Eric Bloodaxe

Indicator stalks - when did they start putting them on the left?

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As the title - started having this discussion with friends and none of us could remember the first car we had with the stalk on the left. I was reminded of the question this morning looking at a rather nice Capri 2.8 injection ('86 reg) at a show, and was a bit surprised to see the indicator stalk on the left of the column - was it really so long ago?

I always preferred the stalk on the right, reason being you could simultaneously change down with your left hand while clicking the stalk with your finger on the right, thus saving several microseconds on each overtake!😀

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I think it depends on the brand?  I've definitely had some 'modern' cars with a right indicator, Toyota Avensis and Saab 9.3 for example, possibly a 90s Hyundai as well?

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22 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

I think it depends on the brand?  I've definitely had some 'modern' cars with a right indicator, Toyota Avensis and Saab 9.3 for example, possibly a 90s Hyundai as well?

I think you might be right on that Tom, different brands making the switch at different times. Doing further research this morning at the car display at Whitby regatta - 3 80's Fords (a C reg Fiesta, C reg XR3i cabriolet and another (B reg this time) Capri 2.8i) all had left hand stalks. The 70's cars on display (all BL brands so not a direct comparison) had right hand stalks so it looks as if the change started late 70's/early 80's. 

As you suggest, "oriental" brands seem to have persisted with r/h stalks for longer. Not sure about SAAB though - my 9-3 (2001) had a l/h stalk, though by that time it was virtually a Vectra in drag so who knows what GM chucked in there.

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I used to think jap cars had it the opposite side. Can't remember exactly with my Peugeot 107 I had. 

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2 hours ago, Eric Bloodaxe said:

I think you might be right on that Tom, different brands making the switch at different times. Doing further research this morning at the car display at Whitby regatta - 3 80's Fords (a C reg Fiesta, C reg XR3i cabriolet and another (B reg this time) Capri 2.8i) all had left hand stalks. The 70's cars on display (all BL brands so not a direct comparison) had right hand stalks so it looks as if the change started late 70's/early 80's. 

As you suggest, "oriental" brands seem to have persisted with r/h stalks for longer. Not sure about SAAB though - my 9-3 (2001) had a l/h stalk, though by that time it was virtually a Vectra in drag so who knows what GM chucked in there.

You're right, it wasn't a 9-3 I was thinking of, my mate owns a 9-3 now which caused the confusion!  It was an older model, possibly a 9000?  A mate was borrowing it from his Mum after crashing his 106 into a bus stop lol...

The ***** and Koreans seem to have held onto the right indicator for a while, well into the 2000s!  Kind of makes sense for Japan with them driving on the left but I can't explain the Koreans doing it...

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2 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

You're right, it wasn't a 9-3 I was thinking of, my mate owns a 9-3 now which caused the confusion!  It was an older model, possibly a 9000?  A mate was borrowing it from his Mum after crashing his 106 into a bus stop lol...

The ***** and Koreans seem to have held onto the right indicator for a while, well into the 2000s!  Kind of makes sense for Japan with them driving on the left but I can't explain the Koreans doing it...

The starred word is a shortened word for Japanese...not sure how it's rude unless you put 'eye' after it... :unsure:

Edit - I was meant to edit the above post, not quote it...  Think it's time to call it a night! :laugh:

 

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11 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

The starred word is a shortened word for Japanese...not sure how it's rude unless you put 'eye' after it... :unsure:

Edit - I was meant to edit the above post, not quote it...  Think it's time to call it a night! :laugh:

 

I got a stern warning on an American based forum for using that word. Seems it's classed as racist, so I'm guessing that this forum software is American based and has autocensored it. 

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22 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

You're right, it wasn't a 9-3 I was thinking of, my mate owns a 9-3 now which caused the confusion!  It was an older model, possibly a 9000?  

Yes, the last "proper SAAB" version of the 900 was superseded by the first GM effort in (I think) 1994, confusingly still called 900. It became the 9-3 in 1998 after a bit of a makeover and was replaced by the final version (to date) around 2002 as a saloon/estate. Keep seeing rumours of a resurrection, so who knows?

The 9000 (the bigger model) was replaced by the 9-5 under GM. The 9000 shared a platform with the Fiat Croma, Lancia Thema and Alfa 164.

Sweden still drove on the proper side of the road until the late 60's so the earlier models probably had r/h indicators

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2018 Kia we had in Portugal had it on the left, and all the cars I've had/driven had them on the right. The only ones I can think of that had them on the right was my Dad's Mazda 6 from about 2005 and a Honda Civic Type R from 2017 that belongs to a family friend.

