It is actually the other way around. If this car was LHD, I could apply for a LHD exemption, just get the car “Identified”, ensure RHD aspects were met (lights dipped the other way etc. under a Historic Car Club inspection) and drive it on a historic log book. If during the Identification inspection the car was obviously unroadworthy (90% rust) then it would get a defect, but no pit inspection.
Because the Car was Engineered for RHD in another state, the car needs to be re-engineered for RHD in SA against the standards of today and undergo a full pit inspection (including the seatbelts are marked with AU Standards Mark (faded ->sun → coz convertible) and meets the standards of retrofit of today. The way the top tether is bolted to the car was fine in 1992, but unlikely to pass muster today.
These pics are from over a week ago… I put the car on a permit and got the tyres done (the old tyres were near 20 years old)… 225 on the front 245 on the rear… I also got the seatbelts quoted… ended up doing around 80km which was great… one of the benefits of living rural is the rural roads!
Car handles a lot better… got a slight sixties rake which I am getting used to.
From a practical ride height, compared to how it used to be (where the collectors were plowing my driveway), the car is much more driveable…
I was super keen on the BFG with the lettering, now I am not so sure… don’t know why that is… who knows, I will probably love them again in a week… I don’t dislike them but not sure… maybe they work better with period correct chrome bumpers…
Restoring an XR7 you say? I don’t think you will be wanting my counsel then… I think all the restoration guys would choke on their cornflakes if I gave you advice…
My car is a late 80’s early 90’s deliberate Aussie “Street Machine” Magazine style build of a classic American muscle car, and I kind of like that and have the intention of respecting that providence.
All the gear that I have put into it is mechanical, with the intention of getting it through a pit inspection at Regency , this means I have been able to leverage the XA Falcon front steer and brakes as well as the South Australian Mustang community for rear brakes, brake lines, driveline, suspension, fuel system, convertible rams etc.
Going forward though, as I start looking at trim and Cougar specific bits (eg a Rocketman Tach, WCCC for bits and things like reversing lenses and various other bits) I will definitely be sourcing from US once my wallet and the Aussie dollar recovers - it has tanked 10 % since April
FYI the guy with all the knowledge in Oz is Leon, (pm “leonbray”) he lives in Brisbane.
Thanks for the recommendation. I might have some knowledge from the bitter experience of restoring a couple, but there is another enthusiast down the road from me who has rebuilt six 69/70’s and is currently rebuilding one that would have been scrapped a couple of years back
So I went and put the car over “the pit” (full roadworthy)
No photos allowed inside…
Whilst other cars got “inspected” on lifts, my car got the whole nine yards over the sunken Pit, get out and sit down on the naughty chair.
They went through everything… geometry, bump steer angles, all rubbers and bushings, brakes (including a rolling road brake dyno), motor, steering, rust (picked/hammered everywhere), sound level meter for noise, seats, seatbelts, steering column, firewall penetration; ride height, bonnet scoop elevation…
All the heavy engineering I was worried about passed, even the seatbelts were passed as they “met the intent” of the ADR. I swapped the belts for new ones (not cheap) as they would have failed “frayed”, but I got to keep my three point retractable lap-sash.
Did I pass? Of course not… at least they are not the big engineering issues.
Headlight doors not opening sufficiently (c’mon… 80-90% there!)
Parking lights not working (do US cars have the front blinkers lit up in a Parking light? with both lit up at night and an “Off blink” at night?)
Left hand blinker tell-tale (in the dash) blown - bloody dash out for a $1 bulb.
Lock safety wire through front caliper bolts missing.
Oil leaks from motor ( leaks less than any other mate’s classic cars I know…)
Parking lights are a dual filament bulb in the indicator housing. However, I had to put separate white lights in the indicator housing and wire them into the tail light circuit, as the parkers turn off when the headlights are on in a 69. You can also jumper the tail light to park light circuit on the light switch plug
I think you got screwed on the electrical issues, and oil leaks etc, to get mine in to NZ, all i had to do was put in a 3rd brake lamp.
