The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by CoronetRTguy, Oct 15, 2013.
Well, probably about 85% of the guys on here need to find a new hobby in that case!
^ What he says;
Do you think the 50s rodder would dare be caught using outdated bulb headlights that were gooney looking and dim? Rodders used many modern things back then like lights; fronts and rears, and steering wheels, etc.
But they weren't modern things, they were just things that got used.
I disagree. They wanted parts from the newest car they could get.
When we see a Y2k build of a "mid to late 50s build style" and see a flat steering wheel from a very early car, that is not the norm. they usually went with the modern deep dish wheels. Small headlight with shallower buckets were used then, compared to late 40/early 50s builds with the deeper buckets from BLC etc, that came on big trucks
RT, just put some Dietz's on and have a nice day.
Ive been thinking blc2002's for my roadster...
Okay I didn't know how modern a larger light would be, I still like some of the tear drop lights and I have an idea in my head of what something might look like. I also love the small looking lights that are on Genes car and I'm really leaning that way more but it could change as I build it in my head.
As far as being raged on I can take it lol.
Fred I agree and I can take it. I have had whole boards against me in the MOPAR world over someone selling a car claiming to be an original 1972 GSS Demon by Mr. Norm. I pointed things out showing what was wrong and the guy selling it had deeper pockets then me and got me shut out and off the board. I was back on the board within the day still yelling loud on my soap box that the car and paper work was fake. Oh and I knew where the original car was because it was and is a one of one.
I love the hobby I'm not leaving lol.
Yeah I keep looking at the board and looking and looking a pictures. I think I've been on a good many threads and if you or anyone has a link to the threads you are more than welcome to post them here.
The idea I have is kind of what we in the Muscle car world call "Day Two Car' and how when they left the car dealer the soon got mag wheels and headers and other goodies. I'm thinking about doing the car as if a kid bought it in high school who has not a lot of money and things got changed from the era it was built and updated with the newer things of the 60s.
My idea is a day two type of car.
I think a lot of rodders used whatever they could find at a good price. I know a lot of older guys who didn't have a lot of money and waited to buy things they could put on their cars as they got it or if they showed up in a junk yard and a wrecked muscle car or luxury type car came in that used a lot of the same parts as the muscle cars, they bought them and used them.
Something about those BLC lights I dig. I think Louvers and I talked about this in messages. I have an idea and a picture in my mind of the look I want and I'm trying to not leave out any small or big ideas.
I think the mid to late 30s buckets will look huge and out of place on a bucket. Stick with Dietz or King Bees, painted or chrome is your choice, but spend time getting the height correct by mocking up and moving them around until you are happy with the placement. Try both 5 1/2 and 7" bulb size, both were available I think.
Great advice to all except those who "want to do my own thing. I don't care what it looks like and I don't care what everybody else says".
As for the Gene Chan roadster the headlight placement is probably the thing on it I like least. Beautiful car and maybe the cause of the high headlights is because at the time the police were giving hot rod drivers a problem if the headlights were too low.
A couple of thoughts....
Big lights look out of place on a "T", Dietz and King Bee are about the biggest that look OK, as they are only slightly bigger than the 7" bulb. The large ring around the bulbs on BLC and Guide lights make them look too big and heavy. In the past I used the 5-1/2" High/low beam bulb (outside bulb from a four light system) in a chrome spot light housing, these made a nice small light that still did the job. Latest "T" I used a set Dietz as I had them around and I wanted to used a painted housing with a chrome rim. At times they look a little big to me; but not bad.
Stands are important too, I think the Offie stands with the smooth curve and recessed underside are about the best looking stands you can get. There are also some old ones you can find that have a nice curve to them also, most of these I have are "no names" but I have a nice set with "Mooneyes" stamped in them. The finned stands are a little too straight and a little too busy with all the fins, the new smooth stands I have seen are too straight also, just no design to them.
Placement makes a huge difference also, the front of the lights should be even with or just behind the front of the grille shell. Probably can get away with a little too far back; but as soon as the light get in front of the grille it starts to look goofy. If you use the aluminum headlight stands the height will come out right, too low or too high also messes up the look.
Of course these are only my opinions; but if you look at some pictures of old hot rods, you
will see that a lot of other guys probably had the same thoughts on this subject.
Thanks everyone keep the advice coming.
Now a question and maybe i've read my answer already but I want to ask again.
If I run the lights set almost back even with the grill shell (leaving just enough out to not make shadows) how far up should it be on the grill shell itself?
