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Thread: A Brief History Of Sealed Beam Headlamps In The U.S.

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    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    A Brief History Of Sealed Beam Headlamps In The U.S.

    https://www.carid.com/articles/brief...hts-in-us.html


    I thought this was an interesting article. I didn't know the government was so involved in the changes to headlights over the decades.

    "Today, there are no new cars or light trucks sold with sealed beam headlights in the United States."


    I think some of the new headlights are pretty cool. There's quite a few choices for replacements for 7" round headlights now. You don't have to stick with the boring sealed beams.

    https://www.carid.com/1956-chevy-bel-air-headlights/
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension


    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1962 327/340HP Corvette
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
    2019 GMC Sierra Denali Duramax

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    Registered Member 55 Rescue Dog's Avatar
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    Most of the best looking cars ever made had sealed beam headlights. I wish all of my newer cars did too. 2-3 cheap bulbs covered everything, worked fine, and they didn't cost $300 plus to replace one from just getting dull and cloudy. The lights on my Tahoe are aero, but that doesn't seem to help mileage, or replacement cost, and the old sealed beam trucks looked better too. in 1950 they could make a 7" round headlight blend into the body. The incandescent glow always looked best anyway.
    IMG_4271.JPG
    https://www.carid.com/1956-chevy-bel...441954102.html
    Last edited by 55 Rescue Dog; 11-18-2018 at 04:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Most of the cars and trucks at SEMA had newer cool-looking headlights. They look more modern and perform MUCH better than the old junk sealed beams, and even the high current Xenon lights. There's nothing "cool" about a 60+ year old 7" sealed beam light and they all look the same. When I drive at night I want to see the road, and personally I like the "eyebrows" and halos....just something new and different.

    With the LEDs they can get a lot more creative and they last the life of the car, and then some. 50,000 hours is typical which is amazing. They draw a lot less current and really don't even need relays except for control functions. I've seen several kinds of LED headlights that I really like so the Nomad might get a front end facelift. Yeah, some of them are expensive, but so is the other stuff I put on the car. I'm liking em but it's something you have to get used to and they draw attention to the car.

    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension


    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1962 327/340HP Corvette
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
    2019 GMC Sierra Denali Duramax

  4. #4
    Registered Member 55 Rescue Dog's Avatar
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    They are not that cool, but definitely look dorky. I try to avoid driving a classic vehicle at night high speeds anyway. We used to just use parking lights when cruising at night, when that was cool.

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    Rescue, I am with you. Its a matter of opinion but LED lighting on a car looks ridiculous. Every Audi you see nowadays has eyebrows. Of course just my opinion.

    Or as CN would say

    S

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    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    I have to agree with RD and Scorpion... putting this plastic crap on a classic chevy just *cheapens* it....

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    They belong on gang banger rides with 24 inch wheels.

  8. #8
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Sure they would look out of place on an "old school" tri5 with 15" Cragar wheels and balloon tires, sitting at stock height with an obsolete carburetor sticking out of the hood. But on a modern, low stance, pro-touring style build with big wheels I think they would look great. I love the front end of that Camaro in the pics above, and the headlights complement the look. They give a hint of more cool stuff underneath. Good thing we don't all like the same things or we would have never gotten out of the 60's.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension


    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1962 327/340HP Corvette
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
    2019 GMC Sierra Denali Duramax

  9. #9
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Nov 2016

    Member #:3217
    Location
    Rocket City, USA (Huntsville, AL area)
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    My view... if one likes this 'new fangled' big wheel/plastic headlights, blinking LED looks... then they should buy themselves one of the myriad 'look alike' cars available, instead of trying to make a classic look the way of these new plastic fantastiks...

    A *classic* car is CLASSIC for very specific reasons... WHY disregard all that?

  10. #10
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Here's a couple pics of some LED headlights on older cars at SEMA. Some of them are more subtle-looking than the projectors (except for the Chevelle), but still improve lighting a lot. I guess if you never drive at night you might as well delete the headlights altogether, or don't waste the time wiring them up. Or maybe just install some burnt-out T3s for that "old school" look.


    20181031_033.JPG

    20181031_026.JPG

    20181031_044.JPG
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension


    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1962 327/340HP Corvette
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax
    2019 GMC Sierra Denali Duramax

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