Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

Vendor announcements of new 356 products, product changes, recalls, requests for product feedback, or changes to their business.
Message
Author
Rainer Cooney
356 Fan
Posts: 679
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 7:07 am
Location: NH

Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

#1 Post by Rainer Cooney »

I've had made a small batch of lenses but of unknown vintage. Small Hella logo on bottom, "oben" on top with fluting. As with the Pre-A ones there are no numbers on the outside. Price is $250.00 a pair or $400.00 for 2 pair plus shipping.
Attachments
B5D741B3-06B2-4A60-ACD4-4562E8907CAC_1_201_a.jpeg
F86CDF58-B729-4E80-8459-ED6395612E2A_1_201_a.jpeg
193556CB-3161-460D-9DA1-B73F9350963D.jpeg
Last edited by Rainer Cooney on Sun Jan 07, 2024 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Peter Silten
356 Fan
Posts: 1647
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:27 pm

Re: Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

#2 Post by Peter Silten »

Rainer, I have never seen a non-numbered lens for Porsche 356 headlights circa 57-58. Those lenses had numbering along the bottom edge. (See the attached photo.) Many people refer to this particular lens as the "Happy Face" lens. The lenses that came after the Happy Face lens were the ones with the numbering “19-20-21.”
Attachments
IMG_0701.jpeg

Brad Ripley
356 Fan
Posts: 4208
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:28 pm

Re: Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

#3 Post by Brad Ripley »

The rule could be: "The more numbers and letters, the later the part".

Rainer Cooney
356 Fan
Posts: 679
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 7:07 am
Location: NH

Re: Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

#4 Post by Rainer Cooney »

I think, as usual , Brad has this right. A few years back I had the opportunity to work on a very low milage original '58 Sunroof Coupe that had these same Hella lenses on it. Hard to believe these would have been changed out but anything is possible. I do doubt they went direct from the early lens with the ring in '56 to the same lens used in the B series cars.

User avatar
Peter Silten
356 Fan
Posts: 1647
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:27 pm

Re: Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

#5 Post by Peter Silten »

I researched this subject extensively many years ago and, to the best of my knowledge, the correct lenses for the USA 356s circa 1957-1959 are the Happy Face lenses. I have no opinion on what lenses are "correct" for cars circa 1956 and earlier. FWIW, at one point I looked into reproducing the Happy Face lenses but the cost was too expensive.

User avatar
Joris Koning
356 Fan
Posts: 2533
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:38 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

#6 Post by Joris Koning »

Peter,

I believe the happy face lenses are ‘58 and onwards. Don’t ask me to pin point the exact date.
'56 Coupe
'57 Coupe
'59 Cab 
'60 Coupe

User avatar
Peter Silten
356 Fan
Posts: 1647
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:27 pm

Re: Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

#7 Post by Peter Silten »

A lot of my knowledge re headlights came from my friend the late Jesse Rodriguez, who often served as a concours judge. We exchanged many emails on the subject and would continue our discussions when I saw him over the years at the various events surrounding the LA Lit and Toy meet. Joris, I agree that the Happy Face lens are correct for the 1958 and 1959 model cars. I don’t know when Porsche first started using the Happy Face lenses in 1957 but I have seen this lens on several unrestored 1957 model cars. I am not familiar with the lens reproduced by Rainer Cooney or its correct application.

Jan Kolm
356 Fan
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:35 am
Location: Colorado

Re: Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

#8 Post by Jan Kolm »

While not specifically 356, Hella was already producing assemblies with the equivalent lenses (without vestigial oval) as early as December 1955 for US-market VWs. This suggests that the changeover on 356s happened sometime during the 1956 model year when stocks of sealed-beam assemblies with the older style lenses ran out.

FWIW--The "happy face" lens pictured above, with the part number (-3-60370 in this case) cast into the lower left face, was the later variety and used until December 1963.
Jan Kolm
356 Registry #1066
1960 1600N Coupe

Jon Bunin
356 Fan
Posts: 1806
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 11:06 pm
Location: Vista, CA

Re: Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

#9 Post by Jon Bunin »

Jan Kolm wrote: Tue Jan 02, 2024 2:52 amFWIW--The "happy face" lens pictured above, with the part number (-3-60370 in this case) cast into the lower left face, was the later variety and used until December 1963.
Here are two Hella lenses from the later A/B model period, with the 3-60 370 number added to the front of the lower version.
Attachments
DSCN6240.JPG
Jon Bunin

User avatar
James Davies
356Talk Moderator
Posts: 2972
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:15 am
Location: Heidelberg, DE

Re: Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

#10 Post by James Davies »

Nice work Rainer. These look as nice as the pre-A 1954-56 ones you reproduced.

The "60 370" lens with the small "Hella" logo with no vestigal oval was definitely used up through at least ~Feb 1957. This has "∆ | 2" at inside the bottom lip (hidden when mounted). The 1954-56 version with the vestigal oval has "∆ | 1" in the inside lip.

User avatar
Ibrahim Kuzu
356 Fan
Posts: 836
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:15 am

Re: Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

#11 Post by Ibrahim Kuzu »

Question?
I have this Lense with larger Hella logo ,please see the pictures...What year is this ?
Attachments
thumbnail (2).jpeg
thumbnail.jpeg
thumbnail (1).jpeg

Jan Kolm
356 Fan
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:35 am
Location: Colorado

Re: Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

#12 Post by Jan Kolm »

Ibrahim Kuzu wrote: Sat Jan 06, 2024 11:38 am Question?
I have this Lense with larger Hella logo ,please see the pictures...What year is this ?
This may be a third version of the 26-25484 lens, used only around the beginning of calendar year 1964. They were used on very early 1 and 7 o'clock headlight assemblies.

I have seen two other versions of this lens, both with "26-25484" cast into the lower left corner of the face; one with a VW logo and "E1.0671.01," the other with just the large Hella logo.

What is the build date of the car in the photo? It looks to be an Irish Green C with period-correct headlight assembly.
Jan Kolm
356 Registry #1066
1960 1600N Coupe

User avatar
Martin Benade
356 Fan
Posts: 12526
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:52 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

#13 Post by Martin Benade »

Was the vestigial oval left over from updating a glass mold, or was it an intentional design feature?
Cleveland Ohio
62 Cabriolet
56 VW
02 IS 300
04 Sienna

User avatar
Ibrahim Kuzu
356 Fan
Posts: 836
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:15 am

Re: Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

#14 Post by Ibrahim Kuzu »

Jan,
Build date is 4/13/1964 it is a 1964 C cabriolet with factory original paint ,Stored ,not on the road over 50 years.
other side of the headlight lens is different Hella,
In the meantime Like to apologize from Rainer taking to subject to other areas of Learning..I honestly never paid attention to...
Thank you for the detailed infos.
Attachments
thumbnail (4).jpeg
thumbnail (3).jpeg

Rainer Cooney
356 Fan
Posts: 679
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 7:07 am
Location: NH

Re: Head Light Lenses '56 to '58

#15 Post by Rainer Cooney »

At this point I'd like to thank members for sharing their knowledge of the various lenses used by Porsche on the 356. I'm also amending my ad, my sampling rate of just one car ( albeit an original very low milage ) is obviously too low. So I'm listing these just as a lens of no specific date and let members decide if they'd like them. Anyone who has already purchased some can , if they want , return them for a full refund including shipping.

Post Reply