Fifty-one years ago today Sweden went to the dark side and started driving on the right, despite more than 80% of voters saying “nej” to the idea in a referendum in the 1950s.
This referendum, in fact:
There was a major publicity campaign to inform the unwilling populace:
Here we see the consequences. I had thought these daylight pictures were staged as the actual changeover was at 5.00, but seemingly not. In Stockholm (this shows Kungsgatan in the city centre) the changeover period was extended over two days with roads reopening for traffic at 3pm (or kl 15.00 if you’re Swedish!). The most interesting features in the image are all red. A Messerschmitt KR175 or 200 (bottom right), an MGB GT (bottom left) and a Healey (mid left). The black car behind the Healey is a 1951-53 Opel Kapitän , one of few models to come with an umlaut as standard. In front of the Healey we find a P2 Rekord.
The change came with musical accompaniment from the Telstars, who exhorted Svensson to håll sig till höger.
Me, I’ll håll mig till vänster, tack.