Alfa Romeo Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,736 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Someone, somewhere asked how to tell the difference between the two. So, today I took some pictures.

The original lenses were made like a sandwich. There is a base clear layer and a color layer. The reproduction lenses are cast from in a single layer clear plastic, poly or whatever, then they are painted. When you see the pictures I've taken, it will be a bit more obvious.

I bought a set of the reproduction lenses shortly after they became available almost 20 years ago. Since that time a new mold has been made. The lenses I bought in the early 2000's have somewhat crisp edges (NOT PICTURED). These newer ones show evidence that the original lens that was used to make the mold has been polished.

The left lens (S) that was used to make the mold is distorted and almost everyone reports a fitment issue. I had the same issue with my first early set and the second later set.

Please feel free to ask questions and make comments.
Footwear Red Shoe Automotive lighting Slipper
Red Water Textile Tablecloth Table
Red Water Close-up Drop Button
Red Pink Close-up Textile Linens
Red Water Close-up Macro photography
Red
Red
Red Material property
Red Carmine Material property Textile Wallet
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,399 Posts
Thanks for the good information Brian. I've had many sets of NOS Euro tail lights and one 'Reproduction' set of Euro lenses over many years. While I suspect that there are several repro lenses on the market; photographed is one set that I used to have -compared to an OEM (factory) lens -that had been used. The easiest way to tell that the reproduction lens was a repro and not original was by looking at the inside of the lens.

The OEM lens has what appears to be chrome plated plastic (silver paint inside lens) around the edges and dividing the amber from the red plastic. Also as in your example above, the mounting bosses molded into the plastic are clear (and crack easily with little torque on the fasteners).
Automotive lighting Automotive tail & brake light Automotive parking light Auto part Automotive side marker light



Yellow Amber Orange

The reproduction lenses have 'painted on silver' trim around the edges and dividing the two colors of the lens (black inside the lens). The mounting bosses have the color molded right into them and are probably a bit more sturdy (not sprayed on). Unfortunately the repro lenses do not fit the factory tail light housings very well. It is unknown to me whether they fit better in an aftermarket housing, or if one was even available for these lenses.

Sconce Light fixture


One more thing, the repro tail light assemblies that I have seen at CA, that come with a rubber boot, make no attempt to duplicate the original rubber boot (sorry I don't have a photo of this). They are just a different shape all together.

Repro lens

Automotive lighting Automotive tail & brake light Automotive parking light Automotive side marker light Auto part


OEM lens for comparison (used)

Automotive lighting Red Orange Automotive parking light Amber


Mark
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,736 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was unaware the repos were copying Carello (or Altissimo) by name .. All the repops I ever saw ( not duetto) would have no name or another manufacturer for fear of copyright infringement.
Yea, I don't know how that works over in in Italy. I know that for the longest time, AFRA offered their own version of the front and rear lenses. They were horrible, but people used them as that was all that was available. Those must be the ones you are familiar with.

In a former life, I met Franco Polacci who owns a company called Laram. He told me he was working with Carello to get the original moulds for the tail lights. For the longest time, I thought he did. Then, I discovered the fitment issues and dug a into the lenses I had. That's when I discovered a mould had been pulled from an original lens.

I also have some comments to make on the reproduction rubber mats, but I'll save that for another day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,899 Posts
Yea, I don't know how that works over in in Italy. I know that for the longest time, AFRA offered their own version of the front and rear lenses. They were horrible, but people used them as that was all that was available. Those must be the ones you are familiar with.

In a former life, I met Franco Polacci who owns a company called Laram. He told me he was working with Carello to get the original moulds for the tail lights. For the longest time, I thought he did. Then, I discovered the fitment issues and dug a into the lenses I had. That's when I discovered a mould had been pulled from an original lens.

