RHD USA Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is one of the most exciting trucks to come out of Detroit since the SRT-10 Viper Ram truck. Off the showroom floor, the fire-breathing 411 hp Ford Raptor is built to race across the Mojave Desert, zigzag down the Baja Peninsula, and even win a Dakar Rally. With its specially engineered Ford SVT long travel suspension featuring FOX Racing Shox and wide body stance, the Raptor is built for high-speed, dirt-pounding action. There’s a reason why it’s the prerunner of choice for many off-road motorsports teams and admired by horsepower aficionados across the board.
The attraction for the Ford SVT Raptor extends beyond our own soil, becoming increasingly magnetic in places like Australia and Africa. The immense arteries of dirt roads and open terrain in these areas beckon the Raptor to get out and explore. The problem is Ford Motor Company currently does not offer a factory-built right-hand-drive SVT Raptor for these countries. The only real option for customers is to have a left-hand-drive vehicle modified to meet local motor safety requirements.
We recently met Shawn Rogers from Right Hand Drive USA (a.k.a. RHD USA), an automotive company specializing in converting highly coveted Detroit wheels for customers overseas. RHD USA modifies vintage muscle cars, racecars, and even Hummer Limousines using four-steer drive and proprietary right-hand-drive conversion systems. Their latest venture has blown the lid off the right hand drive market, opening the export of full-size pick-up trucks made in North America to the world. Some of the trucks being converted by RHD USA include the Toyota Tundra and the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.
We heard RHD USA was in the process of converting some Ford Raptors for customers in Africa, so we headed down to their shop to get a closer look at what our friends on the other side of the world are driving.
RIGHT-HAND DRIVE SVT RAPTOR
We took a drive down to sunny San Diego where RHD USA builds its vehicles. Upon arrival, the number of Ford F-150 SVT Raptors the crew was building blew us away. A fleet of brand new Raptor trucks dismantled of their left-hand-drive components, being prepped for conversion in various stages. Shawn Rogers personally showed us around and shared all the work that goes into making an RHD USA conversion come to life.
A complete new dashboard is designed to accommodate a right-hand-drive configuration. All driver components are moved to the right side of the cab as part of the conversion including the steering wheel, instrument cluster, pedal assembly, safety air bags, buttons, switches, wiring, air ducting and plumbing. The passenger-side components are moved to the left side of the cab. RHD USA also fabricates a new steel firewall to secure items like the brake booster, cable linkage, steering column and hvac system.
We got to see some of the CAD drawings and proprietary designs used by RHD USA. Unfortunately we could not photograph this detail work in the interest to keep other companies from copying them. What we can tell you is that it’s top rate. No hack job here.
Shawn emphasized that they try to use as many factory parts as possible in their conversions. This not only keeps the truck happy, it also helps their customer in the future when they need to replace wear-and-tear components such as switches, hoses or heater cores. They are all original equipment parts that can be purchased with ease from a Ford dealer or auto parts store.
When we visited RHD USA, they had just completed a Ford Raptor for a customer in Africa. In addition to the right-hand-drive conversion, Shawn and his crew also made some additional modifications using aftermarket performance parts—making this already impressive truck even more of a head turner.
We truly enjoyed our time at RHD USA. Driving the Ford Raptor around San Diego, seeing the expression on people’s faces as the truck drove down the road with flipped driver/passenger configurations. The arctic white camo graphics gave us the element of surprise, but once we looked over at them, the sight of the passenger driving was shocking. That’s about the time we smile and wave, the ROUSH Supercharger hit boost, and all that was left was the resonating boss sound from the 6.2L V8 motor.
The RHD USA Raptor stays true to the SVT Raptor experience, adding a complete new dimension and driving experience for our friends across the pond. It also proved to us that the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is an awesome ride no matter what side the steering wheel is on.
Right Hand Drive USA (RHD USA) http://www.righthanddriveconversions.com/
61 (03) 9018 7576 Australia