3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's - Corvette Forum

Go Back   >
Log In 
Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Vendor Directory


C1 & C2 Corvettes
General C1 Corvette & C2 Corvette Discussion, Technical Info, Performance Upgrades, Project Builds, Restorations Sponsored by
Flaming River
Industries

3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-16-2003, 06:33 AM   #1
Lickitty
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Lickitty's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jun 2002
Location: Wheatley Ont
Posts: 454
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's

Our 63 SWC has 3 Tail Lights and came from California
Can you pass on what you know of 3 Taillight history
I have heard (1) Jan and Dean made a movie with a Vette that had 3 Tailights
(2) It was done a lot with California Vettes

Please pass on any thing you've heard and maybe ALL of us can come up with the correct answer

Thank You !!!!! and Save the Wave

:auto: :auto: :auto: :auto: :auto: :party:
Lickitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 06:45 AM   #2
Chuck Gongloff
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
 
Chuck Gongloff's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 1999
Location: Beverly Hills/Pine Ridge Florida
Posts: 9,346
Thanked 20 Times in 18 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (Lickitty)

It was a common custom modification back then. Seems I remember reading that Clippinger Chevrolet/Bob Wingate actually ordered cars with 3 tail lights from the factory back then. They were a HUGE Corvette dealer in California, and could probably get anything they wanted. :) Chuck
Chuck Gongloff is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 06:55 AM   #3
Lickitty
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Lickitty's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jun 2002
Location: Wheatley Ont
Posts: 454
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (Chuck Gongloff)

Thanks Chuck !!
I too had heard that it was a California dealer Option but could NOT substatiate that
Makes sense since FORD ( Hurts to say that 4 letter word ) had a Mustang or Cougar called the California Special with a 3 rd Tailight in a sequecial configuration
:auto: :auto: :auto: :auto: :auto: :party:
Lickitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 07:09 AM   #4
Lickitty
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Lickitty's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jun 2002
Location: Wheatley Ont
Posts: 454
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (Lickitty)

If you go to this link
http://www.corvette.net/misc.htm

and then click on the 1966 Prototype- Notice the TWO different taillight designs.

you will see that the General fooled with this 3 Tailight option as well as putting the 2 Taillight option up on the character line !!!!!

:auto: :auto: :auto: :auto: :auto: :party:
Lickitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 08:38 AM   #5
MikeM
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Mar 2003
Posts: 17,392
Thanked 88 Times in 83 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (Lickitty)

The first one I saw was in 1961, on a '61 Vette. The dealer did it at owner request. This was a long time before I heard of Jan and Dean and a long way from California. You would occasionally see them in Car magazines of the of period.

Look at your third light wiring. If your harness has jumper wires spliced into the two tailight harness I would venture an educated guess that the installation was NOT to any engineering approved method.

I don't recall seeing any harness in the parts book for three lights.

Mike


[Modified by MikeM, 1:48 PM 11/16/2003]
MikeM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 09:45 AM   #6
jerrybramlett
CF Senior Member
 
Member Since: Feb 1999
Location: Mobile AL
Posts: 4,286
Thanked 8 Times in 5 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (Lickitty)

This "option" is an urban legend based on some truth.

Yes, Jan Berry and Dean Torrence were into Corvettes. Between them they owned about a dozen. However, most were solid axles bought used until they hit it big in 1963. Jan wadded up his new Corvette in April, 1966, and did serious bodily harm to himself. For a long time, and perhaps still, he's been a passenger rather than a driver. The movie about them (not by them) was a made-for-TV piece in 1977 that did show some Corvettes. I didn't notice if any of these cars had three tail lights on each side. This "movie" was made long after the six tail light fad.

I have seen a photo of new mid-year Corvettes sitting on a California dealer lot with six tail lights. However, I've always believed that these were customized at the dealership level and not at St. Louis. Perhaps there were styling cars built by GM with six lights though.

Installing extra tail lights, flared wheelwells, 5-spoke mags, and a '67 hood scoop were extremely fashionable ways to personalize a mid-year in the late sixties. I guess you had to be there.


