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Phil Wimbish

Headlights '38 vs. '39?

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Hello,

Could anyone tell me if there is a diffence between both the headlight rims and glasses on '38 and '39 Zephyrs?

Thanks in advance!

Phil

'38 Coupe

'57 356 Porsche Coupe

'78 Egg Harbor '33

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I went through this with Dave Hitchinson a while back, he is really in the know, and it was pointed out they are very different animals, rims and lenses, reflectors, everything, so don't buy '39's for your '38-

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The very first thing I did to my 1939 Zephyr was an attempt to fix what I suspected to be a bad ground which caused the headlights to be very dim. After removing the left headlight bezel, the lens crashed to the cement floor and broke into tiny pieces. The headlight bucket had NO method of retaining the lens except the bezel!

I learned that 1939 Ford headlight buckets are interchangeable with 1938/39 Lincoln Zephyrs with the exception of the upper retaining clip. I also learned that 1938 and 1939 headlight lenses are VERY different. However, the ENTIRE assembly (bucket, lens, retainer, and bezel) IS interchangeable between 1938 and 1939 Zephyrs.

Sometime later I was fortunate enough to aquire a pair of NOS 1938 Zephyr headlight assemblies - complete with reflectors, bulbs, and lenses. I obtained the correct 1939 upper retainer clips from Merv Adkins.

The attached photos show the difference between 1938 and 1939 headlight lenses and upper retainers.

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I think it would be neat to install new exotic capsule's obviously hidden behind those beautiful lense??

I would like some of those blue blinding kind ..if they could be had in 6 volt.

very good tip Mr Knapp,

i love that 39 ..the peak zephyr style, but that pic posted here last month or so, the 40 with 39 lenses moulded in was cool, but bothered my eye. 39 is a "different" modern.

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Thanks for your comments, Jeff. I too, love the art deco styling of the '38-39 Zephyrs. The '40-41 models are more practical cars and are still pretty, thanks to Bob Gregorie.

I had 12 volt sealed beams behind the original glass lenses in my street-rodded 1939 Ford Convertible in 1963. They worked pretty well. I drove that car on several trips from Riverside, California to Omaha, Nebraska and Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1963 and as my daily driver for another 5 years. (Check it out at: http://community.webshots.com/album/18281656jhkDSUwrmg ). These are actual photos taken in the actual locations, *NOT* composites! That car had a stock 1958 Chevy 283 engine and a Columbia overdrive. Note that the right side "fog" light in the Loveland Pass photo is actually a 12 volt aircraft landing light. SUPER bright! Sharp eyes may also detect that I had installed 1940 Ford convertible door glass with vent windows in that car. It was quite a cruiser. I should never have sold it!

I tried using 6 volt sealed beams in my '39 Zephyr with unsatisfactory results. Must have been too much glass to diffuse the beam or my eyesight is worse (or both). In any event, I now have original 6 volt bulb and reflector headlights on the Zephyr plus the Trippe "Speedlights" which I never use because the car stays in the barn when it gets dark. It's just too risky to drive at night with those tiny tail lights and poor headlights.

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They make 6 and 12 volt halogen bulb and reflector kits that are for Ford but fit right in a Zephyr through the lens, you can't tell the difference. Driving, they definitely are brighter. Phil's pictures show the main differences in the lenses however the trims are different also. The 39's are made of stainless the 38's are made of brass, the 39's are almost the same width all the way around while the 38's get wider at the top about an 1.5" and has kind of a style line down it at the top. The reflectors and bulb kits I got were from Sacramento vintage ford.

Hope this helps! Dave

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Speaking of Stovebolt powered Ford's Phil, check this one out, this is for all those that say every custom attempt with Zephyrs has already been done, think it will go in the museum of art like the '41 Connie did??

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That was one of the options I tried on the '39 Ford convertible (Green Hornet non-replacement). The lights were bright enough, but the stock reflectors are the wrong shape to produce an acceptable headlight because the halogen filament is in a different spot than the old bulb. Bob Drake has some re-designed reflectors that work a lot better than the stock ones. (Sacto Ford is probably selling these now too). I had a pair of Bob Drakes halogen conversion kits in my 1939 Ford Standard coupe street rod. They were 12 volt halogens and they were very good headlights.

If you're going to use 6 volt halogen bulbs, you might want to consider getting a heavy duty generator (or an alternator) to keep the battery from going dead. My easy solution is just don't drive at night!

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