Saturday, 9 December 2006

Bought A "New" Car

This is quite a rarity - a US manufactured car sold new in the UK with Right-Hand-Drive. As Steve Miles points out in his excellent book "Over Here", American cars used to be much more commonplace in the UK than they are now. One reason is that since we joined the EU, the type approval regulations have made it more difficult for US cars to be sold here (although many still are, both officially and as personal imports).

From time to time, US manufacturers put a toe in the water, but they either relied on the strength of the products to sell with the steering wheel on the "wrong" side, or bit the bullet of engineering a Right Hand Drive Model. Cadillac sold a RHD STS/Seville here in the late 90s, and Chevy sold a version of the Blazer, but it seems they didn't sell enough to warrant the costs of moving all the controls to the other side of the car.

This car shares a garage with my 1956 Chevrolet 210, also a Right Hand Drive imported here new, but enough of that - what about the Rambler?

I'm still investigating, but it seems the interior was different from the US version. The dashboard has a wood finish - I'm not sure if this was fitted to the US versions at all, it doesn't appear in the handbook. The car has a power roof, electric windows and a 290 V8 with auto transmission.

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