Does anyone recognize these taillights?

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rackerm

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I was at a car show this weekend and saw this 73 vert. Nice car with nice options. Talking to the owner he did not have Marti Report and the door tag indicated it was a H code, fmx, 5H color, and a Washington DC DSO code. 

Anyway looking at the taillights I noticed the lens did not have the clear square section in the middle lens for the backup light. The backup lights were located in the valance like they were in earlier model years. The lens had no SAE or ford markings.

I have never seen 71-73 taillights, aftermarket or otherwise, without the backup lens in them. The DSO code did not indicate it was an export. The cars owner had no clue.

I was thinking it was done by a PO to ship the car oversees and meet the regulations in that country?

Anyone, seen taillights and backup lights on a 71-73 like this before and can shed light on this?

Thanks

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Bentworker

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Those are a trip!  And blacked out aluminum trim like the 71's.  

 

c9zx

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Very unusual, I've never seen it before. Chuck

 

Don C

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Home made, using acrylic prismatic ceiling light panels, and painted with clear red on the inside.

It's also possible to make a mold of your existing lens and use red tinted clear acrylic to make your own, but these look like ceiling panel material.

OK for show, but they lack the reflectors as required by USDOT.

 
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Rich,
Good catch on this one. If this vert were an export model, it would have the unique DSO# we all know to look for on the door label. Since other countries have so many different requirements and regulations, the DSO records at Ford would have the list of modifications and special equipment sent with the vehicle when Ford exported it. Regardless of domestic or export models, all parts would have a Ford oval and ID numbers or markings. Since there is no special DSO, I would vote on some creative prior owner mods.
With 3D printers becoming more affordable and readily available now, it's effortless for someone to design and print these sorts of projects. As Geoff suggested, there is probably an LED light panel hiding under those lenses. LED circuit boards with programmable colors have been on the market for a while. Don C's comment on the lens material appearance did remind me of the fluorescent light diffuser lens I used to install "Back in the day." As Don noted, they are probably not DOT compliant.
The reverse lamps are the same style as used on the 65-70 Mustangs. 1965-68 used the lens with the circular diffuser pattern. The '69-70 had a horizontal pattern. The only way to verify the actual lamp body would be to look at the reverse side of the body for an engineering #. Due to valence panel shape differences, the lamp bodies differed for 65-66, 67-68, and 69-70. They are similar in appearance, but a side-by-side comparison would show the differences.
On this vert, I noticed that with the bumper guards, Mach 1 style rear valence with the exhaust cutouts and chrome exhaust tips, rear spoiler, stripes, and bumper hitch, things are looking a little......Busy!  :biggrin:

 

Bentworker

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Home made, using acrylic prismatic ceiling light panels, and painted with clear red on the inside.

It's also possible to make a mold of your existing lens and use red tinted clear acrylic to make your own, but these look like ceiling panel material.

OK for show, but they lack the reflectors as required by USDOT.
On the subject of reflectors. 

I bought a pair of the Daniel Carpenter tail light lenses and was blown away how reflective they were compared to my old ones.  For me I was glad I shelled out a little extra to get new ones.  Gives me a little more piece of mind if I ever drive this thing at night, or park it outside.  Every time I ride in the wife mobile and we roll into the garage at night I am reminded of how much visibility the new lenses add to the car.

Now back to the weird tail lights....

 

rackerm

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Thanks all for the feedback.  

I think the aftermarket led taillight housing is the most likely answer. Good call Geoff! I do recall him saying he has led bulbs in the taillights.

The cars owner was not a DIY guy, so I am sure he had some else do it and therefore no clue.

 
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TheDude

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This is something I've wanted to do for a long time and even posted about it some time ago asking if anyone makes a lens with out the reverse light. Like Don said it does look like someone cut out the centers of a lens, then put in some ceiling light diffuser or something like that. Would be great if there was a decent option to buy something like this without having to rip apart the lights in the break room. 

