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Blue Dot Tail Lights WHY? When did this start?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 48flyer, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. 48flyer
    Joined:
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    Location:
    North of Minneapolis, MN

    48flyer Member

    When did we start using blue dot tail lights and why?
    I have seen them for years and just thought I'd throw this out there as another dumb question for the masses to give thier 2 cents worth.
    Happy HAMBing
  2. Tortron
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    New Zealand

    Tortron Member

    from what i understand, its due to the contrasting colours. This would make the red stop lamp more visible
  3. Gearhead Graphics
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    Gearhead Graphics Member

    Perhaps just because they look cool?

    They were factory available on some Model A Ford cars I'm told.
  4. theamcguy
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    Fayetteville, NC

    theamcguy Member

    When blue dots were introduced most cars had only one tail light. The addition of the blue dot would make the red tail light appear brighter and better serve its purpose.
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  5. TomWar
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    Florida, formerly NorCal

    TomWar Member

    They were illegal in Calif. before I was 16 in 1957.
  6. 33Tudor
    Joined:
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    El Paso,Texas

    33Tudor Member

    They are still illegal in Texas. I've had them on everything, including my car trailer.
  7. customcory
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    customcory Member

    I got a ticket for them in 1976 .:D
  8. pasadenahotrod
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    pasadenahotrod Member

    Lynx-Eye Blue-dot taillamp lenses were NEVER used as factory equipment on any production vehicle. They were an accessory available at auto parts and hardware stores beginning sometime in the late 30s.
    When Federal/State vehicle standards were regarding lighting were standardized the lenses became "illegal" since the only color lights showable by law from the rear are red, amber and a white licenese illumination light.
    I visited a junkyard in Industry TX years ago and found about 1/3 of the cars there had blue-dot lenses. That was the only junkyard I ever saw these lenses in vehicles in these numbers.
    The Blue-Dots have become "legend" so the reality of the matter is lost in the fog of memories and dreams. From all I have read and heard from "old-timers" they were never the norm in car circles, never universally popular throughout the country, and ceased being available sometime around 1957-58. The newest counter display I have ever seen had a 57 Chevy lens as the newest and I have seen counter displays with 40 Fords as the newest and 49 Fords as the newest.
  9. CTFuzz
    Joined:
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    CTFuzz Member

    Must be me.....................................but I see them everywhere.
    I have them on all my bikes. I never ran them back in the '50s '60 because you were just asking the fuzz to pull you over, now no one seems to care. Still illegal in RI.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
  10. Midwest Rodder
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    Midwest Rodder Member

    I put them on all my cars when I was teenager, they were illeagle and I got a few tickets but they were cool and I didn't care at the time. I still like the looks of them but being the old age of 39 I haven't put them on anything in 20 years or so.
  11. sho1off
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    sho1off Member

    legal in minnesota on older cars and motorcycles, seems like the blue dots only work well with glass lenses
  12. lostforawhile
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    lostforawhile Member

    they are supposed to be legal in Georgia on bikes now, and i believe also on antique cars the idea was the red and blue would make it appear to glow purple.
  13. 49ratfink
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    49ratfink Member

    I like nice bright red lamps at the rear of my car.
  14. Weeks46
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    Weeks46
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My father once told me that only a particular group of people where he lived ran the blue dot tail lights and it had to do with the outcast nature they already felt they had in society (think FIST in the air with a particular color glove on) and what that stood for back then. This was in 1950s-60s Arkansas/Missisippi area and I have no idea whether it was like that elsewhere. That is just what he told me along with his stories about his 40 Ford hotrod and the drive-ins before he shipped out into the Air Force.-Weeks
  15. CruZer
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    CruZer Member

    All the time I was growing up in western Mass.(50's and 60's) I only remember seeing one car with them and it was a stock Model A coupe an old timer drove. None of the car nuts I knew ever put them on their cars.

    In fact,I didn'y know they were illegal in Mass until I got stopped in 1991 because I had them in my '40 coupe.
  16. Limey Steve
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    Limey Steve Alliance Vendor

    I was told by an old cruiser that only the Low Rider crowd ran them & they were never seen on Hot Rods , the Don Montgomery books would concur with that too I believe,that's my 2c.
  17. wfo guy
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    wfo guy Member

    Illegal in Kansas also. I have seen them in hotrods since the early 70's. I don't know the beginning history either.
  18. duste01
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    retro-ville, Kentucky

    duste01 Member

    WHY- they're purdy......

    Look deeply into my blue dot's eye......you are now under the hotrod control....you will learn the way of the hot rod.........
  19. hotrodlarry
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    hotrodlarry Member

    The story I was told was they were used back when doctors mad house calls. If a doctor had blue dots, the cops knew not to pull him over if he was speeding. Once the hot rodders found out, they put them on so the cops wouldn't give chase at night.
  20. Speedwagen
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    Speedwagen Member

    Here is a true story about blue dots.

    I pulled my lowered 68 Suburban into an all night gas station on a wet foggy night, and when I stepped on the brakes the purple glow illuminated the fog.

    I went into pay in to pay for the gas, and the kid on the register said "blue tail lights----cool" and I nodded in agreement. He asked, were you there in the 50's, I said yeah I was....He sadly shook his head and sighed----I was born to late.
  21. mj40's
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    mj40's Member

    They have been legal in Idaho since 1993. USRI presented the bill to the Idaho legislature and passed with no issues here. The law makes them legal to 30 years and older cars. You see them on most anything in Idaho now with no problems.
  22. DocWatson
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    DocWatson Member

    Make the light more visible? What a load of crap, have any of you claiming this ever actually seen them? Add a darker color to a light to make it visible indeed!
  23. duste01
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    retro-ville, Kentucky

    duste01 Member

    hit the light just right they are POI-PUL. PURDY.......
  24. X38
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    X38 Member
    1. Hot Rod Veterans

    And a search would be useful. It's been thrashed out before.
  25. KreaturesCCaustin
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    KreaturesCCaustin Member

    My old man said that he and all his buddies in the Kansas City area had them in the 50s and 60s. I think maybe it's just a 'click' thing. Some crowds and/or regions had them and some didn't. My dad said that he ran them mostly because they were illegal.
  26. turboroadster
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    turboroadster Member

    ha! me too , even my sporty pimped one, never got stopped for them.
  27. cvstl
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    StL MO

    cvstl Member
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    A blue dot that is directly in line with the bulb can be almost blinding if they are done right..... most aren't.
  28. Loppy
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    Location:
    West Palm Beach

    Loppy Member

    Love the way they look, plus they match my headlights. BUT, problem is, they blocked out too much of the light, an LED bulb by-the-way, so I got rid of them. Too many people said my brake lights are out, soooo bye-bye blue dots. Better safe than sorry.
  29. Lucky444
    Joined:
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    Honolulu, Hawaii

    Lucky444 Member

    Nothin' like that sweet purple glow coming from glass lenses with blue dots in 'em.
  30. DocWatson
    Joined:
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    DocWatson Member

    What was the bulb? ten million candle power? It is impossible for the blue to be brighter than the standard red with the same wattage bulb, that is physics not opinion.

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