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TR2/3/3A TR3A Lamp lenses: NOS / "Lucas" repro differences?


Freshman Member
TR3A Lamp lenses: NOS / "Lucas" repro differences?

Does anyone out there know if there are any easily identifiable differences between New Old Stock brake light lenses and the Lucas-branded repros you can get from TRF or Moss? I just bought two "NOS" lenses on Ebay, but when they arrived, they looked pretty durn new -- like they could be repros. No packaging/box was advertised with them, and they arrived without labeled packaging. It's not a big deal, as I didn't pay that much for them, but I'd feel better knowing.


Jedi Warrior
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Re: TR3A Lamp lenses: NOS / "Lucas" repro differences?

Hi Parker welcome to the forum. Good question. I also bought nos tailights (and paid a hefty premium for them) from a guy who used to be in the parts business in California in the 60's/70's and was winding down - they did come in original lucas packages but I always wondered what the difference was. I'm sure someone will chime in on this one.


Country flag
Re: TR3A Lamp lenses: NOS / "Lucas" repro differences?

I believe I read in TRF literature a few years back that the original dies/molds for the tail lights still exist and TRF just has to put in an order of "X many" tail lights, and they get made.


Re: TR3A Lamp lenses: NOS / "Lucas" repro differences?

There is a good chance that lenses sitting in storage for many years could still look sparkling new.

Geo Hahn

Country flag
Re: TR3A Lamp lenses: NOS / "Lucas" repro differences?

I can't say mine are original but they were on the car when I got it 30 years ago so they at least aren't recent repros.

They say:




BS [heart shape logo?] 2515 GRADE2 2516 GRADE1

I do seem to recall some parts that would have originally been marked 'Made in England' were marked 'England' when they were non-English repros (since simply saying 'England' is not a lie) but I do not recall if this applied to the brake light lenses.

Don Elliott

Obi Wan
Re: TR3A Lamp lenses: NOS / "Lucas" repro differences?

The red lenses for the rear running and brake lights on a TR3A are each held on by two chrome headed (straight slot) pan-head screws. I cracked one red lens when I asked a friend to roll my 1958 TR3A backwards a foot and he gave it such a push, the lens cracked when it hit my garage door.

So I ordered a replacement red lens from Moss, Califonia. This must have been about 12 to 15 years ago. The red lens fit nicely but the "U" clearance molded into the lens to clear the head of the pan-head screw prevented the screw from seating properly. The "U" space was too narrow. I wrote Moss a letter which they ignored (I never got an explanation or a reply), so I carefully used my Dremel and widened this slot so I could fit the correct screw so it seated properly and hold the lens tightly to the rubber seal.

About 10 years ago, I bought some 1157 based bulbs with the two input prongs on the bottom from J. C. Whitney and these are about 3/8" diameter by about an inch and they are halogen bulbs with about 50% more luminosity than the regular large 1157 bulbs with normal filaments.


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Freshman Member
Re: TR3A Lamp lenses: NOS / "Lucas" repro differences?

Thanks, everyone (especially Geo) -- I knew I'd get some good wisdom here! My newly-purchased lenses have all the same markings that Geo listed, so I guess they're probably real, live NOS. Thanks also to Don for the bulb recommendations: I'm ALWAYS worried about being hit from the rear, so the brighter bulbs look like a very good idea.
Don: great looking car... I think I'll return mine to it's original black color when I begin to restore it in earnest. What kind of color "black" is that?


Jedi Warrior
Country flag
Re: TR3A Lamp lenses: NOS / "Lucas" repro differences?

Don Elliott said:
The red lenses for the rear running and brake lights on a TR3A are each held on by two chrome headed (straight slot) pan-head screws. ...

I'm not so sure they are straight slot screws - I've seen both on concurs cars. As well, I was able to find 2 original nos tailight assemblies for my TR3 complete with the original packaging... The package includes a complete light assembly, the base, both gaskets, and all screws - everything is pre-assembled. And...there is a second pack containing 2 screws inside the box (these are slot screws). No instructions what they are for - they are just ...there.....




So, go figure.... another ST mystery.


Jedi Trainee
Re: TR3A Lamp lenses: NOS / "Lucas" repro differences?

Did all the cars have the same screws? They were famous for using what was on hand. I know of a austin healey 100/4 at a concourse event that had billiard felt for the hard top headliner. The story went that they ran out of headliner material so they sent a guy to get some, nearest place happened to be a billiard supply house. The car would have been knocked down a few points for the incorrect material if one of the factory workers hadn't been one of the judges there and remembered those few cars. I've also seen cars that the seats had different color piping on both seats from the factory.


Luke Skywalker
Country flag
Re: TR3A Lamp lenses: NOS / "Lucas" repro differences?

For what it's worth (not much), here's a couple of lenses from my pile of spares (if my picture works): The lens on the right, which I am 99% sure is original, matches Geo Hahn description above exactly. The one on the left, which I am 99.9% sure is a reproduction has markings as follows: Globrite TMC 581. However, there were many reproducers of light lenses. I've no idea which supplier this lens came from. Other than the markings, the two most noticeable differences are color, the original much darker red (more so than pictures show) and a different pattern to the reflector.

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