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Old 11-12-2015, 05:39 PM   #1
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Quick quiz - Why is the key to the left of the steering wheel?

I was told once and I believe it.

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Old 11-12-2015, 06:05 PM   #2
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I don't know...excited to find out.

I do know I love the reminder that this car is something "other" every time I start it.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:06 PM   #3
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It's actually very cool.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:11 PM   #4
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I've been told of two reasons:

1) So your right hand is free to put the car into gear. All about racing and getting the car moving as quick as possible.

2) Weight. Shave every little bit. Apparently the left side is closed to the starter and therefore used a very slightly shorter wire. Every ounce counts.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:28 PM   #5
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Because of the old race cars turn the key while getting the car in gear
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:51 PM   #6
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It was originally so the old Porsche racing driver's could (supposedly) start the car more quickly from a running start. Or so I have been told...
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:52 PM   #7
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Wow, this is Porsche 101. Races used to start with the drivers running to get to their car
& jump in to start the engine. Turn key with left hand & shift with right hand.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:58 PM   #8
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Because of the original LeMans race start.
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:12 PM   #9
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The book "Porsche Speedster - the Evolution of Porsche's light-weight sports car," by Dr Michael Thiriar, goes into much detail. It includes reference to the ignition switch orientation. He finds, less romantically, that it is so the key would be out of reach of the passenger.
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:28 PM   #10
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I'd say nowadays, it's probably a combination of "to be different," and to acknowledge the Porsche brand heritage of it traditionally being that way. (And thus, even though the modern -- starting with our 986 Boxsters -- water-cooled Porsches don't share any parts with the earlier air cooled models, they are still both Porsches.)
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:43 PM   #11
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I was told Le Mans. So you can jump in and get started faster.
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schnellman View Post
Because of the original LeMans race start.
This ^^^^^
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Old 11-12-2015, 08:08 PM   #13
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Quick quiz - Why is the key to the left of the steering wheel?

I knew that.

Now what I don't know, why are our pedals hinged to the floor while most cars are top hinged.

Last edited by BIGJake111; 11-13-2015 at 04:01 AM.
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Old 11-12-2015, 08:39 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by BYprodriver View Post
Wow, this is Porsche 101. Races used to start with the drivers running to get to their car
& jump in to start the engine. Turn key with left hand & shift with right hand.
What I can't figure out is why some cars (944, 928 come to mind) have the key on the column. Seriously it shouldn't matter but I've thought about a 928 or 944 someday in addition to a Boxster or 911 and I hate the fact that the key isn't in porsche position.
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Old 11-12-2015, 08:41 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BIGJake111 View Post
I knew that.

Now what I don't know, they are our pedals hinged to the floor while most cars are top hinged.
I know at least newer bmws are the same way. I rented an X3 for a while and it was just like the boxster. Even had the little click slot at the bottom. I like it, much more precise than a sloppy floppy pedal you get in your average minivan.
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Old 11-12-2015, 08:55 PM   #16
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I always thought that it was on the left so that if you crashed on the track the marshall could reach in and shut off the car.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:13 PM   #17
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My understanding is it's homage to Le Mans cars that used left hand ignition to shave fractions of a second in the start sequence. Seems rather absurd given the race is twenty four hours, but whatever who am I to protest.

It's a real pain in the ass though when you've been programmed all your life on daily driver cars with it on the right side of the column, and you constantly enter the car and make a motion towards the wrong side.
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:54 PM   #18
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Have you noticed the key is on the right in RHD / British versions of the Boxster? Guess Porsche wants the people with the wheel on the wrong side to get going tenths of a second faster too.
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:28 AM   #19
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I've always heard/read that it was tradition going back to the LeMans cars as well.
Does anyone else find themselves automatically stabbing the key into the left (or right) side of the dash when they get in another car?
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:04 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Retroman1969 View Post
I've always heard/read that it was tradition going back to the LeMans cars as well.
Does anyone else find themselves automatically stabbing the key into the left (or right) side of the dash when they get in another car?

Yes lol. I think there is a mark by now on the dash of the other cars in the family. Get in, get the belt with the right hand as my left hand stabs the key into the dash lol. At least half the time I end up genuinely confused.

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