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Tri-bar headlamps

Tri-bar Headlamps

Dear XK Enthusiast, I just installed new "Tri-Bar" head lamp with the flat front lenses in "Blanch" (54' XK-120 DHC). They completely transformed the looks of the car from the old standard lamps. I am so thrilled I just had to tell someone. Ha! Ha! She really looks good now, My wife said I better sleep in the garage tonight after she found out how much they cost. Ha! Ha! - E.W. Blake

Hi E. W. Blake & all -- Re: your new tri-bars in the XK120 -- if it was originally sold in the U.S., it came with sealed-beams, then the only legal bulb here -- BUT if you're into JCNA concours, you'll be pleased to know that since the U.S. change in headlamp regulations, bulb-types are now allowed, AND the new JCNA judging manual specifically allows them on any of our earlier cars:

P/6-1 -- B: Authenticity Requirements 3. Factory and Aftermarket Options Accepted as Authentic CERTAIN ITEMS HAVE BEEN ACEPTED AS AUTHENTIC, EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY NOT BE FACTORY INSTALLED. SOME ARE AS FOLLOWS: FACTORY OFFERED OPTIONAL PERFORMANCE EQUIPMENT ITEMS, TRI-BAR HEADLAMPS, EUROPEAN-STYLE HEADLAMPS, BADGE BARS, DRIVING OR FOG LAMPS (HOWEVER, THESE ITEMS MUST BE THE CORRECT LAMPS FOR THE JAGUAR AS OFFERED WHEN NEW). IF THERE IS DOUBT AS TO THE AUTHENTICITY OF AN ITEM, THE BURDEN OF PROOF IS ON THE ENTRANT. THE ENTRANT MUST SHOW DOCUMENTATION FOR ITEMS THAT DO NOT CONFORM.

On RHETT, my original Mk IX, 792817 BW, I installed new flat-lens tribars (with 55-85w quartz-halogen bulbs) at the beginning of '96; took 3rd in JCNA Nationals for Class 8 (big saloons) in '96 with 97.17669; did four shows in '97 in the new Class 18, Preservation with overall average of 99.25332 -- ONE gig at .02/bulb at Peterson (LA) in '96, under old manual; NONE since -- my experience to date is that judges ARE reading the new book! E. W., you're right -- the tribars DO add a lot to the front-end looks; on my car, the English bulbs were the Lucas "J", but tribars with flat lenses WERE available, and I think they simply look better, as well as putting out far better lighting than the old Wagner sealed-beams. Rather pleased to accomplish this with NO scoring penalties thanks to the new book! - Larry Martz

Mr. Martz, Thank you very much for the information, I have a long way to go before I will be competitive at a show, but I am very pleased to find out that the Tri Bars will be accepted when the time comes. I like them so much that I planned to install them no matter what others may think. If I would incur a deduction in points, I would just have to change them back prior to the show. It would only take 20 minutes and a beer at the most to change them back. Ha! Ha! - E.W. Blake

Hi E. W & all -- your comment today is EXACTLY why I've saved the original Wagner sealed-beams -- up on a shelf if I'was ever challenged in show, not used at all now -- if anyone wants a set of the original 7" sealed-beam lamps, they're here in good condition at <jagmkix@cwo.com> -- but new tribars are so much superior in lighting (read "safety"), I won't put old ones back in! Larry Martz

Hello all: when I turn on my computer tomorrow just before I hear the familiar "you've got mail " I will hear a sound like a freight train shudder , it will be all the purists reacting to my adding reproduction 7" (not the original 7.75") tribars to my 54 140 OTS. Why they may ask, certainly not original to 140s, two reasons: they look great !!! and the halogen lamps let me see at night. I'm one of those guys who actually drives his car, in the dark too!! now my car is not a concours or restored buggy but I have won many first, second, and third places none of which mean anything to me as long a I get to drive home again past all of the trailer queens. I think purrrhaps it was because it's blood red with fat white walls on chrome 16"spokes and oh yes halogen tribars. not a bad $120.00 a pair investment. - Michael Ramsey 54 /140mc OTS

how much? - Gary Fitch

I would like some additional information on the tri-bar headlights you installed in Blanch. Are they legal for driving (in California)? Which vendor supplied these? Approximent cost? I also have a 120 DHC (Gwen), any chance for a picture so I can see how it looks? - Thanks, Jeff Kelley-Day

Hi Gary Fitch & all -- my tribars (7", flat glass) came from John Kubasak, BRITISH VINTAGES Inc., 800-350-5247; as I recall from two years ago, they were about $150 for the pair. Hope this helps -- Larry Martz

Dear Jeff, XK-Unlimited had just received a shipment of Tri-Bar headlights when I requested for mine. The 7" flat lens version sold as a reproduction for cars originally fitted with U.S.-Spec sealed beam headlights is part no 17-0465T for $81.55 ea. and the original PF770 that measures 7.7" is Part no.17-0464 and is about $549.95 a pair in American dollars, if I recall correctly. My reproductions were the best for my needs, but then again, my goals may be different than someone else's. You may want to shop around for a better price because I didn't. I am sure Gwen will like them and I have no clue about California Law. We live in Ohio, USA. As long as I behave myself the local law does not badger me much unless they are really angry about something else like running up and down the street with a open header to wake up all the retired people on my block, or sliding sideways around a corner to read the chalk on the tires as I adjust tire pressure. Ha! Ha! I am only Kidding. My neighbors love me... I think. I will not be able to send a picture until I gain scanning capability. someone else may have the capability. - Edgar Blake

If you have any questions or comments send e-mail to: ted@jag-lovers.org
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