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Thread: 1939-1941 Taillight Shell Question

  1. #1

    Default 1939-1941 Taillight Shell Question

    I have the pictured taillight shell for my 1939 project but have a question regarding the bar inside and the apparent lack of penned bar heads on the outside.
    The shell looks OEM in every way to me and it does not look like a 1942-1946 style that has had the screw holes pounded out and welded. No sign of that at all from the inside. There is evidence where someone welded up the ever present splits at the top and bottom but that doesn't come close to where the screw holes would be. There is simply no sign of the bar from the outside. Could the heads have been polished off? There is NO SIGN at all of them. Not even a microscopic seam. Did they ever friction weld them in place?
    Your thoughts please.
    Mark Masa




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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Netherlands
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    While rare and appreciated nowadays,somebody some time didn't like to see those rivets ..
    The protruding ends of the bar are probably ground off and afterwards filled with lead.By blasting the taillight housing it all got the same structure .
    In some pictures you can still spot filled dents just by seeing a slight discoloration..


    My best guess,
    Rein
    Last edited by nukkel; 09-07-2017 at 04:33 AM. Reason: typo

  5. #5
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    I've had them both ways Mark. The ones not visible were apparently early type and the rod is electrically welded in place. They broke regularly and allowed the lenses to rattlle around. The peened rod was the updated feature, however I do not know when the transition took place but that one is correct for a '39.
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

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    Thanks Robbie. Score!
    Mark

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    Curious side note Folks,

    When I accepted payment for a neighbor at D-port for a repop of a similar tailight, the purchaser adamantly declared it was a "beehive" and "that's what Harley called it".

    I told him H-D used parts numbers, and he had fallen for catalog slang, because the earlier conical lens was beehive-shaped. He got quite annoyed.

    Apparently he didn't remember girls' hairstyles from the early '60s either.

    ....Cotten
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    Last edited by T. Cotten; 09-07-2017 at 03:51 PM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Cotten View Post
    the purchaser adamantly declared it was a "beehive" and "that's what Harley called it".
    Cotten,
    I heard the same beehive term used (or misused) by a lot of folks and tons of ebay sellers. The attached photo is what I've known as a beehive. For Mark's style lamp/housing I understood it to be called or nicknamed "streamline". Is streamline correct?
    Thanks,
    William
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    William Edwards, AMCA #10035

  9. #9
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    I probably mis-used the term in the past myself, William!

    Until I think Mr. Haynes corrected somebody somewhere on some forum. And I saw the "light".

    Its all Tyranian Tedd's fault.

    Wouldn't "correct" for the "bee hive" be what its called in the Parts Book?

    ....Cotten
    PS: Until the judges say otherwise of course...
    (Its a generic tractor lens to me. Although green ones were for boats I'm sure.)

    PPS: I've been calling the subject of this thread the "Art Deco" lamp.
    (Mr. Deco was my very favorite designer, yes he certainly was. I'm sure he designed the "Tombstone" too!)
    Last edited by T. Cotten; 09-07-2017 at 06:33 PM.
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  10. #10
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    Cotten,
    Guilty as well until I was corrected! My parts book says "tail lamp red lens". I pulled Mr. Palmer's 2nd edition to see what he wrote. Interestingly he notes p/n 5059-39 (new #68090-39) as "streamlined", "boattail" or "beehive" tail lamp glass all in the same sentence! Maybe "Streamlined" was a MOCO marketing phrase??
    William

    PS: Red / port & Green / starboard.
    William Edwards, AMCA #10035

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