The lights on your car have two important functions: allowing you to see the road and helping other motorists see you. While our British classics were built in a time that predates modern LED, HID and HIR lights, upgrades are available.
And perhaps best of all, these upgrades can be made without spoiling the original looks and character of the car. Of course, it helps to have a well-rounded plan of attack. It’s great to have the power of the sun strapped to the front bumper, but don’t forget to upgrade the rear lights—it can be the best defense against an inattentive commuter.
Wondering what can be done to increase your car’s candlepower? Here’s a quick primer on today’s options.
Still love those classic, 7-inch round headlights? An easy upgrade exists: Hella Vision Plus halogen headlamps. These lamps feature improved optics and a replaceable bulb just like those available in Europe, but with one big difference: The Hella Plus lamps are DOT-approved, meaning they’re legal for use on American roads. These lamps simply replace the originals, so installation is a snap.
Price: About $60 per lamp
There’s a pretty good chance your headlights were wired before relays were standard operating procedure. Why add them? Relays greatly reduce the electrical load through the headlight switch leading to brighter lights and fewer electrical hassles.
Copy: Supplement your standard headlights and be ready for a surprise rainstorm in style. Add-on fog and driving lights were popular in the ’60s, and they still look great today. Driving lamps have clear lenses, while fog lights are easily identifiable by their fluted faces.
3rd Brake Light
Modern cars have a center high-mounted stop light for a good reason: They work. What about our older machines? Moss offers an auxiliary third brake light that features 20 LEDs and the required wiring. It’s a great way to grab the attention of the Escalade that’s about to perch on your back bumper.
Price: About $80
Rear Red Fog Light
Rear red fog lights serve one purpose: increase your visibility to others when weather conditions have deteriorated, like during rain, fog or snow. Traditionally they’re mounted below the bumper, and should only be illuminated during inclement weather.
Price: About $53
Up until just a few years ago, interior lighting was an afterthought. A single dome light was considered sufficient. Footwell lights have become standard issue these days, and they can easily be added to your favorite British classic.
Price: About $35
By David S. Wallens