kcybr

In Your Humble Opinion...Fog Lamps vs. Driving Lights!

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Let's discuss and have some fun with the topic of fog lamps vs. driving lights on 20's, 30's and 40's cars!  I'm sure they're folks out there that like neither, and that's great too!

 

Who likes what better? Do you like function of one, more than the other? How about aesthetics? What about the size lamp/light compared to the headlight size? What brand(s) are you familiar with and like the most? What brands were most desired for what cars? What are some of the rarest out there?

 

Again, this topic is for fun and everyone has their own opinion, let's respect that.

 

Post some photos too!

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Some cars don;t look right with extra lights. With any added lighting it should be kept simple.

The 10' driving lights and the 12' running board mounted spot lights should left to fire trucks.

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Good topic kcybr,

                                  I'm sure you'll get many varied opinions. This is only mine and may not agree with others.

I ran clear lens driving lights on my '36 Buick. I believe they had the 5 inch lens. Looked great (and correct) and really helped with the night visibility. I don't know where one might need true fog lamps these days, or how many might still drive their classic cars on deserted foggy roads at night. So the yellow lenses....not so much.

The larger lamps look fine on the 20's era cars, Packard, Pierce, Rolls, etc. The driving lamps are a nice dress up for the larger, more expensive class of cars.

Personally I always think it looks ridiculous when I see a little Ford or Plymouth all dressed up with the driving lights, fender skirts, white walls, visor, etc. (and this is from a guy who currently owns a '38 Plymouth coupe).

It's like bringing your finest dining silverware to eat at McDonalds. :lol:

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The fog lights help at night but clear lens may be better. These are original to the 38 Studebaker State Commander model.  I do not know if they were dealer or factory installed. 

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I personally prefer the look without any extra lights.  It's cleaner.   

 

With that said, I've been thinking of adding some Trippe lights on my Packard because I like to drive at night and I could use the extra candles to see the road better.

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I like extra lights that are factory approved.  L-29 Cords and 31-33 Auburns had Pilot Rays. 

I don't believe that any U.S. manufacturer had Trippe lights in their factory brochures.  

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2 hours ago, Curti said:

I like extra lights that are factory approved.  L-29 Cords and 31-33 Auburns had Pilot Rays. 

I don't believe that any U.S. manufacturer had Trippe lights in their factory brochures.  

 

Interesting thread on what lights were available in factory brochures here: 

 

I have a 1951 photo of my car that had a spotlight added.  I decided to remove the spotlight because it likely wasn't original.  But when you're going back that far it's admittedly a little technical to talk about original versus very early.

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Thanks everyone who replied so far and what an interesting thread to read on the topic that was supplied by 1935Packard!

 

IMHO, seems like a lot of people go towards the clear driving lights for both aesthetics and function. For me, I like the rarity of the fog lamps, I just don't see a lot of cars equipped with them. 

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Rummaging thru a garage sale up country 15 years ago, I came across a 6"'-7" dia fog light, nice chrome bucket with yellow lens, had a brass tag riveted on top saying "Packard Road and Fog Lamp". Guy wanted $2.00, SOLD! It was in excellent condition, fellow had no idea what it came from, after keeping for couple of years, confirmed it was for late 30's Packard and put it on eBay at $80US, sold in a week. Of course buyer wanted to know if I had a second one, apparently a rare item. My view is that such accessories should only be placed on vintage cars if they were period options by dealer for the car, or aftermarket items in that period that match other lights on car.  

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All of my road cars from the 60s to the 80s had driving and fog lights, I have always wanted more even to halogens (from France) in the mid '60s.Today I use SilverStar Ultras and use fog lights for cornering lights. Around here we have maybe two days a year with foggy mornings and just do not drive until it clears.

bunose.jpg

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My ‘52 Cadillac came with fog lights in the grill. I think they look perfect and are very functional. I think on the right car additional lights on the grille or bumper can look very nice. I wanted to added 5” white fog lights to the bumper of my Meadowbrook. But if I did I’d have to remove the factory bumper guards. 

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Cadillacs from the fifties had fog lamps as an option. My '56 de Ville had them too. One night, I tried to use only the fog lamps, on an empty road. Oh Boy! Driving without any illumination would be the same. They look good on the car, but they are totally inefficient! OK, they are fog lamps, not driving lamps. However, modern fog lamps are giving some light in front and on the side. Those? Almost othing!

The picture is from my '56 Biarritz. The de Ville had the same configuration; the '57 Brougham I have has similar fog lamps.

IMG_0595.JPG

Edited by Roger Zimmermann (see edit history)
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To some extent I agree with GregLaR that either fog or running lights look odd/overkill on a simple Plymouth--which is true, IMHO, of any car that is 'over-accessorized', a look that a friend of mine used to describe as a car that drove through Pep Boys with a magnet attached.  Despite this, I have always run Super 7 Fog Lamps on my 34 PE Plymouth (photo attached) as it has a fairly fancy look anyway, 4-dr sedan with dual sidemounts and trunk rack.  I simply wired them with dual filament bulbs and use them as running lights/turn signals, which, again IMHO, look period and better than modern turn signals mounted on the bumper/bumper brackets.  I have a set of similar lamps that are going to go on my 34 PE Plymouth convertible when completed, again to serve the purpose of turn signals.  They don't help to see the road better but certainly help others know when I am planning on turning.

