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  #1  
Old 01-28-2009, 06:17 PM
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Dan Leavens Dan Leavens is offline
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Cool Left Side Ignition

Over the years there has been discussion, questions and opinions, on why the ignition key on the squarebirds is located on the left side of the dash. While just about all cars have it located on the dash generally over the years it has moved to the right and eventually on the column.With 85+ percent of the world being right handed, can anyone shed any light on this or provide documented fact as to the why??? I have researched this and also talked to other birders but have not come up with the why??? I am sure one or two of you more knowledgeable people can let us all know the " true story".

Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2009, 07:30 PM
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Dano, if you search the threads from last summer or so, someone clarified this (left side vs right side). It was while we were discussing the capability of removing the key while the car was on. Believe it had to do with keeping the passengers (kids) from being able to get at it easily.

John
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  #3  
Old 01-28-2009, 08:09 PM
protourbird protourbird is offline
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It was marketed as a safety factor primarily by Ford. It was claimed that this was safer by keeping the key out of reach of children. Whether this was the real reason or not I wouldn't swear to it but in the late fifties Ford was making a big push on safety items like the padded dash, the recessed steering wheel, and the key on the left. It was probably as much marketing as anything.
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Last edited by JohnG : 01-28-2009 at 09:11 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-29-2009, 01:10 AM
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Coming from a long time Ford family, the version I heard was, all Ford's from ?? to the early 60's had the ign/sw on the left.
GM & Chrysler were on the right. Due to popularity and pressure from the feds to be more "universal" Ford moved the switch over to the right around 1964.
Some of the Ford's my dad owned were the 60 TB, a 55 Crown Vic (red & white of course), a 51 Ford convertible and a 48 convertible. We also had a 62 Merc Monterey when I was a kid (my 1st car). Ign sw was on the left in that also.

Having to hold the shift lever up while starting was a theft deterent (HA HA !!)
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2009, 07:32 AM
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I came from a GM family, but do I remember Ford moving the heater controls to left of the steering wheel for a while (60's?) and maybe even the radio?
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2009, 08:43 AM
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I think Ford knew there detent plates were defective so they just figured it would be easier the hold the shifter up with your right hand and start it with you left.LOL
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  #7  
Old 01-30-2009, 12:19 AM
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I like George's detent plate theory, but just now watching the Men's7 TV show and they are test driving a Porche 9-1-1. They noted the key is on the left side and explained that the left side key location is a carry over from the old days of the LeMans 24 hour race where the driver had to run to the car at the start of the race. The left key location allowed the driver to crank the ignition at the same time his right hand would already be on the stick shift. So guess that then means us Squarebirders can always be ready for a quick start and go.
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  #8  
Old 01-30-2009, 12:46 PM
tarps3 tarps3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ca58tbird View Post
the left side key location is a carry over from the old days of the LeMans 24 hour race where the driver had to run to the car at the start of the race. The left key location allowed the driver to crank the ignition at the same time his right hand would already be on the stick shift. So guess that then means us Squarebirders can always be ready for a quick start and go.
can you imagine jumping in a squarebird that way?!
It would be a good way to lose a knee cap! ha!
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2009, 11:50 PM
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the mere thought of getting into that car in a hurry makes my knees ache!! I'd replace the windlace with foam pipe insulation for starters...
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  #10  
Old 01-31-2009, 09:24 AM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
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Default Wrap around windshield

Yea! The first time my son got in my Thunderbird he hit his leg. He looked at me and said that's going to leave a mark. He also asked me (rubbing his leg) what did Ford do make a windshield and build a car around it? I about got in the floor laughing at him, I told him the wrap around windshield was classic. He said classic for what, keeping the hide tore off your leg.
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