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concave headlights


240jetjoc

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About a year ago, my brother saw a car at a Seattle car show with 7" round concave lense headlights. They were made by Cibie and were quite exotic looking. The gentleman told my brother that he had purchased them through a supplier on the East Coast. I want a set or two of these for my Z's. Can any of you help me locate these 7" Cibies with the concave lenses? Thanks for your help.

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I know what you are talking about, I've seen them now and then in the past. But those are old, vintage tungsten bulb headlights, not halogens. I'm pretty certain they've been out of production for years, but there may be a few sitting on shelves somewhere. They are going to be hard to find, and likely expensive. (And frankly, the light output won't be very good either.)

To hunt them down, you'll need to look for places that cater to owners of vintage '50-60s European cars, as that's what they were originally designed for.

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Arne,

You continually offer good, solid advice. Pat on the back from Her Majesty! I have owned the concave lights we are talking about. Very nice. Good pattern. Nice lighting quality. But as Arne has pointed out, old technology.

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don't they make some that look similar with modern lighting technology? we're talking about the tri-bar ones, right?
Not tri-bars, those are easy to find. We are talking about headlights with lenses that dish inwards, not outwards. Much tougher to find.

I appreciate Her Majesty's kudos, Chris. I try hard to be useful.

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If you talk to the guys at CIBIE USA - they will tell you that the lights your friend saw - were about the worst lights they ever turned out!! Lasted only a couple of years on the market. If you don't drive at night, no problem... they look neat during the day.

Tungsten is the material the wire used as the filament in any of the usual light bulbs is make of, and it is only one element (so to speak)...

The material the bulb envelope is made of is another - glass or quartz crystal are the two most common.

The gas used to fill the bulb is another - it's usually argon or nitrogen in the conventional sealed beams.. or it's a halogen gas of some type - if used with a quartz envelope (the very small replaceable bulb types) or the newer sealed beams.

Quartz Iodine Bulbs.... same/same - Iodine is a halogen gas

HID is an entirely different matter - just think of an arc welder... basically it's an electrical arc contained in a quartz envelope...

I only know this - because I just spent two years tracking down vintage CIBIE and Lucas lights..many calls to CIBIE....

FWIW,

Carl B.

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What I'd really like to find is a nice pair of Marchal Amplilux headlights. Each lamp used a pair of H1 bulbs, one for low beam and one for high beam. Each bulb had a separate reflector. Since the H4 bulb was not introduced until 1971, Ampliluxes were the high performance choice for 7" headlights for early Zs. I'd love to have a pair.

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They are the type that uses the H4's ... it's the reflector design and the glass that were the problem.. I do not know how much more wattage you could use with them other than the originals... don't know if the materials of the reflectors would hold up to high temp.'s

There was an NOS Pair on e-bay a few months back - maybe six or eight months ago. I too thought they looked neat... so I ask the guys at CIBIE about them....

CIBIE was one of the main sponsors in the early 70's - for one of the car's I'm restoring, so I thought I might just as well use the CIBIE headlights, in addition to the Off-Road lights... When I called them, they laughed and and said - DON'T DO IT ... they suck big time... We'll send you a free set of good headlights...

The later "Z-Beams" were far better. I also had a set of the CIBIE Biodes in 1970... GREAT LIGHTS... but they had a metal backing... and grounded out when put in the Z's headlight buckets... had to use a rubber mount to insulate them from the body...(another very expensive lesson!)

FWIW,

Carl B.

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I guess it depends on your motivation. Are you after appearance, or improved lighting?

I've been using E-code lights (mostly H4) exclusively, in every vehicle I've owned since 1976. In the 7" round size the Zs use, I have personal experience with Marchal, Cibié (pre-Z-Beam, Z-beam and BOBI), Bosch, Hella, Carello, Lucas, Wipac, Stanley and now Neolite. While the Marchal and Cibié were both quite good, all of the best I've ever used (in any size/shape) have been Hella. Good range, and most even, shadow-free pattern. So if improved lighting is the goal, I recommend Hella.

On the other hand, while I am always after lighting improvements, for some cars I factor appearance in as well. The Wipac Quadoptics mentioned above are British, but have a convex lens as opposed to the flat lens of the Lucas lights. To me, the Wipacs looked much more appropriate than the Lucas on my restored early MGB. Similarly, when I removed the Koito sealed beams from the red 240Z for safe-keeping, I wanted a convex lens that was as inconspicuous as possible, and was willing to accept lesser quality lights to achieve that look. I ended up with some really affordable lights made in India (Neolite). The light output is good, but not great. But they are much less obvious than Hellas would be.

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  • 1 year later...

Back in the early 70s I purchased a set of concave headlights that were clear from the middle up (no diffusers). I installed them in my '63 VW bus w/6V halogen bulbs.

I later transfered them to my next vehicle (260Z), when that got stolen, they went back in the bus, then into a Jeep Commander, and into my 71 Landcrusier, and finally into Volvo 544. By this time the glass was pitted and the backing rusted.

Totally illegal then and I suppose now as well. They'd shoot a pencil beam at least 7,000 ft with a clear white light (12V version).

I've been looking for a set for years (both here and in Europe) so if anyone has a line on a set let me know.

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Cibie Z Beams look similar to or the same as the Cibie headlights in the attachment. If you look closely at the 260Z, you can see the lens pattern in the car. I'm using Z Beams with Philips X-Treme H4 bulbs, 60/55 watt, purchased from www.autolamps.com in England.

By the way, if anyone needs 100/55 H4 bulbs, I have three that need a good home.

Fixitman

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Just out in the garage , found a pair of concave cibie,s removed from a 260 parts car. One has rust damage to the lower part of chrome reflector, the other is fair to good shape.Interesting, one is stamped made in France and the other made in Belgium

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  • 2 years later...

Wow! Concave Cibie. Really old and a flash to the past.

If you are going for a specific "look" then those are different.

But as others have said they just don't work very well.

If it uses a standard P45 based bulb as most European housings did then there is a halogen based P45 bulb available.

Some French housings made during that era did use a different type of bulb (base design as well as color) unique to Frances domestic requirements.

Have fun in your quest, I'm sure there are NOS out there somewhere.

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What I'd really like to find is a nice pair of Marchal Amplilux headlights. Each lamp used a pair of H1 bulbs, one for low beam and one for high beam. Each bulb had a separate reflector. Since the H4 bulb was not introduced until 1971, Ampliluxes were the high performance choice for 7" headlights for early Zs. I'd love to have a pair.

My memory may have faded but I believe the Marchals used H1's for the high (drive) beam but an H3 bulb for the low (dipped beam).

Either way, they were a vast improvement over sealed beams. Very popular with the Pantera owners as well. (In case you are searching out NOS sources)

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that pristine white z looks great against that old wood floor.

Cibie Z Beams look similar to or the same as the Cibie headlights in the attachment. If you look closely at the 260Z, you can see the lens pattern in the car. I'm using Z Beams with Philips X-Treme H4 bulbs, 60/55 watt, purchased from www.autolamps.com in England.

By the way, if anyone needs 100/55 H4 bulbs, I have three that need a good home.

Fixitman

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I have a couple sets of these lights. They were a tremendous improvement of the stock system at the time but old technology today. The actual bulbs are removable from the back of the unit I don't know if anyone makes replacement bulbs with todays technology. JLP

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  • 6 months later...

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