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Old 11-16-2003, 06:33 AM   #1
Lickitty
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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

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Old 11-16-2003, 06:45 AM   #2
Chuck Gongloff
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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
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Old 11-16-2003, 06:55 AM   #3
Lickitty
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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
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Old 11-16-2003, 07:09 AM   #4
Lickitty
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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 !!!!!

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Old 11-16-2003, 08:38 AM   #5
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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]
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Old 11-16-2003, 09:45 AM   #6
jerrybramlett
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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]
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Old 11-16-2003, 10:18 AM   #7
396 RAT
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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/

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Old 11-16-2003, 10:26 AM   #8
paul 74
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Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (396 RAT)

That's absolutely fascinating reading. Thank you!
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Old 11-16-2003, 10:31 AM   #9
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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
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Old 11-16-2003, 11:26 AM   #10
Maximillian
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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.

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Old 11-16-2003, 01:09 PM   #11
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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).
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Old 11-16-2003, 04:23 PM   #12
427Hotrod
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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
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Old 11-16-2003, 05:23 PM   #13
Cliff63
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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?
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Old 11-16-2003, 05:33 PM   #14
paul 74
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Default Re: 3 Tail Light History on C1 and C2's (396 RAT)

BTW what wheels are those?
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Old 11-16-2003, 08:45 PM   #15
Lickitty
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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
Click the image to open in full size.


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Old 11-16-2003, 10:10 PM   #16
396 RAT
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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.
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Old 11-16-2003, 11:11 PM   #17
64Ragtop
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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.
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Old 11-17-2003, 06:43 AM   #18
cbernhardt
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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]
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:58 AM   #19
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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.
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Old 11-17-2003, 11:38 AM   #20
noelga
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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]
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Old 11-17-2003, 11:38 AM
 
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