This is the first post in a new series I’ve been working on, that will coincide with a car I’m working on and some other endeavors. Project cars are called basket cases because many times you get baskets full of mystery parts. The car I’m working on is no different except that occasionally an unmarked sandwich bag holds all the bits to a particular assembly, as was the case with this one, the famous ‘airplane’ rear plate light housing and trim flourish. This assembly is pretty straight forward, a plated casting with some mounting studs (at least one of which is usually broken off), a light socket assembly with a mount, a lens and some screws. This assembly is tricky, because all those parts are specific to it -except possibly the screws.
Not the best picture, but good enough -it’s hard to show those little screws and the big casting in the same picture. That little Alfa emblem is and has been unavailable for years. This one is pretty good, with only some light crazing. Not sure if the triangular Carello lens is available. Maybe Alfastop?
The assembly as the parts book shows it. I’m pretty sure item 1 is the entire assembly and 2 – 14 are the constituent parts.
Item 6, part 1493.80.013. This is to assauge some of your jealousy over the whole lens in the first picture. I had to super glue this together. I think it broke while in the bag since every little shard was present. I’m not sure how well the super glue will hold up, but it’s worth a shot. Maybe I will clear coat it to give it some extra strength?
Lens fixing screws. These are particular to Carello. Lose, break, strip or otherwise render them unusable and you’re screwed. These aren’t too bad. I like the original bits. The fat one goes at the point of the airplane, screwing into threads in the big casting, the small ones screw into the bulb holder in the next picture.
This is the bulb holder that also acts as the nuts for the two smaller screws above. The bulb locks into the socket against a spring, and some little ramps via a twist, then the socket locks into this thing the same way.
The bulb socket. Those three little protrusions at the end of it lock into the holder above. Don’t lose this!
This shows how proud Alfa was of their creation. How many of the population have eye sight keen enough to reed this when it’s on the car about 30″ off the ground?
Carello liked to have their name on things. You can see the bulb holder here too.
This is how it came out. The chrome is a solid 8.5 out of 10. Everything went together without a problem and it joined these tail lights in the ‘Trunk Lid -done’ box.
Note, this assembly was phased out in probably about mid-1961. Greig probably knows the exact vin, but the parts book doesn’t say.
More about the tail lights next time.