Hudsy Wudsy

Right Hand Drive Cars in US -- How Do You Value Them?

Recommended Posts

I just came across a C/L ad for a '39 LaSalle convertible coupe for sale on my local Craigslist. It's from Australia, priced at $175,00 and it is right hand drive. It caused me to reflect again on the subject of right hand drive cars. We have many fine and valued members from down under and other parts of the world where driving on the right side of the road is the norm. The last thing that I would want to do is offend any of them, but a right hand drive car holds so little interest to me living here in the US, that I can't imagine wanting to own one, regardless of the price. I allow that very early American cars were often right hand drive up until the mid teens, however, and that many fine, collectible European cars are right hand drive, as well. They may be the exceptions, perhaps. Still, I'm sure that I'm not alone in my feelings on the subject, but I'm curious to know if others are more open to the possibility. So, you guys tell me how much less do you value, for example, a right hand drive '40 Ford coupe than a left hand drive one? A Right hand drive '49 Buick Roadmaster?  (I don't even know if there are any).I'm just throwing out a couple of random examples, here. Also, I'm not asking for dollars and cents, or even percentages -- just general feelings on the subject.

 

https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ank/ctd/d/quincy-1939-lasalle-right-hand/7059395511.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were discussing this in another thread. To me, a car with right-hand drive that was also available in left-hand drive is a no-go. I wouldn't want one at all. I don't know what the discount would have to be to make me take it, but it would have to be a lot and even then I don't know that I'd be happy to own the car. Others have said they don't mind the difference and gives them access to cars that they might not otherwise be able to afford. It's probably personal but I think there's likely a significant push-back on RHD cars in the US. 

 

Also, the guy with that LaSalle is smoking crack.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Hudsy Wudsy said:

 Also, I'm not asking for dollars and cents, or even percentages -- just general feelings on the subject.

 

Early right-hand-drive cars were normal in the United States,

so I don't think there's much reluctance to own them today.

After all, the owners aren't driving fast, and no left-hand-drive

examples exist.

 

For later antiques, I would never even consider owning a

right-hand-drive example.  There are many left-hand examples

around, so why bother with the incongruous format?  I've

heard that RHD Rolls-Royces in the U. S. A. sell for a significant

discount.

 

For historical interest, here's a Packard ad from 1913

during the U. S. auto industry's transition from RHD to LHD.

It describes advantages of LHD for our configuration of lanes:

 

 

Ad-1913 Packard.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To agree with Matt, that rodded POS LaSalle is just a discussion starter.  I've driven a LHD car in a RHD country, and vice versa.  Passing is a real PIA, even with a copilot. Go? NO!  Go? Yes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Hudsy Wudsy said:

The last thing that I would want to do is offend any of them, but a right hand drive car holds so little interest to me living here in the US, that I can't imagine wanting to own one, regardless of the price.

 

A resto mod right hand drive '39 LaSalle convertible coupe is worth what you can get for it and its worth a lot less up here in the states than it is down under. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless I was looking for a career as a postal delivery driver I would not want a RHD car in the US.  If RHD was the only option available for something historical then its ok but not if a LHD could be had.  A friend of mine back in high school days bought a 1959 Morris Minor, a US market model.  When you looked closely you could find all the mounting spots to convert it to RHD.  He kept it with everything operating on the left side.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Generally agree-the car in question is not right (in many ways in addition to the steering!).  On the other hand (no pun intended), if the car was supposed to have right-hand drive, then there should be no problem.  Case in point - our 1948 MGTC and 1935 Morris.  They are of course both smaller cars and we really don't feel out of place driving them. Just need to get used to shifting gears with the left hand.  There were a couple of right hand drive Model As in this area several years ago and they were hard sells. 

Terry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't make any difference to me at all although I'm perfectly happy taking advantage of other people's aversion to RHD. Except for later American RRs, most of the old cars I've worked on were RHD.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Early Canadian market model T Fords were available in both R.H.D. and L.H.D. .Many Canadian provinces began the automobile era with right hand drive and driving on the same side of the road as if in England.  The changeover to make Canadian traffic convention the same as U.S. traffic occurred at different times in different provinces.  

 R.H.D. T's are not all that common in Canada but there are a few.  I believe that by the time Model T's were on the market it was acknowledged that Canada would eventually switch from the English convention to the U.S. convention and most buyers looked ahead and bought the L.H.D. version. Some provinces stayed with the British convention as late as the early 1920's 

 Is a Canadian market R.H.D. Ford T less desirable than a L.H.D. version from the same year ? 

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

 

 

6 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

 

 Is a Canadian market R.H.D. Ford T less desirable than a L.H.D. version from the same year ? 

 

Greg

Very difficult to say as early Canadian assembled Model T's actually have FOUR opening doors, and whether that alone has any desirability over where the driver controls are is open to debate.

 

Craig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff Lee in Nova Scotia has a nicely-restored 1915 Canadian Model T with right-hand drive (correct) and painted blue (correct).  If I were looking for a T roadster I wouldn't hesitate to buy that one.  The unusual provenance is an interesting talking point. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always thought the 4 functioning doors on Canadian tourings is a positive. I have also gathered up most of the parts needed to make my 1914 speedster R.H.D.. But I also have the L.H.D. parts as well.  I will make a final decision after I put it together and drive it a while as a R.H.D.

