Though there's nothing like a low-slung pair of vintage headlights to seal the deal, the t
There's nothing like a vintage hot rod stripped down and loaded with attitude looking like it's ready to run on the dry lakes or the salt. Trouble is, if you dare to hit the streets in race trim, you'll be pulled over in a flash by the authorities. If your hot rod is a highboy, there are a number of options available for mounting your headlights and still maintaining a level of cool in your build. Numerous manufacturers offer headlight mounts in styles varying from '30s-era Deco to modern renditions, each with its own unique personality.
Well known for never letting anything Henry created go to waste, the Rolling Bones Hot Rod Shop in Greenfield Center, New York, have their own personal style for mounting headlights on the cars they build. They prefer hanging their lights low and tight to the grille shell, giving the appearance the lights are floating. Their signature bobbed front chassis 'rails help secure this illusion.
In the beginning, the stock '32 Ford headlight bar (top) lets you see how Henry anchored t
For this build, Keith Cornell selected an original '32 Ford headlight bar and began by measuring and marking the bar for its initial cuts. Since the factory part was designed to mount to the front fenders, Cornell removed roughly 6 3/4 inches from each side measuring from the bar's end to the outside of the headlight cup. Wearing protective glasses and gloves, the cuts were made using a Porter Cable chop saw. From there Cornell proceeded to deburr and round the outer sides of the headlight cups with a Burr King rotating disc sander spinning a 40-grit disc until everything was even and smooth. The stainless surface of the headlight bar had achieved a nice patina and, to protect it for the next step, Cornell masked it with duct tape. In order to remove any remaining corrosion and old paint that had accumulated over the years the bar was media blasted. Planning to reuse the original headlight bar mounting bases (which were previously removed) required a number of updates since they were initially designed with a slight bevel on their bottoms for mounting to front fenders. Cornell first returned to the rotating disc sander to flatten out the bottom of the mounts followed by a small amount of flat file work.
In order to achieve the low slung headlight look, the headlight bases needed to be extended, and for this Cornell used 3/4-inch steel bar stock. Wanting to maintain the proper amount of strength to the completed unit, he cut a notch into each piece before welding them together. Securing the headlight base in a bench vise, he first used an air-drive cutoff wheel to make the initial cuts and followed with a hacksaw to complete the job. Each section was then hand filed for a perfect fit. They were then joined together using a Vise-Grip while held in a bench vise to prepare them for welding. Using a Lincoln Electric Precision TIG welder Cornell welded the units together and then ground the welds smooth using a disc grinder. Rolling Bones uses a special Deuce frame jig fashioned to specifically work in the preparation stage of the headlight bar bases. Once the extended base was bolted to the side of the frame jig, Cornell used an oxyacetylene torch to get the base section nearest to the mounting point red hot while team member Ken Schmidt (wearing protective welding gloves) proceeded to make the first of two unique bends through the use of the jig. Once cooled, Cornell used a level to ensure the two units were even before transferring them to the Deuce.
To get started, Keith Cornell of Rolling Bones measured roughly 6 3/4 inches from the end
Since Rolling Bones always runs their headlights the same way, the chassis was already prepared with mounting bungs welded to the inside of the framerails to accept the headlight mounting bases. Cornell used 3/8-inch bolts with flat washers to secure the bases to the chassis. From there, he rechecked them for level and proceeded to hold the headlight bar in place to determine the amount of trimming needed for the final fit. Once each base was marked with 3/4-inch masking tape, Cornell covered the front of the car with a protective tarp and used an air-driven cutoff wheel to shorten each of the bases. After deburring the ends; he lined up the headlight bar to the bases and used his TIG welder to tack the unit together. Once secure, he removed it from the car to complete the welding process and grind everything smooth. From there the bar ends were treated to a patina'd paint finish and the completed unit was bolted to the car for the final time.
For headlights, a pair of vintage Guide 682-Cs were mounted into place and wired up giving the car plenty of good looks that will last it a lifetime. Reusing the original '32 Ford headlight bar is just plain neat while adding plenty of cool vibe to the personality of this Deuce.
While wearing safety glasses, Cornell used a Porter Cable chopsaw to cut the marked ends f
Next, while wearing a pair of heavy-duty welding gloves, Cornell used a 40-grit sanding di
In order to utilize the original headlight bar mounts, Cornell must remove the bevel of th