Converting a Camaro to Right-Hand Drive (Video)

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Making the Camaro SS legal for road use in Oz is fascinating to watch.

Holden Special Vehicles recently began marketing the Chevrolet Camaro SS in the Australian market, but to do so, the company has to first convert every car to right-hand-drive. While Ford builds the Mustang for the Aussie market with the steering wheel on the right side, Chevrolet does not, so HSV has to manually swap the steering wheel from one side of the cabin to the other.

This takes a great deal more work than you might expect, with most of the body panels, much of the wiring, all of the interior, the front suspension and the firewall all being removed to create a right-drive Camaro. To show just how much work goes into the swap, the HSV YouTube channel recently shared a video detailing the left-hand-drive to right-hand-drive conversion that every Chevy muscle car shipped “down under” has to go through in order to be street legal.

Eight Stages of Conversion

The conversion process of a Chevrolet Camaro by Holden Special Vehicles is narrated by Andrew Mills, Camaro Production Line Manager at HSV, who calls it the “re-manufacturing process”. If you have never seen a car undergo this process, that might seem like an exaggeration, but as the video shows, almost every piece of the car is removed during the right-drive build.

HSV Camaro Build Trunk

Station 1

First up, the HSV team removes the doors, seats, carpeting, trunk liner, fuse box, stereo amplifier and the main wiring harness of the Camaro. The team also removes some body panels, making the rewiring process a bit easier.

Station 2

At the second step of the process, the new wiring harness goes in with the fuse box and the amplifier being remounted in the trunk. Once the harness is popped into place in the trunk, the “boot trim” goes in and the team moves to the interior, where the process of installing the new harness continues. After that, the rear seats, cabin trim and headliner go into the 2018 Camaro. Finally, Station 2 removes the front end and the entire dash assembly.

HSV Camaro Wiring Install

Station 3

At the third station, the team drops the front suspension and engine assembly, allowing them to swap to a right-drive steering column. This includes rerouting some engine and transmission lines, but to install a steering column on the right side of the Camaro, the team also has to remove the entire firewall. After the new firewall goes in with the access for the steering column and pedals, the engine bay items that attach to the firewall including the brake booster are bolted back up. Once everything that goes behind the engine is returned to its normal position, the engine and front suspension assembly is replaced.

HSV Camaro Engine Go In

Converting a Camaro to Right-Hand Drive (Video) continued…

"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

"Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group. While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

"Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life," adds Rall, who has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now automotive journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular auto websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

"I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

"My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

"Being based on Detroit," says Rall, "I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit's Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.

Rall can be contacted at [email protected]

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