 

Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This one British fellow had a story of bringing his car (RR) to the USA and going through toll booths. He would have his young daughter hand over the coins, and often they would say hey you're too young to be driving that thing. Or he would have his dog in the front seat, and it would stair at them like, what do you want, give me some food.

 

 

.

Edited by Michael-Restomod (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Knockoff wheel nuts are Near and Far side in the UK, do the also consider steering Near and Far side? Bob 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Michael-Restomod said:

This one British fellow had a story of bringing his car (RR) to the USA and going through toll booths. He would have his young daughter hand over the coins, and often they would say hey you're too young to be driving that thing. Or he would have his dog in the front seat, and it would stair at them like, what do you want, give me some food.

 

For a one-minute humor break, watch this

"Just for Laughs" video from Quebec.  This shows

the fun you can have with a right-hand-drive vehicle!

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have driven low profile RHD British sports cars in the US and trying to pass into on-coming lane in a low seat on the wrong side is suicide waiting to happen. Even changing lanes in the same direction is frustrating. I have some early brass Cadillacs that are RHD and not too bad to drive because they don't go fast enough to pass anything and you sit high enough to see over cars in front anyhow. Mine are not electrified so I drive with hand signals but I usually have the passenger on the left make the signals because no one will pay a ttention to my right hand and the seat blocks my left hand from view from behind. The kids loved to make the signals for me when they were young.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a few RHD cars and really enjoy the oddity of them. They are both Japanese Domestic Market cars (JDM) that were only available there. So, if you want one, you have to settle for RHD. They made some really interesting cars when the economic bubble there was inflating in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Sitting on the “wrong” side is part of the fun with these things. The one on the left is a Honda Beat and the right a Nissan Figaro.

 

I do agree with Matt that a car sold here in LHD is not something I would want as RHD (except maybe an original Mini Cooper).

BB3C69A1-5478-4283-A62C-FCFB95EB2A11.jpeg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 1922 Cadillac is a left hand drive import and to be honest it really isn’t that much of a problem, you sit so high and the car is so narrow that it really doesn’t feel that much different. I suspect some of it’s down to the fact that the Cadillac 5 passenger coupe has excellent visibility compared to some of the other body styles of the time. Even shifting with the other hand doesn’t feel that weird after about 5 minutes.

 

I recently did about 1500 miles driving around the UK country side and for a lot of the roads in the older towns it really wouldn’t matter what side the traffic was supposed to drive on because it’s wherever the car would fit... France was pretty much the same :D 

 

It comes down the vehicle, sometimes it might be the only way you can afford to get into a particular make/model and generally it doesn’t matter that it’s worth less because you paid less. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have owned both LHD and RHD cars here in Zimbabwe. We drive on the left both here, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi and Kenya and other countries. Most of the cars here are RHD but a lot of the big trucks are left hand drive. Our govt tried to ban LHD trucks but the reality is that a lot of countries in africa drive on the right with left hand drive vehicles and their trucks travel thru the region. Overtaking in a LHD vehicle here can be tricky but you get used to it.

 If I were looking for a newish car for daily transport I would buy a right hand drive, but as far as a collector car or special car for occasional use goes, I'm comfortable with driving both RHD or LHD, and the value of vintage and classic cars here does not seem to be affected by it being LHD. I guess we have limited choice, so it's take it or leave it.

 I had a 35 Auburn 653 Cabriolet that I restored to its original RHD. It was sold and ended up in Norway where it has been converted to LHD. While I understand the owner doing that (and maybe due to legislation there), it is a shame, as so few Auburns were built RHD making it even rarer than the LHD ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I own a rhd model A phaeton and love it. If the dollar is stronger overseas, you list and sell it overseas and vice versa.

Personally find it fun, different and enjoyable!

 

isnt that the point of antiques?

very grateful for narrow minded individuals..........gives me better deals.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Years ago a right hand drive Model A was a Neon Sign with an arrow warning you that the car came up from South America. Most were driven hard and crudely repaired and finally died. Many of the Deluxe two door Phaetons you see today started their restoration this way. Bob 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have noticed some very crude restorations on RHD cars that came from South America.

I have always wanted to own a right hand drive Model A Phaeton.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A RHD car for sale in the U.S. that was available with LHD is very hard to sell and is probably a 25-45% discount over the same car LHD.

 

Examples would be P1 Rolls,  Jaguar,  post war Rolls, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, alsancle said:

A RHD car for sale in the U.S. that was available with LHD is very hard to sell and is probably a 25-45% discount over the same car LHD.

 

Examples would be P1 Rolls,  Jaguar,  post war Rolls, etc.

 

Years ago Bob Stark had a 1931 or 1932 V16 Cadillac five passenger Coupe that was originally delivered to Australia, he had no problem driving the RHD car around on CCCA tours. Wonder who the caretaker is now? Bob 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now