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Trippe Lights on Classic Cars


34LaSalleClubSedan
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6 hours ago, 34LaSalleClubSedan said:

Any idea what year after WWII Classic Car Collectors started adding Trippe Lights to their cars. 

My guess sometime in the 1960's ???

We could probably date it by going through Photos. I will start to pay attention to the ones they have in the 50s. A curse on the first guy that came up with the idea.

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Yes, a DOUBLE curse!!! Maybe the same collectors besides adding Truck lights started painting Classic Cars with Wild, Bright, Sharp, colors. Since looking at the Packard Facebook website, can't believe the number of Trippe lights on Packards and the crazy wild colors and seems 90 percent of the people on the Packard Facebook site love the wilder the better look. Elvis would be proud

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I had a pair on my 1941 Packard 120 woody wagon for years BUT they were the junior not the senior model of Trippe lights. They looked fine, but I removed the windshield  post spot lights .

The size of the car, if it has spare tires in the front fenders, etc. matters as does the color. A smaller 6 cylinder car with the "senior" Trippe lights looks like it belongs to the local fire dept as a search light vehicle for night time use. My 1930 Packard touring car had Trippe lights on it when I bought it in 2016, they immediately came off, because the Packard accessory catalog for that year/model I had in my collection showed the proper factory recommended driving  lights ( which I found, restored and mounted but had wired for directional signals) . I want to know what accessories were offered pre war, both factory and after market so have collected catalogs and flyers, folders etc on that stuff since the early 1970s. Not to fit accessories to my cars but to see what people if they had the $ would step up and buy then. I look at it from a historical perspective ( are you surprised to read that?) not for the "BLING" factor.  I shake with horror to even think about drilling a hole in any car body , windshield post etc. Sacrilegious .

One of the first factory issued accessory catalog that the factory approved was issued immediately after WWI , last pre WWII one I have is for 1941 Packard.

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5 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

The fact that all these Trippe Lights exist suggests they were being used on something at the time, no?

I'd opine the Trippe Lights were originally bought by individuals, companies and public agencies who did a good deal of night-time highway driving.  Even at the slower average speeds then, out-driving one's six volts headlights was, no doubt, a problem.   Of course, there was always the taste among some owners to 'personize' cars with chrome accessories. 

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5 hours ago, alsancle said:

What just blew my mind is that my company has been using their (crappy) modern products for years and I never associated the same company with the lights that have been defacing cars for years.

 

https://www.tripplite.com/company/company-history

Back in the 1990s I needed to call the Tripp Lite company for something about some computer power equipment we were considering getting for work. The lady who answered the phone asked how we had heard about the company. I replied that I had a set of Tripp Lites on my antique car. She had not heard or realized that they used to make "trip lights".

Edited by ply33 (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, Akstraw said:

Okay.  We don’t like the whitewalls on my car.  We don’t like the colors on my car.  Now we don’t like the lights on my car.  What’s next? the side mounts? the rumble seat? the hood ornament?


The hood ornament  isn’t Lalique is it?

 

😇

 

As long as you like the stuff doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

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Are these Trippe Lights?

 

bu371.jpg.e1791672aee40aa55c6780d83b4ca7b1.jpg

 

Personally I think they look fine.   I suppose as long as they aren't too big.  I've seen some rather large ones that do look out of place, when they're larger than the actual headlamps.

Cheers, Greg

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3 hours ago, ply33 said:

Back in the 1990s I needed to call the Tripp Lite company for something about some computer power equipment we were considering getting for work. The lady who answered the phone asked how we had heard about the company. I replied that I had a set of Tripp Lites on my antique car.

No you didn't- you had Trippe   lights on your car.  Trippe Lights and Tripp Lite are 2 entirely different companies, the former making automotive lighting equipment, the latter making industrial electronic equipment.   I'm sure the poor lady that answered the phone didn't know Trip Lite made automotive lights because they didn't.

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I think they just dropped the "e".

 

From the current company history page of Tripp-Lite:

1920s, '30s & '40s: A Bright Idea
tripp lite speed light

Tripp Lite has its bright beginning in 1922.

  • In 1922, Graham Trippe, a Chicago-area inventor, obtains a patent for a new precision-focused automobile headlight. Trippe's headlight design wins the gold medal at the Paris Exposition of Innovation in 1928 and 1929.
  • The Trippe "Speed Light" becomes a successful automotive accessory, improving visibility on all types of vehicles, including fine touring cars and U.S. Army tanks during World War II.

 

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40 minutes ago, Str8-8-Dave said:

No you didn't- you had Trippe   lights on your car.  Trippe Lights and Tripp Lite are 2 entirely different companies, the former making automotive lighting equipment, the latter making industrial electronic equipment.   I'm sure the poor lady that answered the phone didn't know Trip Lite made automotive lights because they didn't.

@Bloo Beat me to it (typing when I got the message that there was another reply). But I will post mine anyway:

 

Company history linked to in another post above says:

 
Quote

 

1920s, '30s & '40s: A Bright Idea

tripp lite speed light

Tripp Lite has its bright beginning in 1922.

