Right old lesson in history
I read your story about which side of the car we drive on and how we got there. It’s all about safety considerations. If you were sitting on the left, next to the kerb, when you pulled out the drivers coming behind you could not see your hand signals — there were no indicators in the early days. It’s the same for approaching traffic when turning right. And when changing lanes it would have been harder to do a “head check”, an essential without wing or door mirrors, and it would have been tougher to check for safe overtaking. Peter Morrey, email What an informative history lesson, including the information on Napoleon.
SIT ON THE SAFER SIDE
The only reason I can see for the side of the car the driver is located is safety while overtaking. Looking at the history of where we sit, Czechoslovakia started planning to drive on the right in 1925. Hitler also changed Austria over after taking control in 1938 and Hungary changed to the right in 1941, during World War II. Napoleon required the countries he invaded to use the right side and that’s why Holland drives on the right, though all its colonies used the left as can be seen in Indonesia to this day. The last European countries to change to the right side of the road were Sweden in 1967 and Iceland 1968. The former British colony of Burma changed to the right in 1970 — a lot of buses in Burma predate the change and this causes a lot of injuries to passengers at bus stops. Daryl Budgeon, email
BUCKET LIST REVIVAL
I liked your article in the Carsguide about the Goodwood Festival of Speed on a number of levels, particularly the closing remarks about putting it at the top of the bucket list. In 2007 I sought your advice about choosing between the Festival and the Revival historic meeting at Goodwood — you unequivocally recommended the Revival, which we went to and enjoyed very much. So, on that basis, maybe we better pencil in a visit to the Festival of Speed in the near future. John Pohlman, email Don’t use pencil, use bright red ink. The Festival has improved massively and its role as Britain’s 21st century motor show makes it a must-see.
INVEST, NO. ENJOY, YES
I am thinking about buying a Ford Focus RS from a mate but I’m wondering whether this car is likely to appreciate in value in the future. If I bought the car I would just put it away. It has travelled 21,000km. Is this the right sort of a car to buy for an investment? Kim Bowen, email No one should buy a car as a potential investment, as nothing these days is going to appreciate like a Falcon GTHO Phase 3. Far better that you buy the RS to enjoy it.
Ink it in: Goodwood Festival of Speed
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