TEL_1826.jpg

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7 hours ago, Roger Zimmermann said:

Cadillacs from the fifties had fog lamps as an option. My '56 de Ville had them too. One night, I tried to use only the fog lamps, on an empty road. Oh Boy! Driving without any illumination would be the same. They look good on the car, but they are totally inefficient! OK, they are fog lamps, not driving lamps. However, modern fog lamps are giving some light in front and on the side. Those? Almost othing!

The picture is from my '56 Biarritz. The de Ville had the same configuration; the '57 Brougham I have has similar fog lamps.

IMG_0595.JPG

 

This Cadillac is exceptionally good looking. The designers got just right.  If it were mine, I would run sans front license plate and round medallion.  The LEO's have never bothered me about a front plate on any collector car.

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This is mine, smooth and clean, just the way it rolled off the line in 1936.  

SC phaeton.jpg.JPG

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12 hours ago, Curti said:

 

This Cadillac is exceptionally good looking. The designers got just right.  If it were mine, I would run sans front license plate and round medallion.  The LEO's have never bothered me about a front plate on any collector car.

I would not dare to do that in Switzerland!

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Quote

 

FOG lamps are for when there is FOG present; night or day.

 

DRIVING, ROAD, or RUNNING lights are for when the car is moving forward on the road regardless of the weather; night or day.  Starting in Canada with the 1990 model year, daytime running lights became mandatory.  Sweden had that law in place many years previous.  In the 1960's a RUNNING light was a somewhat popular option, and my dad's 1964 Plymouth had one.  Full-size 1969 & '70 Dodge Monacos had a built-in running light they referred to as a 'Superlight'.  Mustang offered a light-up accessory horse running light on 1967-68 models which is worth a fortune now.

 

Craig

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Trippe lights are ok but it seems they are fitted( currently not during the era the cars were made)  to everything from 4 cylinder Plymouths of  1928-32  to larger CCCA classics; "junior" or "senior" Trippe lights ( smaller or largerer) are ok but I like to take the time to find an accessory catalog for the particular make of car I have and try to learn what was offered  as I think that perhaps the factory would look at their cars and determine what looked best. My biggest objection visually , is when the lamps are to large; (huge fog lights on  the Plymouth, DeSoto, Chevy etc) and are about the same size as the headlamps on the car in the 1934 and earlier era , they just look awkward .

I like single pilot ray lights over the pair as well, also if a windshield post spot lamp has to be mounted , one looks better. The more lights you add the more it looks like a fire engine.

In the late 1920s into the early 1930s Packard used Saf de Lites.  These do not look like trippe lights nor any  other lamp of the era but I wanted factory suggested  period lamps on my 1930 model 733. I have them wired up but for use as directional signals. the headlamps give me enough light at night if I drive then. Amber ( yellow) ribbed lens lamps started to appear about 1934-35. I do have driving /fog lights on my 1940 Buick but they are much smaller ( but not tiny) appearing then what Trippe lights would look like if I had those mounted. Do your homework and research to seek period photographs or a sales /accessory catalog for your car. If there was a factory monthly magazine sent to car owners by the car company  during the era look in there as well . Nil Melior was an accessory store in NY City from ca. 1928 up thru about 1940 that had a variety of accessory lamps and at one time had their auto accessory store in the south lobby of the Waldorf Astoria hotel!  Tell that to your friends - "did you know that the famous Waldorf Astoria hotel in NY City had an auto parts store in the lobby?"

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In my humble opinion, it is better to be seen at night in your vintage car with original headlights than trying to see like others driving much faster than you  with their modern headlights.  Just don't try to drive faster than you can see with your original headlights & add reflectors to help others to see you from behind.

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My thinking is on today's cars Driving lights are to help make cars seen during the day and times of day when Headlights are not necessarily on. The exception now is most new car's seem to have their Headlights on automatically at all times of the day. You don't see factory fog lights on newer cars normally. All that being said, Driving Lights would help on older cars to be seen to prevent accidents, BUT at the same time Fog Lights should serve two functions, acting as the only lights to be used in  fog but also can be used to be seen during the day when there is no fog.

 

Sometimes I think I over think things

Edited by Doug Novak (see edit history)
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Speaking of driving lights, I have a set of Dietz 510 New York 6 volt lights that I am not going to get around to installing. They appear to be NOS slightly pitted with mounting brackets. The lights have been tested and work. But wait, that's not all! I will include another matching 510 light with working bulb, also NOS but without mounting brackets. But wait, that’s not all! Included in this offer is a NOS Niehoff “lite” switch! But wait, that’s not all. For a limited time I will include free delivery to Hershey next week!  All this for $70.00. P.M. if interested. Zeke7BFFDC09-F510-4153-882D-3FF270CF2D11.thumb.jpeg.dad28b612bc351fe2435341219a994f6.jpeg6BEBE986-3C67-45D2-A00F-825DB8137F21.thumb.jpeg.f3d928cc913c37f93990a3fb26cb8b1e.jpeg

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