On the flip side, i got totally nailed to the wall on the body.
I had to replace all the spot welds in the back of the car. Why i don’t know, but it cost me another $4,500 NZD
I think they actively try to discourage used import USA cars because of the poor repair standards ?
Both in NZ and AU.
At least all the heavy engineering and the 20yo build mods sailed through.
The risk is that a lot can be interpretative… Eg My seatbelts, were they lap belts they would have technically passed (albeit useless), however as a retractable lap sash (without a roof/b-pillar) they fail the 5 degree rule. They were passed for meeting the “Intent of that ADR” and although techically not legal, they are safer than the legal option (but engineered). Same with “excessive bump steer” in a RHD conversion, nothing says how bad it has to be, I have an Alston CW kit in it which minimises it but introduces illegal Heim joints , which I then double capture and get engineered etc. etc… (and i meet the intent of the ADR).
US imports are easier to register in SA in LHD, that as an Engineered RHD… you don’t need a full Pit if it doesn’t need to be engineered… that annoys me!
Another weeks worth of work, and I will try and submit it again in a fortnight…
Hopefully I will have worked out how to use this forum again!
I don’t get asked at all… I have only ever driven it on a permit… to and from repairs or roadworthy inspection.
What this means is, You lodge a “flightplan” saying where you are going, how you are going to get there and when you are going… you car colour and type (in my case an “ORANGE FORD TOURER”) then you pay your one off fee. Mercury is not a selection.
I can’t hang my licence plates on my car, because they can only go on a “Registered car”.
The cops go “Oooooh, looksie, no licence plate”, they look up the permits on their computer thingy.
If an “Orange Ford Tourer” is on the list, on the correct roads at the correct time, they leave it alone…
If you happen to be stopped at a Kentucky Duck, chomping on a Zinger Burger - where someone might come up and say “nice car ewemuchyawantferit” - rather than drive directly to and from your repairs you may encounter issues.
It’s nuts that they’d make you engineer your car’s lights to do things they never did originally. Didn’t they have Cougars in Australia when they were new too?
And if they did, I’m wondering if your lamps worked differently there. Our parking lamps come on in the ‘middle’ headlight switch position, and go off when you turn on the headlights fully. Honestly, I can’t remember what happens with turn signals when you use them if the parking lamps are turned on, but I suppose they blink ‘off’ while they’re steady on.
Hope you get it all sorted, and have years of happy driving down there, buddy! I love your car. Thanks for sharing the pics and stories!
Cougars were personally imported into Australia and converted to right hand drive (a legal requirement until 1998). There wasn’t an importer after 1968
The amount of change required to get a LHD vehicle registered depends on the engineers’ interpretation of the regulations. Amber indicators were mandatory until 2015 and indicators on any 1973 and later car must be amber. A parking light that is on with headlights is a safety feature so that both extremities of the vehicle are visible if the headlight fails
Interesting! I had no idea. Thanks for sharing this, Leon!
Frankly, it does make sense. But all the same, I feel skeptical of the advantages. It seems like more bureaucratic nonsense, mostly.
Third brake lights are a good example. When they were new (and yes, I remember that) they were startling. When you saw one light up, it caught your attention. Nowadays, it’s weird to see a car without one, and that probably gets just as much attention in its own way. I doubt that adding one to a classic car has ever prevented an accident, especially when you consider that these cars are probably less than one percent of the vehicles driving around.
But it justifies jobs, and helps the government spend taxpayer dollars to annoy the heck out of us, eh? lol
Hang in there, and good luck with that inspection, @Jaymo !
First and last picture of the car being deliberately driven in the rain… by the time I got home, it had rejected the AU parker mod… had I realised the front quarter markers were illuminated the way I needed them (give myself an upper cut) I would have simply jumped a wire from them.
Adelaide has a wet season and a dry season… but the rains are hanging on this year… considering the way I got smashed, I was surprised the interior stayed pretty dry.