 

rackerm

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This is something I've wanted to do for a long time and even posted about it some time ago asking if anyone makes a lens with out the reverse light. Like Don said it does look like someone cut out the centers of a lens, then put in some ceiling light diffuser or something like that. Would be great if there was a decent option to buy something like this without having to rip apart the lights in the break room. 
Having seen these taillights up close and in person, I can tell you the lens is one piece. I am sure these lens are not modified factory/repros that had the clear reverse lens part cut out and replaced with a red lens.

I have searched thru every 17-73 Taillight picture I can find and not one has this lens. Whatever lens these are, the change from the factory lens to these was done quite some time ago.  

 
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Having seen these taillights up close and in person, I can tell you the lens is one piece. I am sure these lens are not modified factory/repros that had the clear reverse lens part cut out and replaced with a red lens.

I have searched thru every 17-73 Taillight picture I can find and not one has this lens. Whatever lens these are, the change from the factory lens to these was done quite some time ago.  
If these are one piece, then a left and right side injection mold would have to have been made. They could not be vacuum formed with the reflector capability and detail needed (unless someone has more knowledge than do I in vacuum forming). If they were a one-off set, then someone has access to way too many tools, CNC mill, Injection molding machines etc. The cost would be prohibitive for just one set.

 

rackerm

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If these are one piece, then a left and right side injection mold would have to have been made. They could not be vacuum formed with the reflector capability and detail needed (unless someone has more knowledge than do I in vacuum forming). If they were a one-off set, then someone has access to way too many tools, CNC mill, Injection molding machines etc. The cost would be prohibitive for just one set.
I thought the lens were symmetrical and not left and right. Thanks Geoff for sharing your expertise on the topic. I don't think these are one offs, but where they came from and who made them remains a mystery.

 

MikeGriese

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Could these be a European lens?  What was put on T-5's?  Did Ford do a T-5 in '71-'73?  So many questions?

 
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Hello Mike,
Ford exported Mustangs to Germany from 1965 through early '79 as T-5's. I believe the last company that owned the Mustang brand went out of business so later '79 and forward Mustangs were once again Mustangs in Germany.  The '71-73 T-5 utilized the same tail light lens as the US models. Any lens or lamp, regardless if park, sport, side marker, taillight, reverse, would have a Ford oval and some ID number or mark.
As Don C stated, these lenses don't appear to have the optics to make them DOT compliant. I have seen lights and lens advertised for other make vehicles over the years that clearly state for "Off-road or show car use only." Maybe these lenses were offered years ago for the same type of application. I just have not seen these on a '71-73 before, and I've been around these cars long enough to remember seeing them come off the transport trucks.

 

timachone

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As a T5-owner and son of another T5-owner I can confirm what Steve said: they have the same taillights than the US-models, with all their numbers. 

In the front, at the 73 models, they made some extra orange lenses for the parking lights to meet the German law requirements. They cut off the parking lights function, place them into the headlights housing and use the parking lights only for turn signal purposes. In the 71/72's they only had to cut off the grille running lights to make them disfunctional. Some may homemade their own clear glass for them or use them illegal...  :whistling:

 

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As Don C stated, these lenses don't appear to have the optics to make them DOT compliant.
Over here during yearly tech control, they do check front lights, really picky on them and even if you did nothing to them in past year, it's like if the angle changes per year on itself as they always touch my lights. Same on all my cars. However never seen or heard of any controls regarding rear lights lenses other than of course that they must work.
Pretty sure the custom ones above would be fine here. Do they test optics of rear lights in USA? 

Officially, for any lights lenses on a car, there must be a European approved sticker, in practice tho looks like they did not care if my chinese headlights leds were "officially approved" or not, they only checked that they produce the correct beam in low and high. Which they did.

 

CalgaryChris

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These lenses were available at Acrylic Concepts in Calgary last I knew but that has been a few years. They were $300 Canadian at the time

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