[Modified by jerrybramlett, 9:14 AM 11/16/2003]
jerrybramlett is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 10:18 AM   #7
396 RAT
CF Senior Member
 
396 RAT's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jun 2001
Location: San Clemente Ca.
Posts: 2,334
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (jerrybramlett)

Clippinger Chevrolet with top Vette salesman Bob Wingate added the 3rd tail light's at the dealership. Wingates 67 FSO car now owned by Bob Radke was the only Vette that supposedly came from the factory with 6 tail lights.
Here are some photos of the 67 FSO car. Also shows the lot full of dealer installed 6 light cars. http://www.67fso.com/

396 RAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 10:26 AM   #8
paul 74
Ontario, Canada
Support Corvetteforum!
 
paul 74's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 1999
Posts: 30,561
Thanks: 0
Thanked 36 Times in 35 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (396 RAT)

That's absolutely fascinating reading. Thank you!
paul 74 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 10:31 AM   #9
JPatrick
CF Senior Member
 
JPatrick's Avatar
 
Member Since: Sep 2000
Location: The Ozarks, USA
Posts: 358
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (396 RAT)

:thumbs: Great pictures of the Wingate vette. Nicely done, but I'll still take my tail lights in two's.
Thanks for the great history lesson 396 Rat! :chevy
JPatrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 11:26 AM   #10
Maximillian
CF Senior Member
 
Maximillian's Avatar
 
Member Since: Dec 2000
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 389
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (Lickitty)

It's my understanding that none ever rolled off the assembly line that way. My 'vette is still at shop being restored (paint's done and looks killer, now they just have to reupholster the seats).........anyway, he has restored hundreds of midyears over the past 20 years.

I noticed one with the 3x taillights and asked him about the history of that myslef. He said that almost every single car that comes into his shop for a paint/restoration is either a 3 taillight, or once the paint is off, WAS 3- taillight at one time. We walked around the shop and sure enough, every midyear that was down to glass had filler where the 5th and 6th WERE located.

Maximillian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 01:09 PM   #11
4WDVETTE
CF Senior Member
 
4WDVETTE's Avatar
 
Member Since: Feb 2003
Location: Waterford NJ
Posts: 197
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (Maximillian)

That goes for my 66 coupe also. I purchased it in 1977 from by brother-in -law. He purchased it from the original owner in 1969 and it already had the 6 taillights. I just finished the paint job and returning it to the 4 taillight configuration. I agree, the wiring harness does not appear to be factory - far from it, as were the tin soup cans that formed the taillight buckets (bubba was there).
4WDVETTE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 04:23 PM   #12
427Hotrod
CF Senior Member
 
427Hotrod's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 2000
Location: Houston, Tx
Posts: 9,550
Thanks: 0
Thanked 111 Times in 90 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (396 RAT)

Great Pictures!

I LOVE that car! Man...would have been great if Steve McQueen had used that green car instead of that Mustang in Bullit!

Neat...big tires/wheels, 6 tailights, opened up rear fenders, no front bumpers.....just way too cool!

I'd love to see some cars "restored" that way. Those are the cars that made the legends and the ones that got people enthused about Vette's!


Thanks,


JIM
427Hotrod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 05:23 PM   #13
Cliff63
CF Senior Member
Cruise-In II Veteran
Support Corvetteforum!
 