  • In 1922, Graham Trippe, a Chicago-area inventor, obtains a patent for a new precision-focused automobile headlight. Trippe's headlight design wins the gold medal at the Paris Exposition of Innovation in 1928 and 1929.
  • The Trippe "Speed Light" becomes a successful automotive accessory, improving visibility on all types of vehicles, including fine touring cars and U.S. Army tanks during World War II.

 

Sounds the Tripp Lite company was making Trippe ”Speed Lights”. Seems unlikely that two different companies (“Trippe Lite” and “Tripp Lite”) would have been on the market at the same time without one suing the other out of business.

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12 hours ago, Akstraw said:

Okay.  We don’t like the whitewalls on my car.  We don’t like the colors on my car.  Now we don’t like the lights on my car.  What’s next? the side mounts? the rumble seat? the hood ornament?

I tend to agree with the actor Vincent Price's quote about some things he had in his home that others said didn't fit the décor, "We like it", "therefore it belongs" 

Let's face it, cars were personalized back when they were new. Are we just trying to create "showroom queens" or a realistic view of the times of our cars.

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Although I hate them driving lights are easily removed (unless they are the turning kind where you drill holes in the fender) so no harm no foul.

 

Windshield mounted spot lights are the real crime.   Most of them give you a choice of opening the hood or the door,  but not both and you need to contort the spot light in an ugly angle to make it work.

 

My dad has a Packard with spot lights and wind wings and it is set of steps to get the door open.   I get annoyed every-time.   First world problem I guess.😀

 

EDIT:  And you can't take them off because holes were drilled in the windshield frame or cowl.

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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I personally like Trippe Lights and Pilot Ray Lights.😛  In fact I have a nice set of original unrestored Trippe's.  Just waiting for when I can afford to buy a car that would look good with them.🤩  I also have a few Lorraine spotlights and Unity Sportlites, again just waiting for the right car.😜  Recently I picked up a right (passenger) side bracket for a Unity Sportlite.  So sometime this year I will be able to run dual Sportlites on my '31 de luxe Model-A Ford roadster.😊

 

Capt. Harley😉

 

Skirts are for women and not car fenders!

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14 hours ago, Str8-8-Dave said:

No you didn't- you had Trippe   lights on your car.  Trippe Lights and Tripp Lite are 2 entirely different companies

I'll eat some crow on this one, I thought they really were 2 different companies....

 

Live and learn I guess...

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Adding lights isn’t unique to Trippes on the classics.  I am thinking of those giant pedestal-mounted spotlights on the running boards of late teens and early twenties big tourers and roadsters.  And lately I have looked at two forties cars with dual spotlights on the A pillar; as mentioned above, difficult to undo if you don’t care for them. They both also had fog lights on the bumper.  The popularity of adding lights hasn’t seemed to have waned; today mainly on pickups as extra head/fog lights on or below the bumper.  My theory: perhaps when you are young and full of testosterone, you just want to bolt something on to your car to individualize it and make it stand out, regardless of the era.  (Before I had a car, I did it to my bicycle.)  I suppose that if horses had 6- or 12-volt batteries, and a place to drill two holes, they would have had extra lights, too, back in the 19th century.

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Back in the 1960s there was a great guy named Mike Murray from Brooklyn. He was the original owner of a 1929 Cadillac touring car. Green one, Great car and great guy ( he apparently was a guest of NY state in the depression years for running/transporting  some adult beverage that was illegal at the time ) his car had a drivers side mounted running board spot lamp on a post. Only one, and it looked good. He did not have plated wire wheels, chromed side mount covers on the spare tires in the front fenders, etc. Nice fellow Mike was , wore a straw boater all the time ( like Karl does at Hershey selling his period wrenches and tools) .

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External auto accessories is like jewelry on women. 

A  simple necklace is nice, earrings can add interest, maybe a broch. . . . ?

 

BUT if she tries to wear the entire contents of her jewelry box?  Well, she will certainly get attention, but the words that are being used to describe her are unlikely to be complimentary and most likely will say something that she would never want to hear. 

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5 minutes ago, Walt G said:

his car had a drivers side mounted running board spot lamp on a post. Only one, and it looked good.

FYI  these were standard equipment on 1929 Cadillac touring cars. 

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5 hours ago, 8E45E said:

Seen on  Packard:

36_Packard_2.jpg

36_Packard_1.jpg

I have no problem with the idea of accessory lights, but I believe that the glass should match.  Ie, if the headlights have flat glass, the accessory lights should have flat glass.  If the headlights have curved glass, the accessory lights should be curved.  
 

 

For me, this Packard is an example of what not to do.  The headlights are of a more modern style than the accessory lights.

 

 

 

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You can put me in the "I like lights" category. But I agree that they should be appropriate to the car. I don't like '40s Unity lights on an early car, I don't like senior lights on a little car, and I don't like Pilot Rays on non-Classics. And the guys who install BOTH fog AND driving lights? Yeah, awful.

 

Despite two of my cars having spotlights, I HATE them. Alsancle is right, they're always in the way.

