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THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: A Look At Right-Hand Drive Auction Vehicles

Written by Nicole Ellan James

1972 JAGUAR E-TYPE CUSTOM ROADSTER BY BEACHAM

Your bags are packed and you’re ready to tour your destination in style; all that’s left is selecting the perfect vehicle for your vacation. Depending on where you go, that could mean driving a right-hand drive vehicle on the left side of the road or a left-hand drive vehicle on the right side of the road — confused yet?

According to World Standards, as of January 2022, about 35% of the world’s population drives on the left. Most of the countries that continue to practice right-hand driving are either current or former British colonies.

1995 NISSAN SKYLINE

The practice can be traced back to the ancient Romans, who would steer their carts with their left hand, freeing up their right to defend against enemies, and the medieval period, between 1066 and 1485, when it was common to see knights and sword fighters. Right-handed swordsmen preferred to keep to the left side of the road so they could easily use their right hand to employ their sword at an approaching opponent.

Similarly, between 1603 and 1867 in Japan, samurai walked on the left due to the position they carried their sword. This gave them the ability to quickly draw their sword with their right hand at a moment’s notice.

Given that left-handedness was suppressed during this time, it’s easy to see why staying to the left was the norm. The British government passed measures to make left-hand traffic the law in 1773, and in 1872 Japan cemented its preference for driving on the left with its first railway system built with help from the British, with trains traveling on the left.

Meanwhile in France, Napoleon, who was left-handed, favored the right side of the road as a military tactic, which the country adopted. By the late 1700s in the United States, it became common for people to use large wagons pulled by multiple pairs of horses. The driver rode on the left rear horse so they could more easily control the team of horses with their right hand. Naturally, drivers began passing on the left to avoid collisions, and traffic shifted to the right.

1956 VOLKSWAGEN 23 WINDOW MICROBUS

The rise of the automobile and Ford’s ability to mass-produce reliable and economical vehicles led more countries to convert to driving on the right side of the road, as the cars exported by Ford remained left-hand drive.

Over the years, Barrett-Jackson has seen many right-hand drive vehicles cross the block. Many of the highly prized collectibles are from British and Japanese automakers. Rolls-Royce and Bentley would be suitable options if you are craving a luxurious right-hand drive vehicle for your adventure. If you plan to take the road less traveled, you can’t go wrong with a Land Rover Defender. Need something smaller? Try a Jaguar, Austin-Healey, MG, Morris Minor or a Mini Cooper. Those with a need for speed will want to check out the Honda NSX, Nissan GT-R and Toyota Supra.

If you prefer American-branded vehicles, don’t worry. Some examples of American-made right-hand drive vehicles that have rolled across the Barrett-Jackson block include a 1964 Chrysler Valiant pickup sold exclusively in Australia and a 1947 Ford Woody Wagon sold in England as a right-hand drive model.

For those who want to experience the world behind the wheel of “the ultimate driving machine,” BMW has even produced a few right-hand drive European models of its 320i coupe. Volkswagen has you covered if you need a right-hand drive bus or a beetle.

Driving on the left or driving on the right, getting there with style is what makes it fun. Here’s a look at some of the spectacular right-hand drive cars that have crossed the Barrett-Jackson block over the years.

1989 NISSAN SILVIA CONVERTIBLE

1994 DAIMLER DOUBLE-SIX SEDAN

1971 MITSUBISHI COLT GALANT GTO

1996 TOYOTA SUPRA TURBO CUSTOM DRAG CAR

1992 NISSAN SKYLINE GT-R

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By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: A Look At Right-Hand Drive Auction Vehicles
Sourced From: www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/the-other-side-of-the-road-a-look-at-right-hand-drive-auction-vehicles/
Published Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2022 15:36:25 +0000

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