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Discussion Starter #1
Considering this is a British car, how come I never see any right hand drive models in the US?

I, for one, would go for that over a left hand drive - as a conversation piece. :)

Kevin
 

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You'd probably change your mind the first time you drove it. Aside from having a poor perspective for actually driving on the road, you'll quickly learn you can't do simple tasks such as enter/exit parking lots/garages.
 

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It doesn't appear to be a large difference, but driving on the left appears to be slightly safer because people tend to be right-handed and right-eye dominant.
 

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The first Lotus I drove at 15 was a right hand drive Elan and belonged to my Dad's wingman who had been shot down and captured at that time. I was allowed to keep it running for a couple of months and drove it all over the unbuilt neighborhood where we lived while it was in legal limbo. The smells the sounds all made for an incredible experience.
 
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The 25 year rule applies, so, until the car is beyond that then you'll only see them in the DC area with diplo plates if you get lucky. Not sure if there are any there at the moment though other than a 7 I know of, but that would've fallen outside the 25 year rule anyways.

Regarding practicality, there are few things more irritating than drive a car on the opposite side of the street than it was designed for. You have to have a passenger everywhere just so they can see around corners for you. Rent a car in the USVI and they are LHD on the left side of the street, and you'll think twice about voluntarily doing something like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dang...

I lived in Japan for three years - so am comfortable driving "on the other side of the road" but, of course, that was in vehicles built for that.

I think you guys have successfully talked me out of this! :)

Kevin
 

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RHD in a LHD world is doable. I have an RHD Seven. Situations I find challenging are:
Passing on 2 lanes. Difficult to see around the car in front
Pulling out from parallel parking spots or similar situations
Changing lanes to the left. You have a blind spot on the left rear. It the equivalent to the right rear in LHD
Of course, some of the above are compounded by the Seven being so low.

Cheers,
Kiyoshi
 

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RHD in a LHD world is doable. I have an RHD Seven. Situations I find challenging are:

Of course, some of the above are compounded by the Seven being so low.

Cheers,
Kiyoshi
There seems to be a "skating uphill" vibe to this.

Not only are 7s difficult to live with in modern traffic because of how drivers struggle to see SUVs and Vans, let alone a tiny tiny tiny roofless car.
But getting a RHD one seems to be adding insult to injury.
 

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Pass on a 2 lane road
Pull around a double parked car,
Pull out of a parallel parking spot
Drive through anything
'Take a ticket'

No thanks

One does not need more reasons not to drive a Lotus
 

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I forgot... adding

Pay tolls with cash. The solution to this is using a Toll Tag
Getting into and out of a secured parking lot/garage. Reaching across or climbing out of the car to reach the ID tag scanner or to pay/insert your parking pass.

And one final one...
Put an exterior mirror on the left side of the car. Why? I was once pulled over by a CHP and given a fix-it ticket because I didn't have an exterior mirror on the "driver's side" (left side according to the cop). I tried explaining that I did have an outside mirror on the right-side of the car, the actual driver's side. He didn't buy my "excuse" and wrote me up for the missing mirror and no front license plate.

Kiyoshi
 

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I concur about the relative RHD degree of difficulty difference with a Seven vs almost any other car.

I firmly disagree WRT a Seven being difficult to live with in modern traffic. No more so than a motorcycle or bicycle. I agree that it is not the safest vehicle out there. But it is about the most agile vehicle in existence.


The view from over here:



Negatives:
As mentioned previously, most drive thrus are difficult. But the Seven is so narrow that it is doable at the In-n-Out.
Mailboxes are surprisingly difficult in the RHD Seven as the car is so low relative to the height of the mailboxes.
Pulling out to pass on a 2-lane is not all that difficult. It just requires planning ahead.....Unless you're behind a jacked up pickup truck. Then you can just look underneath.
I've never had any issue pulling out of a parallel parking place. Again, plan ahead, in this case, as you get in the car.
WRT blind spots I have a Seven-specific wide angle multi-panel mirror above the windshield and convex mirrors on both sides. I also have a rear view camera on the roll bar. So no blind spots.
Shifting with your left hand is a learning curve for some.

Positives:
Lower cost of purchase. RHD cars in the U.S. usually sell for a fair discount over a similar LHD example because many potential buyers are scared off.
Inside line seating portion when at track days when running clockwise laps.

Bottom line for me:
All in all, I love my Seven, RHD and all. And given that I am just in the final stages of completing a full-on last nut, bolt and pop rivet restoration where I could have converted it to LHD and chose not to, I wouldn't trade it for an LHD one......But I wouldn't buy one solely because it was RHD either.
 

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I lived in England with my left hand drive Elise. It was only a pain when going through the Chunnel on the way to the Ring and having to get out and walk around the car to pay. Driving was fine.
 

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Considering this is a British car, how come I never see any right hand drive models in the US?

I, for one, would go for that over a left hand drive - as a conversation piece. :)

Kevin
If the conversations are about how you tried to pass when you couldn't, or why you got out of your car to get entry ticket, you will be in luck.
 

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I have driven a few RHD cars on LHD US roads, including a Motorsport Elise and a Japanese RV conversion that had no visibility through either the rear window or the left rear side.

Obviously, drive thrus, toll booths, etc. are a pain. But, as long as the door mirrors were properly adjusted, I haven't found it to be that bad.

I was driving the RV and hit a bump that caused the left (blind) side mirror to drop and point at the ground. This happened just as the road was going from two lanes to one and I needed to merge into the other lane. There was no shoulder and I HAD to merge, despite being unable to see anything on the left side of the vehicle.

In my experience, as long as one can see out of the car, aside from drive thrus and toll booths (I live on an island served by a ferry), RHD cars on LHD roads aren't that bad.

alan
 
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