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Guest Brad B

Left Hand Drive in the UK

Question

Guest Brad B

Hi everyone,

I'm planning for a move from Canada to the UK this summer (likely around June). At this point, I'm either going to travel around Europe for the first year I'm there, or find a job as a computer programmer in or near London prior to my deparature.

The latter path affords me the option of keeping my 2001 Celica GT 5 speed if I really want to. In that case, two questions come to mind:

1.) My Celica GT (which I *think* would be the 140 in the UK) is, of course, to North American spec. Will it fit all the modifications (especially turbos and s/c's) that the European models do?

2.) How rare/strange is it to be driving a left hand drive car in the UK?

Any feedback is appreciated. :D

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Originally posted by Brad B

1.) My Celica GT (which I *think* would be the 140 in the UK) is, of course, to North American spec. Will it fit all the modifications (especially turbos and s/c's) that the European models do?

2.) How rare/strange is it to be driving a left hand drive car in the UK?

Any feedback is appreciated.  :D  

The GT is the equivalent of the 140, yes.

AFAIK, the off-the-shelf Blitz Supercharger kit does not have different derivatives for LHD and RHD models. But you might want to have a word with Stealth if you fancy getting that mod done over here... might be pricier than doing it at home though - worth investigating.

As for driving a LHD car in the UK, it's as weird as us driving a RHD car in Europe...! You get used to it. Make sure you've always got plenty of oomph for overtaking, and rapid braking / swerving when passing trucks... or better still, a passenger who shouts "GO!" and "NO!" at key moments. :P

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Guest Jonny Turbo

might be better to have a left hooker if you're planning to travel around mainland europe?

you ought to check the prices for european cars as it may be as cheap to sell yours in the us and buy here, rather than pay shipping costs and then have trouble shifting a us spec car here...?

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Guest Brad B
Originally posted by Stephen G

As for driving a LHD car in the UK, it's as weird as us driving a RHD car in Europe...! You get used to it.

I'm not so much worried about the part about getting used to it, because even if I have a RHD car there, I'd still be befuddled by the roads and traffic there (so very different from the wide and simple layouts we have here). :] I'm more curious about how *weird* it is to be seen with a left hand drive car there.

If it's as out of place in the UK as a right hand drive would be where I come from, I'd probably consider just selling my LHD Celica, and getting a RHD when time and money permit.

It might sound self-concious, but if the ratio of RHD to LHD is 10000:1 there or something, I'd just be more comfortable to drive the way most people drive there. I don't want to look like an oddball.

OTOH, if it's more like, say, every 20th-25th car in the UK is a LHD I'd strongly consider bringing my car over, with the added benefit of course that it'd be "normal" in much of Europe when I decide to wander around.

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Being different to every other 10,000 cars sounds quite cool to me... Nobody's going to point at you and throw rocks!

There's quite a few LHD cars in the UK, mostly from mainland Europe, and not many people bat an eyelid (until you have an 8 yr old in the passenger seat, and oncoming drivers briefly think THE KID IS DRIVING. Worth it just for the expression on their faces!). I reckon the ratio is probalby 1:2000... ish...

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Guest Brad B
Originally posted by Stephen G

I reckon the ratio is probably 1:2000... ish...

Okay, interesting.

The other neat thing about bringing my car over there -- should I take that route -- would be the sentimental value it would hold.

It's not often one drives a car that's traversed the globe alongside them.

Anyone looking to hire a programmer? :D

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However; if you've already booked a crate to ship it over to the UK in, and it's now going to look a little empty; please feel free to fill it with the following items...

    A Veilside wing, skirts, front and rear bumper
    Full Hotchkis suspension kit
    Some 18" Konig Blatant Bronzes
    Britney Spears

:D

Well, it was worth a go...

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Guest Brad B
Originally posted by CelicaUK

I suspect you would be better off getting rid of the current car and buying a new import or second hand in the UK, it'll save on complications with the differences in parts on the US spec and European/Australian spec.  There are enough of them to make things a little interesting.

Duly noted.

The decision to get rid of it may be as hard as the effort required to keep it. :D

As an aside, were I to sell the Celica and get a used car over there I'd strongly consider an older BMW too (an E30, late 80's 325IS to be exact).

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Originally posted by Brad B

As an aside, were I to sell the Celica and get a used car over there I'd strongly consider an older BMW too (an E30, late 80's 325IS to be exact).

...especially if you want to look like a pimp, drug dealer or nightclub owner! (usually the same thing)

I find BMW's say more about you in the UK than a Celica ever does. Personal opinion!

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Guest Brad B
Originally posted by Stephen G

I find BMW's say more about you in the UK than a Celica ever does. Personal opinion!

Really?

It's quite the opposite here. The Celica is more of a pimpmobile than a BMW (especially the understated styling of an E30). Especially with all the kiddies that rice out their Honda Civics with loud exhausts and a few go-fast stickers. It can sometimes negatively affect Japanese car owners as a whole.

Perhaps we're talking about two different types of bimmers. I'm talking about these ones.

I mention the BMW because it's (certainly the E30's) got a big aftermarket, and I'm undeniably jealous of the culture that BMW has. Magazines, Bond Movies, books specifically tailored to BMW enthusiasts, plethora of websites/forums etc. I like the idea of understated performance too.

I'm not even there yet, and already I'm experiencing culture shock. :D

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Yo forgot the z3 which is just a jumped up hairdressers car or z3m coupe - a hairdresser who don't like getting their hair wet due to our lovely sunny weather :D

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Guest Skreech

Hehehehe. :D)

I am a friend of who started this thread, and indeed, I am an e30 BMW driver. We discuss our cars between each other quite a bit. Needless to mention, I'm probably to blame for Brad B's eye towards the e30s.

