Did GM make right hand drive Camaros for Export? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 01, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Jeff
 
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I was talking with a guy from Australia yesterday and he sent me pictures of his 69 Z28. It is right hand drive and it looks so wierd. Did GM convert cars to right hand drive or would the conversion be done in Aus? He was telling me of JL8's, L78's, L89's and other hi-po cars that are down under. One was a JL8 crossram that was totalled and crushed(Daytona Yellow).

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Jeff H - 93 Indy 500 Pace Car(supercharged), Hugger Orange 69 Z28 with JL8 brakes being restored
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 01, 11:58 AM
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To my knowledge no Camaros were ever made in RHD from the factory. The only ones that were sold from a dealership in Australia that I know of were some 1969s from Preston Motors. These were converted by the dealer and sold RHD. The rest are brought in by private importers & converted individually. Not too many "real" rare Camaros down here, and any that were are most likely to have been monstered. Do know that 2 ZL-1s made it here. They were brought in by a well known racer for circuit & drag racing purposes. Saw 1 of them, RHD, running a 350, flared rear guards & some other nastys. Did not have the cash or understand the value of the car at the time. These sorts of cars bring alot more in the USA so for value reasons would be wise to return it to LHD.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 01, 03:39 AM
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Well I can say for sure about Camaro's. I have seen references in GM service publications, assembly manual and part catalogs referring the RHD cars so I know they built them for export. When and what models I have no idea.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 01, 04:47 AM
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Hey JeffH....could you forward the pics to me? I'd like to see them also.

All of the Aussie cars I have seen (3) are LA builds.... for what it is worth.

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Steve McCorry - Central Ohio Camaro Club
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 01, 07:00 AM
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This isnt a scientific observation but...I was in the Sydney area for two week a few months back and saw several classic RHD fords on the road. Not one older GM, though.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 01, 02:55 PM
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No Camaros were factory-built with RHD, although many were converted by independent private companies in Australia, New Zealand, and a few in Japan. 1st Gen Camaros were also built by GM Continental in Belgium and by a contractor (Yutivo) in the Philippines for a time, but all were built from knocked-down kits supplied from the U.S., in normal LHD configuration. The very low volume that RHD would have added would never have paid back the enormous tooling investment for all the RHD-specific parts and components. RHD conversion is quite a business in Australia, as their laws require RHD in order to register the car and drive it (applies to new and recent used cars/trucks - there's an exemption for older cars, but I can't remember how old the car has to be - I'm sure Aussie can fill in this blank).

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 01, 01:42 AM
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Australia has always had very strict rules on LHD cars. Cars now 30 years and older and registered as a "hobby" car, driven only in club events or to be repaired/worked on receive an exemption.
Chevrolet has/does build RHD cars that I am aware of, mid 60s Impalas that where then assembled in Australia, and referred to as "Canadian" and others for other export markets like South Africa, cars/vans like the Astro. Big pickups & Corvettes are the most popular here at the moment with a good few being imported & converted.
Our Australian version of Calloway, sort of, HSV (Holden Special Vehicles) check out thier website www.hsv.com.au, they have a 4 door sedan Calloway LS-1powered that beat a BMW M5 & Mecedes Benz E55 in a European road test, is considering importing the current Vette convertible & converting to RHD for sale as part of their LS-1 line up.
April Super Chevy also has an article on a Chev car show here in Australia. It is becoming a very expensive hobby here.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 01, 05:12 AM
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Back in 1969 I worked at a University. I was parking my 1969 Z/28 when one of the professors walked over and looked at my car.
He said that he taught Economics and Math in a University in London England every summer. He had just ordered a 1969 Camaro "for export purposes only". The way he explained it he would ship the car to England and not pay certain duties etc. I asked him if he converted the car, to RHD and he said no. He would drive the car all summer and sell it to the US, or Canadian professors for a huge profit. I never asked if there were rules against bringing a LHD car to England. This would pay for his trip.
Around the same time I met an Australian who was working in Canada. When he returned to Australia he was shipping a 1970 Mach 1. It was going to cost 1500 for shipping and 1500 to have the car set up as RHD. With the cost of the car this put the vehicle at about 8000 dollars. He said he would drive it for a year and sell it for a huge profit as they were very rare and commanded top price. Again he would pay for his trip plus.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 01, 08:02 PM
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Hey Aussie ~ Super Chevy has had articles about Australian shows for the last few years...I always look forward to them because they look like a lot of fun. It seems like the people at your shows are all about driving the heck outta their cars and having a good time. What is escalating the price for you guys? Take care ~ John

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 01, 10:55 PM
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Hi again, price escalation is due to dollar exchange rate. Currently at around 50 c eg: $100 US = $200 Aus. My current project's budget is skyrocketing!!!!
So a car that sells for $5000.00 US = $10,000 Aus + shipping $3,500.00 A + Import duty 85% = $8,500.00 + 10% GST (tax) on $18,500.00 = $1,850.00. Total Price $23,850 Aus. About the same price as a new medium size car. Parts currently have a 15% duty on them. So the government certainly get a good sum from us car enthusiasts . Then convert it to RHD approx $5,000, tidy it up a bit another $5,000 so it ends up being quite expensive. I think the reason we tend to drive em is because there is not the same collector/restore activity on these cars here, they are for driving & posing and not to mention the weather that allows us 12 months of driving.
My 1st Camaro a 71 SS 396 Rally Sport was originally from England & still LHD
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 01, 10:20 AM
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John,
There was also a plant in Caracas Venezuela that made 1st gens.
We have info on a few of them (one is the original owner).

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