valk

'41 fog/backup lights

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Posted (edited)

Were these wired to the accessory buttons in the dash or somewhere else? I've come across a correct backup light and would like to eventually get the right fog lights aswell. 

Thanks,

Peter

 

 

Edited by valk
bogus description (see edit history)

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Shoot - after researching this, I guess a backup light was not offered as an option on '41 buicks. I thought the oval lights offered as an option on '41 Cadillacs were also offered on Buicks but I cannot find a photo of one on a Buick nor reference to one in any Buick liturature. It's a cool light, though, and I may still install it since the Cad and Buick bodies are the same. Thought I would wire it to one of the accessory switches on the dash. Any thoughts? Anybody else have a backup light? 

Peter

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Posted (edited)

Both fog lights and a back-up light could have been installed by the dealer, so they're not necessarily incorrect. If you install a back-up light, it's preferable to use a Guide or other GM-style unit that looks right, but there's probably no wrong choice. My Limited has a big back-up light that has no markings on it but has obviously been on there for a very long time. Most dealer installations used a switch on the shift linkage to automatically turn the light on when you shift into reverse. When I got my car, the back-up light was actuated by a manual switch under the dash, which I eventually commandeered for my electric fuel pump, so it's not hooked up at the moment. However, I do have a modern industrial proximity switch that I intend to use to get it working properly. It's easy to wire up if you want a manual switch, but a correct switch for the shift linkage will be virtually impossible to find, so you'll have to get creative if you want that functionality. Here's the best photo I have of my back-up light:

 

Trunk1.thumb.jpg.dc48c8f6a6c96fe4f66fb952d30b32df.jpg

 

As for the fog lights, they were available as a factory-installed option or as a dealer-installed accessory. '41 Buicks used unique squared-off lights with two-tone lenses. I can't confirm that they are unique to the 1941 Buicks, but they are shown in the period Buick literature and seem to be 1941 only. Here they are on the front of my car:

 

OneEach2.thumb.jpg.1864d94ccb93e6052ece2ff3efa6320e.jpg

 

Have a look at my '41 Buick Limited Limousine thread under "Me and My Buick" and you'll see the correct lights, how they're installed, and how the switch fits in the dash. It takes the place of the ACCESSORY knob on the right side of the center stack (the one on the left is for the windshield washer). If you're lucky, you'll find a FOG LIGHT knob to replace the ACCESSORY knob, which is how it would have been if the lights were installed at the factory. The ACCESSORY knob can also be tapped for a set screw to be used on the switch, which is what I did until I find a correct FOG LIGHT knob.

 

1680305248_FogLightdashswitch.thumb.jpg.f2f8a4fb2a83e00861a02f96831dfc87.jpg

 

I used a relay to operate the fog lights, and wired them so they will only work when the taillights are on (either headlights or parking lights must be on). Therefore they also turn off with the main light switch so it's less likely that you'll forget them. All the details for how to make the lights work and wire them up are in this thread:

 

Hope this helps!

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)

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Wow great stuff, thanks so much Matt. So I'm gathering installing this backup light (in the pic) would not be a major point deductor, disqualifier or faux pas? Note this one is installed by drilling a hole in the sheet metal and not bolted to the bumper. Currently, my right side "accessery" knob is an electric fuel pump, and the left side knob is not a switch and doesn't move in or out (is it usable?) so I'll have to go with hidden switches of some type I guess. But I will look for a "Fog Light" switch. Thanks for the headsup. 

I believe the '41 fogs were used on a few GM brands, at least I've seen them advertised as '41 Chevy lights too. Those are the babies I want but funding is an issue at the moment seeing how crappy ones go for hundreds. 

Thanks again,

Peter

 

1941_Cadillac_Series_62_convertible_coupe_rear.JPG

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..just noticed installing this type might be a bit dicey as the Buick taillight assembly sits right where this one is installed...ugh. 

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This is probably a more correct back-up light for a '41 Buick:

 

s-l300.jpg

 

The Chevy fog lights are subtly different and a little smaller than the correct Buick units. They're not the same. You might be able to find some under the name B-L-C (which are identical--that's what mine are, although I found some NOS Guide lenses), which were the same as Guide but perhaps sold in aftermarket stores. But the Buick lights are definitely not the same as Chevy lights.

 

Both ACCESSORY knobs are dummies and you can easily remove the open one on your dash--it's just held in place with a piece of spring steel so if you gently pry it out, it'll pop out. You'll see how it fits together from there. I have a 2-position pull switch that you can use for fog lights if you need it. It isn't 100% factory correct for the installation (I used an original fog light switch which is designed to be wired into the headlight circuit such that it turns off the fog lights when the hi-beams are on), but if you want it to just function as an on/off switch it'll be just fine. 

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Thanks again Matt - your keeping me out of trouble. 

I really like the oval light and wish I could work it in tastefully but it may not work out given the contours of the sheet metal. 

