Friday, January 14, 2011

1920's Edmunds & Jones Weird Torpedo Headlights

Edmunds & Jones Corporation torpedo lights, Type 20 if you want to get technical, might be one of those parts you either love or hate.  Certainly not the kind of light that can go on just any rod or custom.

The "E&J", with their beady-eye lenses, & football shaped body --make you want to pick it up and toss it through the air.  Personally, I think they look like a cocktail olives w/pimento.

1923 Kissel Model 6-45 Gold Bug Speedster
They were an aftermarket item, before there was an "aftermarket". A few car makers actually made these lights factory stock on cars. The lights were high-priced/quality items, and that quality transferred into coach-built cars for the Elite, or the just 'well-off'.

1926 Graham-Paige

In the Roaring '20s, the numerous "boutique" makers needed to stand tall with the pack. So car models like the early 20's Jordan Playboy, the 1923 Kissel Gold Bug Speedster, or the 1926 Graham-Paige, had the futuristic E&Js headlights from the factory.  And they didn't need to the spend money designing there own swanky headlight either.

By the late 1930s & '40s, 20's cars they were yesterday's news.  But people still saw the value in the quality of these obsolete projector headlights.  Naturally, early rodders took a lick to the aerodynamic looking lights too.  But the love-it-or-hate-it attitude was prevalent then as now.

The coveted Frank Mack built 1927 T track roadster

I suspect most wreckers & pickers harvested the lights due to their oddity or curiosity rather then scraping them.  And this may be why so many pairs of unrestored lights are coming out of barns, garages, hoards --people just can't throw them away! 

Poteet's Indy inspired '32. Goodguys 2010 Truck of the Year.

There is possibly no time in history that E&Js have been more popular then they are today.  And they belong on many important custom cars from past & present.  I always like to say; It's the parts that make a car stand out as a whole.


Take a look at my dedicated page, with the campy title; E&J: Inside The Light.  Were I dissect a headlight from the AJ Elias Memorial Hot Rod Parts Collection.