Being that my father was stationed in England during his time in the USAF, I have always been curious about the British accent and driving on the wrong side of the road. I’ve not had the privilege of visiting Great Britain or driving from the passenger side but I may soon have that opportunity. I say that because the US Postal Service recently interviewed me for a part-time position as a rural route delivery person. If offered the job, I have decided to take it. However, there is one slight wrinkle to the plan. This position would require me to drive my own car from the passenger seat to deliver mail.
As you may recall, I currently own two vehicles. My daily driver is a 1995 Jaguar XJ6 and my wife’s is a 2003 Chrysler Town & Country minivan. Both of these are Left Hand Drive (LHD) vehicles. So, using one of them would require some modifications or some clever shenanigans to reach mail boxes through the passenger side window. Someone suggested reaching my leg across the car to use the pedals. This isn’t a very good idea since the transmission/drive shaft tunnel is in the way. I think I would be visiting the chiropractor more frequently if that were a daily occurrence. So, here are the two ideas I am considering should I be offered the job.
Using the steering wheel from the passenger seat shouldn’t be too big of a deal. But the pedals would be almost impossible to operate from that position. So, the best idea would be to have some pedals installed on the passenger side flooring. A Google search revealed that driver training cars have a brake pedal installed for the trainer to use when necessary. But can you have duplicate gas and braked pedals added for postal work?
DualBrake.com offers a FAT dual control kit. From what I can tell, this kit could be installed in my vehicle and allow me to accelerate and brake from the passenger seat. The cost is fairly reasonable at $378.24 plus shipping. I’m not sure how much installation would cost but would expect about that much to get it done right. I’ll be asking my mechanic and the local upfitter for ideas later this week.
USED RHD VEHICLES
With my reputation for purchasing a car every other month, you already know that I have been investigating what Right Hand Drive (RHD) cars are available in the area. At the present there are several possibilities.
- 1960 Jaguar Mark II
- 1983 AM General Postal Jeep
- 1999 Jeep Cherokee
- 1989 Nissan S-Cargo Van
Now wouldn’t that be a sight to see every day when your mail was delivered? Obviously, this is not a reasonable possibility for the job or my bank account. The starting bid of $2000 will probably reach a much higher price and I am sure that the weekly repairs would eventually double the purchase price. But it is a fun car to think about.
This vehicle might be a short term solution. The price is definitely attractive but would a 2WD Jeep work in Ohio winters. And would the lack of power steering and power brakes get older fast? I don’t know. If it were located in Ohio, I think I would take it for a test drive. But it’s not. It’s for sale on a lot in Missouri which is about 10 driving hours away from where I live.
This vehicle has 4WD, factory RHD, and a good description. I like that it has working AC and runs well. I don’t like the rust and the price seems a but high. But it might be a good vehicle to consider if the other options don’t pan out.
Now if this one ends up with a decent price, I may have to take a drive back from the West Coast in it. This would definitely be a fun one to own and drive. According to the description, it is a legally imported unit. And it is 25 years old so would probably pass as a Classic car. I wonder how small it actually is and if I would fit in it. In any case, this one makes me smile.
At this point, I don’t know whether this job will be offered to me. So, this is all conjecture. The Post Master who interviewed me told me that she would let me know Wednesday or Thursday of this week whether I am chosen for the job. Until then, I am going to see what options are available to me so that I am ready to make a well educated decision. If you have any ideas or know of any postal jeeps available in northeastern Ohio, feel free to let me know.