Peter

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I have an accessory back up light on my '38 66S that looks exactly like the one in Matt's post. When I first saw it I thought "50s junk" but on closer inspection discovered it is a Guide. Matt do you know the provenance on these - what years they were available?

 

Cheers, Dave

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I'm going to try and get the oval light to work, perhaps mounting it on the splash pan as a buddy of mine suggested, and using the right side accessory knob.  It's a neat piece of car jewelry. 

 

Now the search is on for the fog lights and fog light knob, and a bank to rob. I've been told by a highly reliable source (who shall remain anonimous) that the oval light was indeed offered for Buicks in '41 as well as for Cadillacs along with other neat stuff like fitted luggage for senior cars and goggles for convertible owners. Anybody ever hear of a GM options catalog or something similar? Or any reference to a Buick backup light option?

Peter

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Posted (edited)

I found that when my back-up light was on a manual switch, I either never used it or when I did, I left it on. Having it integral with the shift linkage will cure that. Look on eBay for back-up light switch and you'll see that there are some that seem universal with a pushbutton and a mounting bracket that you should be able to get close to the linkage on the transmission so that when the lever is in reverse, it pushes the button and turns on the light. Like I said, that's my plan is to use a proximity sensor but any of those pushbutton switches should work. I'd save the switch on the dash for the fog lights.

 

 

On 6/3/2019 at 10:53 PM, Daves1940Buick56S said:

I have an accessory back up light on my '38 66S that looks exactly like the one in Matt's post. When I first saw it I thought "50s junk" but on closer inspection discovered it is a Guide. Matt do you know the provenance on these - what years they were available?

 

Cheers, Dave

 

Dave, I don't know when back-up lights started showing up as accessories. They were standard on Packards and Pierce-Arrows as early as 1930, but that bullet-shaped lamp up there probably showed up in the mid-30s as an accessory. I don't know if GM had them as standard equipment on anything at that point. GM offered a variety of styles to fit their cars and I bet catalogs of the day were full of little lamps like that. As I said, the big one on the back of the Limited seems to be from that period, although it has no markings. I see similar lights for sale as back up lights and fog lights, although I can't imagine it would be bright enough to use as a fog light. I think it's probably period-correct, too, but maybe not an official GM-sanctioned accessory. It was probably sold by a service garage or parts store or something similar at the time and added to the car along the way.

 

I have a PDF of Bill Anderson's research on the Buick fog lights that I can send (the site won't let me post PDFs), and that is very helpful for the fog light discussion. I don't know whether he has investigated back-up lights, though. I do know the bullet-shaped light is correct, the oval-shaped one might be, too, although I think that might have been reserved for Cadillacs--that's just my gut instinct, I have no evidence other than I see Cadillacs wearing them frequently and Buicks never.

 

Hope this helps!

 

EDIT: Here's a link to the Anderson fog light article: http://www.buickheritagealliance.org/content/pdf/GuideFogDrivingLights.pdf

 

Here's a Guide catalog from the '50s that shows that bullet-shaped back-up lamp I linked above: http://www.charleswbullock.com/Guide/GuideCatalog04201954.pdf

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)

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Matt, you gave me an idea. I have an old aftermarket turn signal apparatus on the steering column left side. I could attach a pushbutton switch on the underside where it cannot be seen. This would lead to a small box behind the dash with a 555 timer and relay to the backup light. And I set the 555 so when you push the button the light stays on for 15 secs or so and goes out. No more forgetting to turn it off!

 

Cheers, Dave

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I don't know gentlemen, I'm going to go the old fashion way and try and remember to turn it off! Perhaps my position will change in time (and age)...

Thanks Matt for the link to the fog light article, very informative. Like to think I could find a decent set of proper '41 fogs but probably a long shot. 

 

 

IMG_1007.JPG

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On 6/4/2019 at 9:01 PM, valk said:

I'm going to try and get the oval light to work, perhaps mounting it on the splash pan as a buddy of mine suggested, and using the right side accessory knob.  It's a neat piece of car jewelry. 

 

Now the search is on for the fog lights and fog light knob, and a bank to rob. I've been told by a highly reliable source (who shall remain anonimous) that the oval light was indeed offered for Buicks in '41 as well as for Cadillacs along with other neat stuff like fitted luggage for senior cars and goggles for convertible owners. Anybody ever hear of a GM options catalog or something similar? Or any reference to a Buick backup light option?

Peter

Hey Peter

             The fog light brackets for your car are '41Buick only. Pm if interested. I have the dash switch, brackets and 6-11\16" round lights which are also correct, not just the ones seen that are square with rounded corners. Still working to come up with replacement shafts for rear carb dampers.

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Thought I'd post a pic of a Buick with the oval backup light just to confuse things...

buickoval.JPG

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My 1948 Buick 46S had backup lights bolted to the rear bumper guards.   They was controlled by a switch on the gear shift linkage.   I do not think there is much difference between the 41 and 48 models so if you can locate a linkage switch from a 1948 Buick it should fit.   The 48 is also very similar to the 47 so I cannot say for certain that a switch for either will fit but my bet would be they would.

Joe

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