Quick definition: e30 = 3 series between the years 1984 and 1991. (mostly)

Being a Bimmer enthusiast, it is proper for me to respond to the various BMW-related comments on this thread.

...especially if you want to look like a pimp, drug dealer or nightclub owner! (usually the same thing)

Hehehehe. True.

All of CelicaUK's previous post

:P Those stereotypes will be true a respectable 75% of the time. Heh.

Lemme note that Brad B mentioned a specific model and year range of BMW. My car is a member of this set of cars. I've found, based on observation and experience, that drivers of this particular model and body style do not exibit the typical BMW stereotype, which I may reiterate, is not a false stereotype. More drivers of the next newest 3-series do have the typical BMW-driver phenotype, but lemme tell you, people who drive 1990-decade 5 and 7 series vehicles show it much more.

The e30, however, is significantly cheaper and more rare on the road than these other models, at least, in the USA. They also have more feeling, more personality and are more spirited than the later model 3's. One person said that the e30 M3 was a race car, the (one body style newer) e36 M3 was more of a 330Csi. Meaning it was slow, insulated, and alienated the driver. Mostly true. BMWs are tough and have durable engines -- definately a reliable getaway car you'd like to have during those drug deals gone bad. :P The performance of the stock 325is lies somewhere in the realm of the stock GT-S although I have no idea of how they compare in real life.

Brad B mentions:

I mention the BMW because it's (certainly the E30's) got a big aftermarket, and I'm undeniably jealous of the culture that BMW has.

The aftermarket isn't that big a deal for me, although I must mention that there is a commercially available exaust system designed to fit the e30 chassis with an e36 M3 engine installed in it. As for culture, the e30 isn't matched by any other BMW e-number, except maybe for the e30's grandfather, the even older 70's-era 2002. 2002 is the model number, I must stress. Back to my point, and ultimately why I'm even posting, (besides the fact that my friend posted here and he brought the topic up. Chase after him with a stick. :P) This board is one of the best Celica boards I've seen, a lot like the e30 board on the BMWe30.net. One of the smartest boards about any rice-powered vehicle. Of course, there are bad examples of bratwurst-powered vehicle boards that are similar to the New Celica board, but many people who respect their vehicles generally try to avoid that crowd no matter what car they talk about. Stupidity knows no bounds, you know.

So in conclusion, I am not trying to change anybody's feelings towards BMW drivers. In fact, I will now state explicitly that people shouldn't -- many BMW drivers don't know what they're driving, and nearly all would doof their pants should they ever be taken near the limit of their vehicle's capability. But do not dismiss the potential of these cars, speaking mainly of the 3 series. A little modification goes a long way. Heck, all I did was a software upgrade in my ECU and I can feel more torque. 8)

On the flip side, that Celica with the supercharger looks like it'd have no trouble seperating itself from any idiotic BMW driver. Gotta respect the Celica! I examine every one thats coming down the road the opposite way. Perhaps I'll get one of the older ones just to see what they're all about.

(bratwurst and rice make an excellent dish btw) :P

Gavin C

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Guest Jonny Turbo

to continue...

wtf is going on with bmw design now?

anyone seen a new 7 up close - wow its even uglier in the flsh/metal.

and have you seen the new small bmw in autocar (the convertible) with creases going all over the shop?

and the piccys of the replacement for the current (fishy) z3 - a truly dreadful car - doesn't look much better - a roadster with a saloon car face grafted on.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti bmw, despite all it's bad image. I love the classic CSi coupes, and I even like the new mini :D

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Guest Ikea Boy

Simon, they're Merx ....... my mum wants one !

Okay I'll confess....

I've had an e21? 323i

2 e30's 318 & 325

A bauer Cabriolet (Chopped up E30 318 ) and finally an e34 m525is......

Now they're common......driven by a certain class of person (dodgy).....driven in a certain way (badly)

I gave 'em up and got a small bread delivery van that beats 330ci's......but now the image thing is even worse.......flat cap, wax jacket & labradors....... X( what can you do ? Keep on overtaking I guess sagrin.gif

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Guest Peter M

Let's face it there is one area that few manufacturers can compete with BMW and that is resale value. If you read articles on www.bm3w.co.uk, you'll happily see people trading between models after afew months, with negligible or no financial loss. You try going to the Toyota salesman and telling him you would like to swap your Celica for an MR2, I bet you'll pay a considerable amount of money.

I'm a big fan of BMW's but I don't like the super barges (5,7) the 3 series and Z3 have all been great cars IMO.

The level of intelligence and thought that goes into BMW design is unparalleled. I'm sure most of us wouldn't knock back an M3 if we had that kind of money to spend on a car, with launch control for 100% reliable traffic light get-aways, 12 mode adaptive gearboxes to suit your mode of driving, basically everything you could want rolled up into a smart package. OK so the styling isn't radical and it will probably cost you a small fortune if you *ever* need something fixing.

I personally think the negative image attributed to the brand is derived only from the owners, the cars are themselves, engineering masterpieces.

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The type of owners are down to the type of marketing, not the type of engineering... BMW have always tried to sell to the wealthy young to middle-aged massses - management types, executives - because that way they can get good volume sales on high mark-up product, ironically by trying to sell them on the basis of some sort of individuality!

I've always liked the cars, but not the image. A few years back, when I borrowed a 5 series for a fortnight, someone even picked up my key fob in the pub, saw the logo, and said "Wanker". At least with the Celica they wait to see the car before they do that.

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