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1938 Headlight Mystery continues…


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So, I originally had two glass headlight lenses when I started on my odyssey with my car five years ago.  Unfortunately, when we took it on the initial test run, the glass lens on the passenger side fell out and broke.  One of the guys here gave me a good deal on a new set of 1938 lenses and I thought I was all set.

It appears though that the old lens (driver’s side) is from a 1939 by the part number.  I left it on the car as it was nice and secure.  When I put one of the new lenses in the trim of the broken one, it didn’t fit quite right.  It was a little small.   I think somehow all the trim (exterior lens trim ring, brackets, and cork ring) on my particular car maybe for 1939 lenses.  Would the trim pieces for headlight lenses of a 1939 fit in the headlight cavity of a 1938 front fender?  Is that possible?

Chris from Boos-Harrell did try to help me with this.  I also posted here about this issue as well.  I am just wondering if I might have 1939 fenders on the front of my car somehow.  I am starting to shop around for someone to do a full restoration and I’d like to get it sorted out.

This car was originally purchased in Massachusetts and I am just wondering if the owner might have got some front end work done back in the day.  Maybe, they could only get 1939 fenders.  Maybe, I’ve got it all wrong.  All I know is I’ve got two 1938 glass lenses (I checked the part numbers) that by all rights should fit in my fenders…and they don’t.

I’m sure I’m missing something here.  I am no mechanic by any stretch of the imagination.  I would appreciate any help.

I did post a picture but not here.  I was so excited to get my new plate that I posted that separately.  The picture in that post has a good closeup of the front of the car.  I think you see the difference of fit in the two headlights.

Thanks for reading!
 

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The fenders on your car would be 38. 39 fenders won't fit without major surgery at the lower rear of the fenders. The 38 lens is shallow and has to use the wider 38 trim ring. (wider at top). The 39 lens has a higher profile and has to use the narrower 39 trim ring. Either 38 or 39 lenses should fit your 38 fenders as long as you use their matching trim rings. My 38 has 39 lenses and trim rings. I can't remember if I had to modify the lens clips. 

20170424_144038.jpg

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Detroitsoul, when I imported my 38 in 1996 it had one  38 lense and one 39 lense. It was 3 months before I  saw the difference!  Both lenses were securely held,  didnt fall off when driving. I eventually swapped the one 39 lense for two 38 lenses. Sounded a pretty good deal to me. When they arrived by overseas airmail shipping they were both broken into several pieces!! Each lot of broken lense pieces were in separate sealed plastic bags. I pieced them together and discovered one piece was in the wrong bag. Hmmm. Eventually got another 38 lense and its still  in place  to this day. The 39 FORD  lense trim looks similar but is a bit smaller than the Zephyr trim. Maybe you have a Ford lense trim on the drivers side headlite or a complete Ford bucket. . Just had a second look at your headlite pics, the passenger  side lense looks a bit twisted, is it secure.  Cheers  38 Shortop Conv. 

Edited by Roy Rowe (see edit history)
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Please see the attached photo of Rikard Jonsson's 1938 in Sweden with headlamp lens by Bosch. These were fitted to Zephyrs sold in most of Europe, excluding France, and also to cars sold in England. The reflector was also a Bosch item secured with an adapter plate to fit to the LZ headlamp bucket. For cars sold in France the lamps were replaced by Marchal units.     

IMG_0227.JPG

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On 6/19/2021 at 12:50 AM, Roy Rowe said:

Detroitsoul, when I imported my 38 in 1996 it had one  38 lense and one 39 lense. It was 3 months before I  saw the difference!  Both lenses were securely held,  didnt fall off when driving. I eventually swapped the one 39 lense for two 38 lenses. Sounded a pretty good deal to me. When they arrived by overseas airmail shipping they were both broken into several pieces!! Each lot of broken lense pieces were in separate sealed plastic bags. I pieced them together and discovered one piece was in the wrong bag. Hmmm. Eventually got another 38 lense and its still  in place  to this day. The 39 FORD  lense trim looks similar but is a bit smaller than the Zephyr trim. Maybe you have a Ford lense trim on the drivers side headlite or a complete Ford bucket. . Just had a second look at your headlite pics, the passenger  side lense looks a bit twisted, is it secure.  Cheers  38 Shortop Conv. 

Thank you for your response.  Do you know if there is a part number on any of the trim pieces before I take it apart?  That’s a good idea and one I hadn’t thought of.  It is possible there could be Ford parts.  I hadn’t realized how similar the Ford Deluxe was to the Zephyr until I saw one this past weekend at Greenfield Village’s Annual Motor Muster.  The car has been in my family for fifty years but unfortunately my grandad isn’t around to ask him what he did.  There were two other owners.

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On 6/20/2021 at 9:08 AM, Colin Spong said:

Please see the attached photo of Rikard Jonsson's 1938 in Sweden with headlamp lens by Bosch. These were fitted to Zephyrs sold in most of Europe, excluding France, and also to cars sold in England. The reflector was also a Bosch item secured with an adapter plate to fit to the LZ headlamp bucket. For cars sold in France the lamps were replaced by Marchal units.     

IMG_0227.JPG

Thank you Colin.  This car was bought and owned in the USA according to all the paperwork I have.  Although it is not impossible that there could be European parts on the car, it is highly unlikely.  That is an excellent picture that you shared and I must say Bosch did a superb job.

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