. Horses always being mounted from the left and riders commonly carrying swords (try mounting a horse from the right with a sword dangling from your left side and you'll be singing soprano at the next ale house stopover)... mounting the horse while on the left side of the road made more sense as you'd be standing at the side of the road... if on the right side of the road you'd be standing in the middle mucky part of the road. So while the Brits were out there building an Empire the rest of the world were standing around in horse sh*t.
Having a look through the Oz historical newspaper records site i came across an article from 1820 that backs up the horse reasoning.
The article reminds readers that it is law in Australia to drive on the left, or near side, of the road. In 1820 Australia were still part of the empire so the law was English law... 19 Aug 1820 - GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS. - Trove





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Old 19th May 2017, 14:41   #56 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by onetrack View Post
....Funnily enough ......has had its gearshift mechanism almost always on the left of the seat, since the 1960's.
True, but that's because the right hand is pretty much occupied with blade and ripper controls. arguably requiring more attention than fore / aft which is pretty much all that is needed for dozing operation and even less so for ripping.
And any of the old mechanical box machines had the gear stick right between the operator's legs, IIRC.
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Old 19th May 2017, 15:06   #57 (permalink)
 
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Heh, depending on the vintage of the dozer they can be either left, right, or centre steer. My old 1980's bull tilt machine centre steers with out load and is right hand steer by blade under load. I understand them new fangled high tracks have a left hand diff steer..


Quote:
Via onetrack: Re the thread starters original question, I understood that Henry Ford was the person who decided that American cars all should be LHD...
Considering Ford made his public start from a racing car it may very well be the direction of Yank horse track racing that decided it. (Oft times early car races were on horse tracks) Better to sit on the track 'inside' of the car.

Re horse racing... "...The noted English racing journalist, David Ashforth, believes that 18th century colonial politics were influential in persuading the Americans to race left-handed. Thoroughbred racing in colonial America was centred on Virginia where it was an elitist activity, identified with the ruling British authorities. Races were run right-handed. The War of Independence brought a reaction against all things British, including the way in which racing had been conducted..." continues: (remove the dollar signs)
http://risaaustralia.$blo$gspot.com.au/2012/12/why-race-courses-are-clockwise-or-anti.html





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Last edited by Flying Binghi; 20th May 2017 at 06:12. Reason: Make link work
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Old 19th May 2017, 17:15   #58 (permalink)
 
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However, the vast majority of Australians are naturally right-handed, but I've yet to hear any Aussie complain about how difficult it is to change gears with the left hand.
Born and raised in the USA driving on the right side of the road, but on my various travels to the UK and Australia I've driven many thousands of miles on the wrong, er, I mean left side of the road. Shifting with my left hand was low I my concern list, but missed shifts were not particularly uncommon.
While driving on the left requires considerable concentration (and hence I fatigue much quicker), my biggest concern has been if things go pear shaped in front of me, respond improperly. Decades of driving on the right have convinced my sub-conscious that your best escape route is generally to the right - which isn't the case if you're driving on the left.
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Old 19th May 2017, 17:25   #59 (permalink)
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Early in my driving career I spent time working in Germany driving LHD cars, and when I returned to the UK I continued to have access to LHD vehicles, so I became 'ambidextrous' by the time I moved to Denmark with my RHD car.
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Old 19th May 2017, 17:51   #60 (permalink)
 
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Anybody in a position to comment on the unpopularity of BMW's I-Drive system in RHD countries, because 'normal' right handed people have trouble operating it with their left hand?
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