 

Nevertheless, I do like fog/driving lights done right:

 

Non-moving cyclops light has been on my Cadillac for decades:

20140712_174254_Android.jpg.52a9b190c76c8b02fc16ac44ba8d050c.jpg  791614064_CadillacOriginal3.jpg.583c64c22576fe7aa8c9045d0e999b90.jpg

 

I especially like the deco lenses on these fog lights I found for the '35 Lincoln, which kind of match the shape of the grille:

20180713_133951a.jpg.d969ea82a1ecce0eaae887ba0699e6f5.jpg  070818no2.jpg.e981cfd5330ac5086d154094f8b84ca8.jpg

 

And the Buick wears factory-approved accessory fog/driving lights.

FogsFinal1.jpg.c5b094bb0990beff47ea79a30ef3530c.jpg

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Growing up my mentor in theantique car hobby had a 1928 Lincoln touring that he had purchased from gays lion farm in El Monte calif,it had an original running board spotlight a big bail handle typethat looked perfect on the Lincoln,after his passing the car was donated to the Lincoln museum where it was sold a couple years later,I saw the car which I believe was the same car up in Utah in pictures,someone had removed the running board spot light,looked wrong after seeing it for years with the light

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It starts with trippe lights and before you know it you’re dating a stripper, wearing white leather shoes year round, and shopping for a speedo at age 70 to wear to the beach.  
 

trippe lights.....they have ruined many discriminating men who flirted with them until it was too late.  In some extreme  cases, they put White walls on as well.  Those cars ended up worthless. 

Do speedos run small for their size?


 

 

F1EF29D7-649D-481A-809C-DE990910071B.jpeg

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30 minutes ago, Akstraw said:

Not seventy yet, but closing in.  I’ll order my Speedo catalog this week to ensure I am ready when the time comes.

I’ll try and get that same catalog and see if I can hide my phone and record me flipping through the pages of the speedo catalog when my wife walks in the room and I’ll ask her with a straight face what color she might think I would look best in. It will be an interesting video.

 

all kidding aside, This thread is a perfect example of why I like the forum.  I have been a car lover my whole life but until five or six years ago, it was mainly 50s and 60s American cars with 60s and 70s British and Italian and German sports cars. I’m coming late to the game to these larger classics and I always enjoy seeing the perspective of other people.  Clearly you guys are having an effect on me. I think AJ has been doing some Jedi mind things to me with his zealous preaching about “no Whitewalls”  I was looking at a late 20s larger coupe a couple weeks ago that would need new tires and wheels. The car is a dark color and I thought to myself “it really would look best with dark wires and black walls.”

 

I have drank the koolaid. 
 


 

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I agree Trippe lights don't look on this Packard, but then I need to buy them for pretty much the same Packard.  Anyone know of a correct pair for sale let me know!  I don't think they look good, but I need the extra lights for their function: I can't get my lights bright enough to drive safely at night, and I like driving my cars at night.  I need the extra candlepower....

 

1610784490_ScreenShot2021-12-25at8_07_23PM.png.af3cf08a3b80abd71104b33b640ff4b9.png

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Ok....a first for me here. I’ll offer my opinion on spot, tripp, and pilot lights. They suck. They ruin a cars looks. They are a pain in the ass. And they will cost you points on the field. Add in they are expensive and 99 percent of the time added on bling........they should all be tossed in the trash. Please remember.....it’s only my opinion, but I am correct.  😎 My 1931 Pierce Series 42 Dual Cowl came factory with dual spot lights.........I detest them so much, I removed them from the car the day my father gave it to me........they will never go back on it.....even though they were factory installed.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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On 12/24/2021 at 3:49 PM, Akstraw said:

Okay.  We don’t like the whitewalls on my car.  We don’t like the colors on my car.  Now we don’t like the lights on my car.  What’s next? the side mounts? the rumble seat? the hood ornament?

Thank you, I’ve been reading some of these replies and thinking WTF if you don’t like don’t write. It’s that simple...

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7 hours ago, 1935Packard said:

I agree Trippe lights don't look on this Packard, but then I need to buy them for pretty much the same Packard.  Anyone know of a correct pair for sale let me know!  I don't think they look good, but I need the extra lights for their function: I can't get my lights bright enough to drive safely at night, and I like driving my cars at night.  I need the extra candlepower....

 

1610784490_ScreenShot2021-12-25at8_07_23PM.png.af3cf08a3b80abd71104b33b640ff4b9.png

I had ‘em on my ‘35, as well. 
 

I have a pair of senior Trippe’s that I’d part with. Message me and we’ll chat. 

ZjxxMRxiR0eqO-zW5ZUahw.jpg.b39c16c5bf5a90ba3ddc0d310d99eb00.jpg

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If trippe lights cost points on the show field, I assume it is due to not being factory installed, correct?  If that is true do the badges that are installed on the car by all of these shows telling everyone this car won this or was honored with that also cost points? They too are not factory installed or original to the mark.  Not trying to be a smart ass, just not a show guy and don’t know (or better said don’t care) about all the nit picken rules regarding something I just want to have the fun of driving. 
dave s 

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