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I thought all Japanese cars have them on the right 

And all Europeans have them on the left, 

Same with the fuel filler flap; its always on the same side as the indicator stalk 😉👍 good tip that one; saves you pulling up on the wrong side of a fuel pump. 

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8 hours ago, dtulip8 said:

Honda Civic Type R from 2017 that belongs to a family friend.

Sisters Boyfriend?  

Just a stereotypical wild guess there; usually is☺️

Bwaappp Bwaappp Bwaappp 

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4 hours ago, Lenny said:

Same with the fuel filler flap; its always on the same side as the indicator stalk 😉👍 good tip that one; saves you pulling up on the wrong side of a fuel pump. 

Pretty sure you've just made that one up, Lenny... :laugh:  Even on your own car it's the opposite side. :wink: 

However, there is a little arrow next to the fuel pump on the gauge to show which side the flap is on...amazingly a lot of people still don't know that's what it's for! :biggrin:

 

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5 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

Pretty sure you've just made that one up, Lenny... :laugh:  Even on your own car it's the opposite side. :wink: 

However, there is a little arrow next to the fuel pump on the gauge to show which side the flap is on...amazingly a lot of people still don't know that's what it's for! :biggrin:

 

Sorry I got mixed up 🤪 it's the fuel gauge is on the same side as the fuel flap 😬

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1 minute ago, Lenny said:

Sorry I got mixed up 🤪 it's the fuel gauge is on the same side as the fuel flap 😬

Nope, sorry, that's not right either! :unsure:  You can only go by the little arrow on the gauge. :smile: 

IMG_20180131_165447078.thumb.jpg.fc71bc25ae8622117c9049e5b744cf6a.jpg

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IMG_20160919_201833539.thumb.jpg.693c96f79580936adb2146c0d9420ebf.jpg

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I always love telling people about the little arrow. Here's another question, what dictates what side the fuel cap goes? Why's it on the left on a KA and Fiesta, but the right on a Focus and a Mondeo?

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3 hours ago, dtulip8 said:

I always love telling people about the little arrow. Here's another question, what dictates what side the fuel cap goes? Why's it on the left on a KA and Fiesta, but the right on a Focus and a Mondeo?

I used to think it was down to country of origin, the Ka being technically a Fiat instead of a Ford for example.  Until I got the Fiesta... :unsure:

I have wondered if there's roughly an even split so that everyone isn't fighting over the pumps on the same side but there's probably a more important design aspect we've missed here...

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27 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

I used to think it was down to country of origin, the Ka being technically a Fiat instead of a Ford for example.  Until I got the Fiesta... :unsure:

I have wondered if there's roughly an even split so that everyone isn't fighting over the pumps on the same side but there's probably a more important design aspect we've missed here...

In my opinion it doesn't really matter what side your filler is on as the majority of fuel hoses are easily long enough to reach to the other side of the car. Many a time I've entered a filling station, fueled the car, queued to pay and still left before others who were there before me waiting for a pump on the 'correct' side *insert 'smug' emoji here* 😄

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52 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

I used to think it was down to country of origin, the Ka being technically a Fiat instead of a Ford for example.  Until I got the Fiesta... :unsure:

I have wondered if there's roughly an even split so that everyone isn't fighting over the pumps on the same side but there's probably a more important design aspect we've missed here...

Interesting but the MK1 KA also has the fuel cap on the left. I’m sure there probably is some sort of design aspect going on that we can’t think of.

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12 hours ago, Turvey said:

In my opinion it doesn't really matter what side your filler is on as the majority of fuel hoses are easily long enough to reach to the other side of the car. Many a time I've entered a filling station, fueled the car, queued to pay and still left before others who were there before me waiting for a pump on the 'correct' side *insert 'smug' emoji here* 😄

Is this you? ☺️

 

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13 hours ago, Turvey said:

In my opinion it doesn't really matter what side your filler is on as the majority of fuel hoses are easily long enough to reach to the other side of the car. Many a time I've entered a filling station, fueled the car, queued to pay and still left before others who were there before me waiting for a pump on the 'correct' side *insert 'smug' emoji here* 😄

They might be long enough, but I'd rather not drag a slimy, grit covered, diesel hose across the paintwork... :laugh:  

I don't sit for ages waiting for the correct side though...there's no law against reversing up to the pump or driving all the way though and then spinning round, only takes an extra 5 seconds and I haven't been told not to so far... :biggrin: 

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The Mk 1 and 2 Cortina, MG B and Midget, and numerous other cars of the era, had the filler on the back so you could fill up from either side with no bother and no need to remember which side your filler was located. No doubt this useful feature, like many others, fell victim to 'elf n' safety at some point😀 Or maybe it was just the general trend towards hatchback rear ends.

 

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