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Asthetic opinions on which tail lights to run with . . .

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TeamEvil Avatar
TeamEvil Thomas C
Kingston, MA, USA   USA
Got the rear fenders pretty much ready to go, but haven't filled the holes in as yet. Gonna depend upon which tail lights I use.

I like the simple sweetness of the 1500 lights, original to the initial design concepts. Sort of elegant, yet very reminiscent of what came on the early VW Beetle.

The 1600 twin bulb tail lights always looked bulky and much an afterthought, but now seem kind of cool and "futuristic" in certain ways. I would smooth the transition from the flat lower area where the old 1500 lenses mount to the upper section for sure. The angles just don't match up with the smooth sections at all but they DO have a marvelous "presence."

Although I haven;t found a reasonably priced set of Mark II rail lights, I do have a nice pair of Fiat 600 lights which can easily be trimmed to match the rear body contours of the MGA and turned to horizontal. These mimic the Mark II lights fairly well to the non-initiated.

Final alternative would be to turn to the aftermarket and possibly fit a set of '39 Ford or '59 Vette repros into the fenders. I'm not sure that this is a reasonable alternative as I already have the other lights here in the parts bin.

Anyway . . . anyone have a preference? I'm open to either/or and have already bounced this around for a while. Now looking for the popular vote.

Thanks—

TC

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copernicus Avatar
copernicus Nick Kopernik
Cold Spring, CT, USA   USA
TC, the MKII tail lights were same as used on the Minis (late 50's/mid 60's) so you should be able to search for the "Mini" versions as well. They were model L647; see attached link for info & application.

http://www.holden.co.uk/displayproduct.asp?pCode=L647/53798

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bikermga Avatar
bikermga Peter Tilbury
Surrey, BC, Canada   CAN
I put 1600 lights on our 1500 coupe for safety's sake - the upper lens is amber, and much safer, as motorists behind us can see the turn signal flashing better than the brake light flashing.

It is also easier to wire these up - no additional relay box required as in the 1500.

Peter.

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wyatt Avatar
wyatt Silver Member Wyatt W
penguin point, drift ice, Antarctica   ATA
1500, similar style also looked superb on the XK jaguars....

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ghnl Avatar
ghnl Silver Member Eric Russell
Mebane, NC, USA   USA
1961 MG MGA "Calvin"
Are you wanting to use 'stock' options or are you considering custom?

I think the stock 1500 tail lights look the best - least 'tacked on' look. But if you want custom, how about frenched or LED strips? http://mgaguru.com/mgtech/variants/vt107s.htm



Eric Russell ~ Mebane, NC
1961 MGA #61, 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider, 1991 Honda ST1100

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dfriswell Avatar
dfriswell David Friswell
BOCA RATON, FL, USA   USA
1960 MG MGA 1600 "The G"
I went with the minimalistic look.


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MGA_Pre_Paint.JPG    63.1 KB
MGA_Pre_Paint.JPG

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TeamEvil Avatar
TeamEvil Thomas C
Kingston, MA, USA   USA
Thanks guys !

As the car will be modified everywhere else under the skin, I was sort of planning on staying with a recognizable vintage MGA exterior, so the led option is out. I DO rather like the minimalist approach and already have those little Lucas beehives in my goodie box.

I may dial up Google Images and do a search for MGA tail lights to check on how the various year lights look on different colored cars. Still going around on the color as well, but always return to BRG in the end. Once again, trying to convey the look of a "not entirely messed up" MGA without resorting to red.

Thanks for all of the suggestions !



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016-01-28 11:07 AM by TeamEvil.

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dfriswell Avatar
dfriswell David Friswell
BOCA RATON, FL, USA   USA
1960 MG MGA 1600 "The G"
The beehive lights I used were originally the turn signals on the rear so I feel good that they're original to the car.

I also bought and tried a set of 1500 taillights and those WILL cover up all of the 1600 plinth holes if you decide to go that way.

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Mitchman2 Avatar
Mitchman2 Mitchell Andrus
Mills River, NC, USA   USA
Another idea.



The Flat Earth Society has members from all corners of the globe.

'30 Model A Ford Town Sedan
'48 MGTC Q Special
'58 MGA roadster
'66 Series 1, 4.2 Jag E-Type OTS


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Redhawk1689 Avatar
Redhawk1689 Gold Member Steven Stockham
Salina, KS, USA   USA
1958 MG MGA 1500 "Belle"
I'm partial to the 1500 originals. They're clean, simple, elegant and they "look" right.

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dfriswell Avatar
dfriswell David Friswell
BOCA RATON, FL, USA   USA
1960 MG MGA 1600 "The G"
I was tempted to do double taillights like this but didn't want to put the extra holes in the body.

The singles fit into the existing bumper bracket holes.


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wyatt Avatar
wyatt Silver Member Wyatt W
penguin point, drift ice, Antarctica   ATA
...there are also early flatter lenses should someone want that look,


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red turn lenses.jpg

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TeamEvil Avatar
TeamEvil Thomas C
Kingston, MA, USA   USA
I really like those twin lamps, the singles are equally as sweet !

Right now, the plan is to drill a series of 2" holes along the lower edge of the rear fenders and across the lower rear body. That, or remove the metal from the lower body "turn around" and insert the screen from the Porsche 914 engine cover. Single or twin lights won't make much difference, hole wise.

I'm hoping to eliminate any minor lift in the rear and keep the air from pocketing inside of those lower curved areas of the fenders and body. Planning on a discrete flat black aluminum pan and rear diffuser beneath it all. VERY discrete !

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colynf Avatar
colynf Colyn Firth
South Yorkshire, UK   GBR
TC,

If you would prefer to keep with original parts then the 1500 lights look the best of the 3 options, much cleaner looking and they look perfect on the car. ( I have 1600 rear light clusters so no bias!)

A lot of 1500 owners over here have fitted very neat little separate indicators on the tops of the rear bumper over riders, which look great and give a much more obvious turn signal than the original ones.

If you are going the no-bumper route though, then all bets are off.

Colyn

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TeamEvil Avatar
TeamEvil Thomas C
Kingston, MA, USA   USA
I have a really strange but neat vintage nerf bar that I'm considering for the rear. Looks like something out of Rod and Custom circa 1958. Really cool, but might not be exactly right for what I'm intending. Alternatives include Frog Eye sprite rear bumpers, TR3 rear bumpers, or a basically clean rear end with a central "push bar" like the old NHRA Sports Car class cars all had.

I have an old 1959 VW Beetle number plate lamp and shroud for the car. Should make for a nice almost aero-look back there and match the esthetic of the rear body profile and fenders much better than that silly stuck-on stock piece.

http://www.mamotorworks.com/VW/subcategory/license-light-assemblies

I'm juggling and blending a few specific "looks" for the car. This one is just for fun, a "parts on hand" kind of resurrection that might turn out OK, might be abandon, or might even be stripped back down and sold as parts and pieces.

Got a mountain of parts, a little ambition, some spare time until the Vette gets delivered, so . . .

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