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120 Reverse Lamp Bracket

120 Reverse Lamp Bracket

Just in case we're running out of trivia.... I've not seen this discussed before but I'm certain John Elmgreen will refresh my memory if it has. Can a thread be established as to when the bracket holding the Number Plate and Reverse Lamp assembly went from: 1. Parallel to the number plate, to 2. Being bent to a vertical position. In the #1 or early? configuration, the Reverse Lamp points somewhat skyward. (Many cars illustrated in Porter appear this way). The #2, or believed later configuration, the support bracket is bent such that the Reverse Lamp points directly rearward. It also appears that some support brackets were substantially shorter than others; Skilleter pgs. 31&41. My OTS 672776 lamp bracket is parallel to the number plate; my FHC 680555 is vertical. Both cars have a long bracket. Apologies to Aloha Rob who, in the midst of his persistent overheating, couldn't care less about 120 Reverse Lamp brackets. As did Larry Martz, I also enjoyed meeting and talking with Rob and his wife during his visit at the XKs Unlimited Open House. Sorry to hear of the problem Rob, mark my vote for a bad head gasket. Also, you shouldn't have to do anything to the block surface except to clean it well and examine it for damage. - Dick Cavicke

Dick, re the change from angled no. plate bracket to straight, we have discussed this before, a long time ago. My car and others I have photo'd all have the angled bracket, but you reported that yours and some others had the straight. The cars I see are usually early (up to say late 51) so that it may have been after that. We never got a response from any other owners so far as I have recorded, but it is an item on my XK survey that I have on Excel (you have seen the file). So, over to other 120 owners. We are looking for the bracket that holds the reverse light / no. plate light at the rear of the car, it is part of the rectangular no. plate panel that sits on the boot. Some of these brackets are angled, so that in relation to the (angled) boot, they sit upright, more or less vertical; others are apparently straight, i.e., more or less parallel with the boot lid. Please advise chassis nos. when you reply, unless I already have your chassis no. in which case I can find it myself. - Regards, John Elmgreen

My bracket seems to split the angle between the boot lid and vertical - if you drop a plum line from the top of the bracket it falls around the middle of the wire hole. Chassis 674864. - Scott Allard

I checked the position of my lamp and it is the same as Allard's. There is also a small dent in the boot lit that matches the curve in the lamp housing which suggests that it was hit and replaced some time in the past. - Bruce Cunnungham

My car 660636, 51 OTS, has the reverse light parallel to the road so it lights up what is behind the car, not above in the trees, or on the road, like some I have seen. The mount is only 1 1/2" high, which is the size of the reverse/license plate lamp fixture and bent to make the parallel aspect. At various shows I have seen professionally restored cars with tall straight mounts and bent mounts. Everybody claims they are original, but they sure aren't functional. The only thing it does is make it easier for the judges to see the lights without having to raise the boot. - XK120

On my 679187 the light bracket is bent at a 15 degree angle with respect to the license plate, so it's not perpendicular to the ground either, more like halfway in between. Comparing to the photos in JW of 670178 mine looks shorter. - Rob Reilly

Any more takers on the angle of the rev light bracket on the 120 rear plate? A few more responses might show a pattern. - Regards, John Elmgreen

Mine is off and in a box somewhere. I looked thru the manuals and didn't see a bracket listed. What does that mean? - George Badger

My 120 FHC, Chassis number 679426, has the straight bracket that is parallel to the license plate and mounting surface, leaving the back-up light at the strange upward angle to the pavement. It appears to me that the bracket could easily be bent or "creased" to make the light perpendicular to the pavement. At least this would be the case with mine, since it is just a flat plate. I personally would not like that, I think, since it would leave the bolts and wiring more visible. Are the others obviously manufactured at an angle, or could it be that some people have merely bent them to improve the visibility from the back-up light? - Tom Taylor

Likewise- on my car, '54 FHC S681406 the bracket is basically flat with the reverse light at the strange angle looking "up." Reminds me of the phrase we used to use to explain headlights out of alignment: "We're spotting enemy aircraft!!" - Dick Rowley

John, I haven't measured the angle, but mine (674699 OTS) is bent so that the upper part of the bracket is nearly vertical. - Bruce Wright

I thought maybe once in a while I could be of some help too, and have scanned a pic of a 1954 XK120 dhc with his rev light. This car is claimed to be very original, so I hope the pic is of some help. The pic is on my home page: - Zoran Mitrovic

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