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140 and 150 Headlamps

140 and 150 Headlamps

Geo, what was orig equipment in the US?? (Actually, Im going to put a set of plain tri bars in (as I like those best) but I would like to know what was right......I see the 'J' lites at the shows but... David M. Drenzek

Original equipment for XK-140s and XK-150s exported to the US for legal sale included round sealed beam headlights, the same as were fitted to our Fords, Chevys, Studebakers, etc. US laws required them in order for the cars to be sold here. Many bulb-and-reflector options wee available, but not for domestic usage. A variety of state inspection standards made retrofitting a fine art, for both esthetics and better lighting; right-hand-dipping bulbs of various types were (eventually) available for our use, from Continental sources and sharp importers. I believe the P700 lamps were the period British option, with the "J" lamps optional on the sedans; the PL700 is probably the most cost-effective alternate today. Wipac made quartz-halogen right-hand-dipping bulbs for use in all of these; these bulbs get very hot, and the reflective plating in genuine lamps may be damaged by the higher-than-expected heat; the replicas have not seemed to exhibit this problem. Best of luck; I firmly believe (for restoring/customizing your car) you should do whatever pleases you; YOU're the driver/owner! Enjoy! - Larry Schear, Twin Cam, Inc.

About 8 months ago, I brought up to the group the fact that my California XK-140 had Marchall reflector lamps installed when I obtained the car. I had wondered whether they were a dealer or aftermarket option. Based on Larry's note, I would suspect that they were aftermarket. It's strange, though that I have both original and repro wire harnesses that connect to the back of the European lamp just fine. - Regards, Mike Carpenter

Mike, Are the connectors different than the standard ones used today? I have Cibie's in my daily driver and Hella's in my S-type (once or twice a week driver). Both use the standard 2-blade or 3-blade connectors just like the originals. - Dick White

Dick, My Marchall headlamps use the three blade connector, which must be standard. Like the Tri-bars, my lamp has the small light bulb that inserts into the back of the reflector and the connector attaches to the bulb retainer. I have not inspected a standard US sealed beam installation, but it seemed to me that a sealed beam unit would have a different connector arrangement. Apparently not? - Mike Carpenter

Any comments on this statement: re XK140 headlights: a few, very early 140s had an upright rectangular 'J' badge. - Regards, John Elmgreen

XK-140's and XK-150's in the Euro market only. I've got the info in my old Lucas books. Never as original equip in the US. - George Badger

My very early 140 did not have the headlight "J" badge when I got it. However, the headlights were not original. I have since replaced them with the J-badged units. - Brian Pel

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