Board Sponsor & Contributor
Joined: 31 Oct 2002
Location: North America
New rear lenses on my '62 Lancer
(Tue May 03, 2005 7:50 am)
|I mentioned in the armrest thread that I'd placed an order with Blue Star Spares. One of the other items I bought was a pair of new rear turn signal lenses. Australian regulations don't allow US-style red rear turn signals, they have to be amber. So, the Australian Valiants combined the rear turn and backup (reverse) light functions into one amber lamp on each side of the rear of the car. It happens that the Australian SV-1 (US 1962 Valiant) used the 1961-1962 Dodge Lancer backup light housings, mounted inboard of the brake/tail lamps and fitted with amber lenses.
I prefer amber rear turn signals to red ones, so some years back I installed a set of US 1962 Valiant under-bumper backup lamps, installed amber bulbs in the factory Lancer backup lights near the brake/tail lamps, and did the necessary rewiring:
It worked fine, I had my amber rear blinkers, but having two sets of white lights on the back of the car looked sort of dorky and weird. So, I figured I'd try out a set of Blue Star's new replacement amber lenses (stock replacement for the Australian cars) and see how they looked:
That's certainly different!
Yep, I like this better.
Much better, in fact.
The new lenses are of nice quality, and I'm guessing they're representative of the quality of Blue Star's other repro lenses, many of which aren't applicable to North American cars, but some of which are.
The Australian cars were generally more carefully built than the US ones—more welds, more sound deadening, etc—and part of the extra care was that they got gaskets for the rear lamp housings, which the US cars didn't. I should've ordered the gaskets, too!
As a final note on this, the Australian Valiants didn't have separate white reversing (backup) lamps. As noted above, the backup and rear turn functions were combined in the rear amber lamps; Australia's laws at the time permitted backup lamps to produce either white or amber light. I think if I were going to do this again, I might skip the '62 Valiant under-bumper backup lights and simply rework the wiring to the Australian setup as I've done on my '89 D100 pickup.