The French and yellow headlamp bulbs. A plea.

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  • The French and yellow headlamp bulbs. A plea.
  • mcmoonter
    Member

    In the 70s I watched French Art House films with moody scenes of cars driving through fog and rain with yellow headlamp bulbs. I must have still been under ten when I first visited France and the abiding memory of that road trip was of the mellow yellow.

    I’m just back from France after a 2000 mile weekend there and back jaunt, I only saw a single pair of lemon lights on a Citroen GS.

    Please bring them back.

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Subscriber

    Nothing more romantic than French plates and yellow headlights on a car 😀

    Am I imagining this or did we used to paint the lights yellow when crossing the channel?

    Still see a few around today down here on the border, on old restored DSs etc.

    Hmmmn. Betty Blue….

    Premier Icon flap_jack
    Subscriber

    Yep, I remember painting lights yellow. It was a bu99er to get off afterwards too.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Am I imagining this or did we used to paint the lights yellow when crossing the channel?

    and put little black bits of tape to stop the lights dipping the wrong way…… then leave all that on there – perhaps for years, just to make sure everyone knew you were the sort that didn’t go on package holidays

    🙂

    CountZero
    Member

    The yellow colour has been banned, AFAIK. The black bits were to block the upward lift on the dip, to stop dazzling oncoming drivers.
    I can remember people buying clear yellow paint to colour the lenses when going abroad. I have a feeling that modern cars can alter the dip pattern for economical reasons.

    What many of our American readers probably do not know is that until 1993 all cars in France were required to have yellow headlights. This tradition started during World War II so that the French civilian cars would stand out form enemy vehicles. The Government enacted a law on the 3rd of November, 1936 stating that all vehicles put into production in 1937 are required to have yellow headlights. The French being who they are, didn’t abandon these headlights until 1993 when forced by the European Unions conformity standards. Today, it is illegal to drive in France with yellow headlights unless your car was first registered before 1993.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    and put little black bits of tape to stop the lights dipping the wrong way…… then leave all that on there – perhaps for years, just to make sure everyone knew you were the sort that didn’t go on package holidays

    Up until ‘Les Flics’ wised up that this made the lights not pass our MoT and they started nicking all those British cars driving out of the channel ports for unroadworthy vehicles! I still have some beam altering stickers, from an early 90’s trip, that were road legal somewhere.

    DrJ
    Member

    This tradition started during World War II so that the French civilian cars would stand out form enemy vehicles

    Disappointed. I had the idea that yellow lights were used because they have less dazzling glare than white ones 🙁

    DrJ
    Member

    This tradition started during World War II so that the French civilian cars would stand out form enemy vehicles

    Disappointed. I had the idea that yellow lights were used because they have less dazzling glare than white ones 🙁

    Premier Icon luffy105
    Subscriber

    We had an old Renault 5 that used to belong to my French grandmother that had yellow lights. You really could see bugger all at night with them. That said, I always look back fondly on the night journeys through france. ‘Mellow Yellow’ describes it well

    This tradition started during World War II so that the French civilian cars would stand out form enemy vehicles

    I’m sure that was really handy for the month it took for the Germans to overrun France.

    I can see why you would keep it around for 50 years.

    Mister P
    Member

    I do like a French car with yellow headlights.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    IIRC the MOT only says ‘significantly white or yellow’ so should still be legal un the UK?

    khani
    Member

    That ^^^ looks like the suspensions collapsed..
    And the wheels are too diddy..

    psling
    Member

    For those of you reminiscing days of yore, you can still get the rose tinted glasses effect by wearing glasses with yellow lenses whilst driving en vacance a Francais 8)

    Mister P
    Member

    Khani, that is what the kids would call “stance”.

    khani
    Member

    I’m old, it looks like what I’d call ”crap”

    Disappointed. I had the idea that yellow lights were used because they have less dazzling glare than white ones

    I do a bit of road rallying. Some of my drivers have fitted yellow gels to their headlights in foggy conditions for precisely this reason. I can’t see any difference myself.

    Premier Icon tommid
    Subscriber

    I rode out the other week at 5am and saw loads of french cars with Yellow head lights, until I stopped to wipe the lenses on my glasses and realised I had my yellow tints in…

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)

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