I also have some comments to make on the reproduction rubber mats, but I'll save that for another day.
The most common repops that have seen on the market for eons is LEART which is on my '72 Super and the other one is marked ARIC.. These are the skinny amber rectangular marker lights on the front fender. When I was working on Giulia Spiders the repop tail light lenses never had Carello nor Altissimo on them.. I'm really surprised the counterfeiters are using the Carello name and getting away with it especially the gas lantern trademark. Perhaps because Carello was swallowed by FIAT or Marelli and they all got swallowed by a bigger fish as it goes. Companies that are left in ruin lose track of their trademarks if they don't exist anymore I suppose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
This is very informative. Thank you.
But I have question. Which color version is preferred ? My '67 Duetto has red/amber rear lens. My car is red, and I feel that in replacing lens with red/red is the way to go, as with a red car, the taillights will beautifully 'disappear' into the remarkable body design. My son agrees.
While I'm not sure about really wanting the restoration to be 100% authentic to the original, this is a US car, and there seems to be back and forth regarding which version, red/amber or red/red came to (or was required) in the States. Can someone answer this for me?
And, I would love to hear your aesthetic take -- which version looks better on the car?
Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,399 Posts
My car is red, and I feel that in replacing lens with red/red is the way to go... this is a US car, and there seems to be back and forth regarding which version, red/amber or red/red came to (or was required) in the States. Can someone answer this for me?
It sounds like you are in luck! You prefer the red/red lens and that lens is correct for your 'US spec'. car. I suspect a previous owner preferred red/amber (European) lenses or out of necessity made an easily reversible change.

I am pretty sure that paperwork included with my car 37 years ago indicated the 1966 Duetto, with all the standard European characteristics was sold new in Atlanta by Hicks Green. It has red/amber rear lenses, covered headlights (may have originally come in the front passenger seat), fuse block cover in Italian (maybe English too?) and all metric gauges. Like all '66/67 Duetto's it has seats with no head rests and tear drop shaped amber side marker lights on the front quarter panels. It came with lap belts and all clear front turn signals/ running lights (as opposed to amber or amber clear).

When changing any of the lens covers, loosely 'snug' the screws up by holding and turning just the screwdriver shaft. Originally the lens cover screws had a white plastic or thin foam washer between the head and the lens that acted as a cushion -probably to mitigate the effects of expansion and contraction. I've seen many broken plastic lens screw 'bosses' over the years; such a shame.

Wheel Vehicle Tire Car Automotive parking light

Photo: Rick Andreoli

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
It sounds like you are in luck! You prefer the red/red lens and that lens is correct for your 'US spec'. car. I suspect a previous owner preferred red/amber (European) lenses or out of necessity made an easily reversible change.

I am pretty sure that paperwork included with my car 37 years ago indicated the 1966 Duetto, with all the standard European characteristics was sold new in Atlanta by Hicks Green. It has red/amber rear lenses, covered headlights (may have originally come in the front passenger seat), fuse block cover in Italian (maybe English too?) and all metric gauges. Like all '66/67 Duetto's it has seats with no head rests and tear drop shaped amber side marker lights on the front quarter panels. It came with lap belts and all clear front turn signals/ running lights (as opposed to amber or amber clear).

When changing any of the lens covers, loosely 'snug' the screws up by holding and turning just the screwdriver shaft. Originally the lens cover screws had a white plastic or thin foam washer between the head and the lens that acted as a cushion -probably to mitigate the effects of expansion and contraction. I've seen many broken plastic lens screw 'bosses' over the years; such a shame.

View attachment 1671990
Photo: Rick Andreoli

Mark
It sounds like you are in luck! You prefer the red/red lens and that lens is correct for your 'US spec'. car. I suspect a previous owner preferred red/amber (European) lenses or out of necessity made an easily reversible change.

I am pretty sure that paperwork included with my car 37 years ago indicated the 1966 Duetto, with all the standard European characteristics was sold new in Atlanta by Hicks Green. It has red/amber rear lenses, covered headlights (may have originally come in the front passenger seat), fuse block cover in Italian (maybe English too?) and all metric gauges. Like all '66/67 Duetto's it has seats with no head rests and tear drop shaped amber side marker lights on the front quarter panels. It came with lap belts and all clear front turn signals/ running lights (as opposed to amber or amber clear).

When changing any of the lens covers, loosely 'snug' the screws up by holding and turning just the screwdriver shaft. Originally the lens cover screws had a white plastic or thin foam washer between the head and the lens that acted as a cushion -probably to mitigate the effects of expansion and contraction. I've seen many broken plastic lens screw 'bosses' over the years; such a shame.

View attachment 1671990
Photo: Rick Andreoli

Mark
Mark, thank you for your reply. My car presently has the amber/red, they are old and messed up. It is odd, while everyone notes that the red/red was for the US, it seems that the red/red have very limited availability - I can only find them at Classic Alfa in the UK. Am I missing an obvious seller of red/red ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,399 Posts
Classic Alfa is a great supplier for our old cars. In the past I traded a few NOS tail light assemblies with red/red lenses to Matt Jones at Re-Originals. He knows which lenses are correct and NOS. I can't say if he still has any more of them or not. All NOS lenses were very difficult to find 35 years ago! I was fortunate to find several sets over the years.

Mark
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top