Member Since: Jun 2000
Location: Nashville TN
Posts: 1,128
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (396 RAT)

Quote:
Clippinger Chevrolet with top Vette salesman Bob Wingate added the 3rd tail light's at the dealership. Wingates 67 FSO car now owned by Bob Radke was the only Vette that supposedly came from the factory with 6 tail lights.
Here are some photos of the 67 FSO car. Also shows the lot full of dealer installed 6 light cars. http://www.67fso.com/
I think recall that a car was built for Wingate prior to the green one with six taillights, also. Something about he did not like the color. Comments?
Cliff63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 05:33 PM   #14
paul 74
Ontario, Canada
Support Corvetteforum!
 
paul 74's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 1999
Posts: 30,561
Thanks: 0
Thanked 36 Times in 35 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (396 RAT)

BTW what wheels are those?
paul 74 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 08:45 PM   #15
Lickitty
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Lickitty's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jun 2002
Location: Wheatley Ont
Posts: 454
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (396 RAT)

Thank you for the history lesson . As always , the forum members never fail with their expertise . We all know more than when we started . It is interesting that the 1965 ,66,67 and 68 Chev Impala's had 3 Taillight configuration . Wonder if they thought this would take away or Add . Also the lower end , Biscayne and BelAires just had 2 Light configurations
Here is a Link to our 63 SWC with the Extra lights



:auto: :auto: :auto: :auto: :auto: :party:
Lickitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 10:10 PM   #16
396 RAT
CF Senior Member
 
396 RAT's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jun 2001
Location: San Clemente Ca.
Posts: 2,334
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (Cliff63)

I think his silver 66 had 6 tail lights. Dealer installed.
They modeled his 67 FSO after his 66.
Will ask him next time I see him.

The wheels are American Racing.
I believe they may have been gone when Bob Radke
found the car. Not sure if they were ribbed or not.
396 RAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2003, 11:11 PM   #17
64Ragtop
CF Senior Member
 
64Ragtop's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 2000
Location: Arvada Co.
Posts: 197
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (Lickitty)

I grew up in Whittier Ca. and as I recall there was a kid that attended our rival school and drove a 6 tailight 63. His father was very wealthy and would buy him a new car every year. Most of the Corvettes in our area were purchaced at Don Steves Chevrolet on La Habra.
64Ragtop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2003, 06:43 AM   #18
cbernhardt
CF Senior Member
 
cbernhardt's Avatar
 
Member Since: Dec 1999
Location: Lexington,NC,USA
Posts: 2,578
Thanked 31 Times in 24 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (Lickitty)

In the Jan and Dean song Deadman's Curve I always thought the famous line said: "All the Jag could see were my 6 tail lights" . I have a CD that sounds like the line says "All the Jag could see were my Frenched tail lights". ???? Anyway, why stop at 6?
http://www.carols62.com/rearlights2.jpg


[Modified by cbernhardt, 6:45 AM 11/17/2003]
cbernhardt is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2003, 10:58 AM   #19
markiemyster
CF Senior Member
St. Jude Donor '03 & '05
 
markiemyster's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 2003
Location: Abington MA
Posts: 379
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (cbernhardt)

I've only owned my 65 for 18 months but it came with 6 tail lights. I assumed that someone just added them to customize the car because they also added mild flares.
It may not meet NCRS but both were done tastefully and I love the look.
:steering:
markiemyster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2003, 11:38 AM   #20
noelga
CF Senior Member
 
noelga's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 1999
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 470
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (Maximillian)

Maximillian
Are you using a body shop in GA.?
If yes would you tell who ard where it is.
Thanks
noelga


[Modified by noelga, 11:39 AM 11/17/2003]
noelga is offline   Reply With Quote
Go Back   Corvette Forum >
Reload this Page
  • 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's
  •  
     
    Reply

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
    Federal vs. Calif. Emissions Questions ChromeVette C3 Tech/Performance 30 07-29-2015 01:14 PM
    Led tail light bulbs ANTS C3 C3 General 2 02-06-2015 12:13 PM
    c3 Federal Vs. California Car ChromeVette C3 Tech/Performance 9 09-03-2014 07:34 PM
    2006 z51 base model MacT13 C6 Corvettes for Sale 7 07-09-2014 01:20 AM
    C5 LED Tail lights 66Nick C5 General 26 01-09-2014 09:28 AM


    Tags
    1966, 3rd, 6, c2, california, corvette, history, jag, light, lights, number, special, tail, tailights, vette

    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Click for Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off

    Forum Jump


    All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:57 AM.