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Re: Sucky-to-the-Max (tm) US Lights
It's good to see more arguments in favor of 'Europa Scheinwerfer', or
European headlights over the designs that came from the 1940's- before the
allied victory, before your grandma ever started baking cookies for her
The American lighting laws were, but obviously still are, based on 'safety'
terms whereas the European lighting were based on 'performance'.
The American lighting laws came into such dictatorial terms because
previously in the 1930 and before, the lighting wars erupted in the dark
countryside. The bulbs being replaced in older Fords and other cars used to
be where you remove the lens (the cork gasket between the lens and reflector
somewhat helped to keep the water out) and twist to remove the bulb. The
lighting war came as a result of decaying surface of the lens and everyone
was thinking- to each his own and added on extra lightings to make vision
better. Remember how the cars used to have a single red lamp in the back? The
government came in with a policy of 'safety' designs by enclosing everything
so no water would come in and no light wars would go on by outlawing add on
The European came into the picture diffrerently about their cars because of
the Alps and narrow roads, plus the pitch dark countriside. They passed the
lighting laws based on 'performance'.
American specs is simply a larger version of a foglamp. The filament in the
fog light lie horizontally left to right and the beam spreads out loosely
which is good for fog but if misaligned then it's irritation to drivers. The
low beam filament is slightly off center and just above the high beam,
showing almost no difference only that the low beam being off center throws
the beam slightly toward the right. No sense of solid control here. Remember,
just an elaborate fog lamp. (Newer American spec bulbs have turned the
filaments front to back on some cars but hardly an improvement in light flow
European filaments are lined front to back, horizontally, with the low beam
filament partally covered by a small bowl at the bottom to give the blocked
'dipped' beam look. The high beam is uncovered and is behind the low beam.
I sure like the dipped beam lamps, like a cookie dipped in chocolate, dark at
the bottom. The cut off line pattern for left-hand drive (like us) runs from
nine o'clock to four o'clock (as if the lamp is the clock face). The British
and right-hand goes from eight to three. That's the whole of a difference
when throwing lights up to the right, protecting the oncoming drivers to the
Hope this satisfy many lingering technical questions. Go and buy European
type lamps cuz now Nissans, Toyota trucks, some Hondas, Mercedes and Audi's!
of course (some though) have the cut-off type European spec lighting.
On my car I have a quad lamp like standard 5000S but of course I threw a hail
mary pass of those four lights out and put in a pair of low beam H1
projection lamp (yep- projection like the BMWs and newer Audis have giving it
spider's eyes look) in square shape widely available in Europe (you can see
plenty of that on tour buses) that gives a razor sharp cut off light output
nine to two o'clock and is only a low beam. The inside lamp is the high/low
Hella H4 type with bluish coating (PIAA type) I bought in France, which
served as day time running lights (DRL) on low beam and useful in fog, and
high beam as well.
We need 'performance' based laws. Try and look at the 1960's, 70's and 80's
Fords and other cars in Europe with lights galore and how hot they looked
than here. Even the European version of the Mustang in 1977 knocked the socks
Looks like we are back into the lighting war, ain't we? Good! Revolution
helps improve the old laws, or I mean- do away with the old laws and put in
Los Angeles (previously relocated from Seattle)
1978 100 5S (5k)
1981 200 5T (5k)