I'm not going to run a standard shell. I want to run (Steel Rebel grill) what I think is a 30s grill. I want to cut it down and I think not sure here but it should set even with the firewall or just under the height of the firewall.
I'm using some late teen Essex buckets (huge bug mashers). I've replaced the dim bulbs with halogen lights. Made my own stanchions out of tube steel and washers.
Nice got any pics?
Headwinds put out a high end product.
Since you asked, my grill is a cut down 32 Ford and is mounted substantially below the firewall line. To look right yours should be below that line too. Maybe not as low as mine though.
The second picture is early with the Mustang engine and the grill is set back some so the headlights look a little forward. The first photo is with the bigger Cadillac engine so I had to move the radiator and grill ahead a couple of
Bottom line you have some latitude. Just get back and look at your car and use good judgement.
Yep, in the 50's that was what hot rodding and customizing was all about. You also wanted the best lights you could get your hands on because you might just want to drive fast at night and the old 20's and 30's lights weren't up to running 80 miles an hour down two lane highways at night. It was in 70's before the big stock looking 20's and 30's headlights and the big gaudy brass lights really took hold on T buckets and or hot rods.
A guy could probably get away with running the 5-1/2 inch high/low Halogens now and not have many worries where 20 years ago it would be cause for an equipment violation ticket. If it looks right to the onlooker you probably won't have a problem, if it looks wrong the guy with the ticket book will be looking up the rules that say it may be wrong.
As far as things "flowing" I think the majority of us on here stand back and look at our rods or customs with the eye that everything on the car has to flow into one blended package with nothing overpowering the car to the point that you see that item and not a whole car or truck or bike for that matter. It doesn't matter what headlights and or stands you have as long as they are part of the whole package and don't stick out like a sore thumb hollering LOOK at me First.
I don't think these would do on a 60s themed car. I've seen them on cars and they scream billet, gold chains and power parking
It's just an option. I get mostly positive comments/interest on the lights at the National level events I attend.
They are pricey at $750 a pair. I guess it depends on the level of your build.
I like the lights but the price WOW I'm in sticker shock. Those are out of my budget.
I prefer the look of the larger diameter headlights, I had a set of United Pacific 7" on my '26. They are actually a knockoff of the early Peterbilt headlight. U.P. sell them primered, chromed or stainless, I used the painted housing with a stainless ring. Here's a picture of them on mine.
Nice looking Bucket! I do like the looks of those, do you have a side view?
Thanks. Here's a few more shots
When my Son built his T bucket I had a set of lights on the shelf I gave him. I think they are Guide "J" lights, but I forget as it has been about 5 years. They are larger than the normal T bucket lights, but they actually ended up working out ok.
I have talked with you before and your sons bucket is one of my favorites. I also like your car, can't remember the year of it but love the color combo. I can't remember the names of the colors.
I do like those headlights and will look for those. I think one thing that makes the look on that bucket is they are not sitting high on the front end. I really like that.
If you Google Crafty-B you will see some amazing cast aluminum teardrop lights, quite a craftsman. With matching tail lights.
Thank you and looking at their stuff now. Really cool stuff and good craftsmanship.
Another possibility is mid40's-50's tractor lights. While I hate tractor parts on hotrods, *some* of the lights aren't bad. Like say, the Ford N series, & similar. It's ~ 5 1/2" in dia, maybe 7", but IIRC, it has a nice shape - not a bullet, & not quite half-a-ball either. Shouldn't be expensive, but would need proper modification to use sealed beams, or HID. & they'll be painted, also.
Other possibilities are the large truck headlights from the 40s. But they have more of a slightly pointed back, & may be bigger than what you want.
As far as placement goes, I like to see the headlight trim-ring-seam even w/the front of the grill shell. Kinda depends on the grill shell itself (style) as to where it'd end up exactly. (I don't like the Pontiac grill/beak style look, esp since it reminds me too much of the East-Coast-style of rods in the 50's/60's). Really, it's all personal preference, although to me, it's also about proportion(s). & includes height, but here again, I like them slightly lower than mid-shell. Usually... . Remember, Cats in the 40's -> 60's had to deal w/the headlight laws, which made them set high - usually.
I ran a set of BLCs . This picture was taken when I first mounted the lights. I've since chromed the marker light housing. Works for me.
Thanks Marcus, I will look into that as I live in a big farming area and may be able to find some around. I will have to look into that.
What is the difference in east and west coast builds? I'm in the east coast.
Thanks for that tip and keep the info coming everyone.
I dig those and really like the looks of the BLCs. Great looking T man.
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