lovesolderplymouths

Mis-matched headlights

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As my car was being judged for it's 36th Preservation at Hershey this past Saturday, the team captain informs me that the headlight judge has discovered my headlights don't match.  More specifically, the 2 outboard units of the quad set-up.  What?  The car was purchased brand new, has been in the family garage since day 1, and I'm 99% sure a headlight was never replaced.  All 4 headlamps are GE brand.  On close-up inspection, I didn't see it.  The team captain had me step back 10 feet and pointed out the refracting ribs in 1 bulb are wider than in the other.  Each has a different number at the top of the glass.

So what are the AACA specifics for matched headlights?  Back in 1993, when the car first entered AACA Class judging, I understood the brands had to match left to right.  As I search for a matched set, do I need to specifically go for GE (to match the inboard pair), or can I substitute another replacement brand pair for the outboard?

Or, after 23 years of AACA judging, not lose any sleep over it? 

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From 10 feet away? Forget about it, chances are if you try to change it, you'll break something, which will then lead to a full restoration.

Leave it and see if the next judge notices it....

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Page 2-19 of the Judging Guidelines:

 

"14. Headlights must be period correct. Headlights must match. Non period correct headlights will receive the maximum deduction (3 points each).

Non matching headlights will receive the maximum deduction (3 points each). Specific headlight brand is not important."

 

So, it is not a major point deduction, but the Team Captain thought he or she should let you know.  It sounds like one headlight bulb got replaced at some time with one slightly different from the other.

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Team Captains are instructed to bring significant deductions to the owner's attention. I suspect this captain told you about the headlight simply as a courtesy. As Matthew said not a major point deduction.

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Thanks for your input.  It's a sixties car so it's easy to replace.  Ironically, there was a 1968 Dodge across the aisle from me on Saturday @ Hershey with the EXACT mismatched headlights, GE and all!  Had we swapped 1 headlight each, we'd both have a matched set.  

You can't just buy these non-halogen replacements anywhere like in the good  old days.  Any suggestions where to buy new ones?

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Yes, you need to stay within the GE brand or replace all of them so that they match by brand and era within the brand.  Some folks think that GE and General Electric are the same.  They are not the same era.  Brand no longer matters.  ie,, vehicles that came from the factory with T-3 headlights no longer have to have those.  Purists will still seek them out and use them.  The change was made several years back when the T-3 headlight supply dried up.  Now they are being produced again but the rule has not been reversed.

Honestly from my perspective it seems a bit nitpicky to be looking at the number of refractive ribs to say they don't match.  And headlights are something I always take a good look at if I am the exterior judge or the Team Captain.  Many now are trying to slip Halogen headlights in or mixing the brands.  


 

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Yes AJ, my car did receive it's Preservation.  This fellow has been the Team Captain of my class @ Hershey for the last 3-4 years, and I respect him.  As he introduced himself and shook hands, he said "you look familiar".  His headlight comment was informational indeed.  He added, "if we find too much wrong, we will need to point-judge the car".  That was a little unnerving! There was a heightened headlight awareness, as the car judged prior to mine competing for First Preservation had incorrect Halogen bulbs.  Only a minimal deduction, he received the award. 

 

I am planning on attending the AGNM next year in Williamsport next year.  The AGNM within driving distance doesn't come around too often for me, and my Senior car is eligible.  It is no 400 point car and my resources fall far short of making it such.  The results may show I was only a participant and not a competitor, that's OK.  I will have supported the AACA.

 

I have found a source for "AACA correct" headlights, just haven't pulled the trigger yet.  I need to wrap my head around removing 3 "General Electric" bulbs installed on the Chrysler assembly line in 1967.  But at least I'll have spares.

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At Hershey, Repeat Preservation cars are generally judged visually; that is, not point judged on the sheets. It saves us time to spend on the cars that need to be point judged in the class. If the judges see possible major deductions, we'll go back and point judge it. At a smaller meet you should not assume they will not be point judged.

 

I'd check on the Buy/Sell forum before I went out and bought three to match one....

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The easiest and fastest solution is to purchase the 4 matching Wagners from a repro/restoration supplier.  Finding the model number/pattern to match the ORIGINAL General Electric is not so easy unless I remove 1 from someone else's car.  I've seen several.  Don't think anyone would take too kindly to that!  Meanwhile, I will continue to look for that 1 correct headlight to match the other 3.  

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