Lotus Elan

Lucas Headlamp Questions

PostPost by: summerinmaine » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:28 am

1. Whilst sorting through my garage accumulations, I stumbled across a set of NOS Lucas PL700 headlamps for LHD applications. The part number is 54520293, and they are in their original boxes. They also have the original "christmas ornament" spherical bulbs. They are probably left over from my old Austin-Healey 100 or Morgan Plus 4 days.

I know that they were originally fitted to "high-end" sporting cars in the 50s and 60s, like Cobras and Jaguars, and although NLA there are repros available (even ones fitted with Halogen elements) with mixed reviews. I'd like them to go to someone who is really trying for a full OEM-type restoration (and probably in the USA for the LHD aspect), so does anyone know any other cars on which these may have been available as options?

Here's a pic of one lamp:

PL700.jpg and



2. I also found a loose pair of Lucas headlamps with H4 elements, but I don't recognize them at all. I might put them in the S2 to replace the Wagner H4s currently fitted, but does anyone know how to identify them (or a source of identification data), and, more importantly, how to tell if they are for LHD or RHD usage?

Here's a pic of this lamp:

Lucas H4.jpg and


TIA for any advice.
Last edited by summerinmaine on Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:15 am

Hi Jim,
Here's a pic of my RHD H4's from around 1975 (ie dipping to the left) They are marked with an arrow cast into the glass to show which way they dip. Can't see it on your pic. but it may be marked in the same way. If not you can maybe compare the two lenses.

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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:18 pm

Thanks Roger.

No arrow, unfortunately. And I don't see anything in the lense pattern that would strongly suggest either alternative.

Maybe the best thing to do is hook one of them up to a battery and just look at the light display pattern.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:33 pm

Hi Jim,
Just Googled this info.........http://www.danielsternlighting.com/images/Codes.pdf

From this it looks like no arrow = OK for US.

Scroll down to the paragraph headed "ECE/EEC Marking: Headlamp Suitability for Traffic Direction"

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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:58 pm

Thanks Roger, that was fascinating.

In sorting out the various codes, I have "E11" indicating UK manufacture (it's Lucas, right? :D), and "HCR" indicating 'Low/high (dip/main) beam headlamp, halogen.'

I also have "2" (at the very top), "A" (at the left above the E11), 7670 (at the left above the E11), "20" (at the right, to the right of the E11), "20 R 57" (at the right below the E11), and "APC" (at the bottom, to the left of the MiE).

There is also a very small "545 125" running vertically just to the left of the Lucas H4, and what appears to be a very tiny right-hand arrow just below this code, but if they intended it as a RHT/LHT indication, I would think they would have made it visible without the aid of a scanning electron microscope.

It'll be fun trying to figure out all those codes.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:09 pm

Just had another thought........is fitting halogen lamps "adding lightness" ? :lol:
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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:00 pm

oldelanman wrote:Just had another thought........is fitting halogen lamps "adding lightness" ? :lol:


Indeed, and when you consider the cost of a quality HID setup, you must add "to a price." :D
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:19 pm

oldelanman wrote:Just had another thought........is fitting halogen lamps "adding lightness" ? :lol:



Probably not if you're still running a dynamo!

Many years ago I replaced the std sealed beams with a set of state of the art (then!) Cibie QH's. They'd been wonderful on my everyday car but were worse than the std lights on the Elan. The line voltage wasn't high enough for them to work efficiently and after a few bulb failures I went back to the sealed beams.
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PostPost by: spanner » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:45 pm

Hi Jim,

I purchased these left hand driver PLs in 1966, the number is 556468.

The halogen Le Mans 24s are 554359.

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