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Thread: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

  1. #1

    Default Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    I've been interested in vintage headlights for awhile now and started collecting Cibies a couple years ago. Thought it would be interesting to see if any other collectors are out there or if I'm the only one crazy enough to hoard these...


    So far I have 2 pairs NOS Z-Beams, 2 mint pairs used Z-Beams, one pair used Z-Beams with corroded reflectors (good glass), NOS pair 200mm rectangle H4's, NOS 175 driving lamp set, pair of NOS par 36 driving lamp replacement housings, and a countertop display stand. Also have a pair of Z-Beams in my '64 VW bug and a pair of 200mm rectangle e-code's in my '87 Conquest TSi, both with relay harnesses.






    My '64 VW. I was driving 50 miles per night four times a week on two lane country roads when I was going to tech so I needed better lighting than the old sealed beams. I tried a couple different aftermarket lights (junk!) before finding and settling on Cibie's. The lights mounted on the bumper were junky fog lamps that were just for looks, not hooked up.









    The '87 TSi. First thing I did when I bought it was install Cibie's and a relay harness.




  2. #2

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Welcome to the Automotive Lighting forum! If the category is "crazy collectors of vintage headlamps", you ought to go make contact with Daniel Stern ("Do not pass GO, do not collect $200"). That man's collection is beyond mindblowing. Every time I think I've come up with something he hasn't seen, he starts telling me about all the versions and variants of it that I hadn't known about! He's also got info on what to do about the reflector corrosion in your set of used Z-beams.

    Cibie 200mm, 7", and 5.75" H4/H1 are still available new. Not Z-beams any more, though.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Your not crazy to collect lighting products. When I was growing up, I would collect any commercial grade HID fixture I could get my hands on. Cobraheads, floods, wallpacks...you name it. Unfortunately, I had to sell them off when I moved out of my parents house...almost half of my dad's garage was just light fixtures. You're in good company!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Looks like I'm in the right place! I did find one place to restore the corroded reflectors, Steve's Auto Restoration, although the prices were higher than the lights are worth. I would like to find a pair of NOS or mint used Marchal Amplilux lights for my '66 C10 project, I'm trying to keep it somewhat period correct-no modern LED or HID/projector retrofits. I had a single Amplilux for awhile but couldn't find a matching single to make a pair so I sold it. I'll use one of the used pair of Z-Beams if I can't find a pair of Marchals.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by theastronaut View Post
    Looks like I'm in the right place! I did find one place to restore the corroded reflectors, Steve's Auto Restoration
    Nope. They're using silver, which is only the correct material if you are working on headlamps for millions-of-dollars restorations of very expensive pre-1940 cars. Silver tarnishes quickly and costs a fortune.

    I would like to find a pair of NOS or mint used Marchal Amplilux lights for my '66 C10 project
    Stern might have some.

    no modern LED or HID/projector retrofits
    You don't specify exactly what you mean, but that word "retrofits" usually signifies non-legitimate hacks that are not safe, effective, or legal.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Nope. They're using silver, which is only the correct material if you are working on headlamps for millions-of-dollars restorations of very expensive pre-1940 cars. Silver tarnishes quickly and costs a fortune.



    Stern might have some.





    You don't specify exactly what you mean, but that word "retrofits" usually signifies non-legitimate hacks that are not safe, effective, or legal.
    Cibie used vaporized aluminum I think?

    Like Hella's 90mm bi-xenon projectors made in a 7" housing from rallylights. Definitely not something assembled myself! I hate fake/cheap/thrown together HID's as much as anyone here.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by theastronaut View Post
    Cibie used vaporized aluminum I think?
    Since 1940, everyone uses vapor-coat aluminum, yes. People try all kinds of "Hey, I have an idea!" techniques for "restoring" headlamps. Chrome, silver, "chrome" spray paint, etc. None of them work. It's not that difficult or expensive to get the correct material applied.

    Like Hella's 90mm bi-xenon projectors made in a 7" housing from rallylights.
    Oh, yeah. Those are really good. A little goofy-looking, some say, but if I had a car with 7" round lamps, I wouldn't care, I'd use them.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Since 1940, everyone uses vapor-coat aluminum, yes. People try all kinds of "Hey, I have an idea!" techniques for "restoring" headlamps. Chrome, silver, "chrome" spray paint, etc. None of them work. It's not that difficult or expensive to get the correct material applied.



    Oh, yeah. Those are really good. A little goofy-looking, some say, but if I had a car with 7" round lamps, I wouldn't care, I'd use them.

    I emailed Stern about the reflector coating. Would be nice to have a couple more pairs that are usable again. I don't much care for the looks of the Hella projectors, at least not on old cars/trucks which is why I want to stick with Cibie or Marchal on the C10. They don't look as out of place on newer vehicles like Jeeps though.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    I really enjoyed your post. I have a pair of 4x6 Cibie high beams left over from my beloved Scirocco, and several pairs of Cibie 35's in various states of repair. I loved the 35's but the H2 bulbs used to give me fits!

  10. #10
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by theastronaut View Post
    I've been interested in vintage headlights for awhile now and started collecting Cibies a couple years ago. Thought it would be interesting to see if any other collectors are out there or if I'm the only one crazy enough to hoard these...


    So far I have 2 pairs NOS Z-Beams, 2 mint pairs used Z-Beams, one pair used Z-Beams with corroded reflectors (good glass)
    Back in the late 70s I had a 1971 Porsche 914, with a pair of Z-Beams. IIRC, the reflectors started to corrode after only a few short years. I also had a pair of Cibie rectangular Passing Beam (not sure if I remember the model name correctly) auxiliary lamps on the car.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    "Passing beam?" I think you're talking about the series 95 Booster Beam. Not long ago, I managed to acquire a pair of New Old Stock series 95 Booster Beams. Right now, they are on my Crown Vic. I like them. Correct aim is critical, and they have been a learning experience for me.
    There are two kinds of light - the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures. ~James Thurber

  12. #12

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyB View Post
    I really enjoyed your post. I have a pair of 4x6 Cibie high beams left over from my beloved Scirocco, and several pairs of Cibie 35's in various states of repair. I loved the 35's but the H2 bulbs used to give me fits!
    Glad you liked it!



    Quote Originally Posted by SubLGT View Post
    Back in the late 70s I had a 1971 Porsche 914, with a pair of Z-Beams. IIRC, the reflectors started to corrode after only a few short years. I also had a pair of Cibie rectangular Passing Beam (not sure if I remember the model name correctly) auxiliary lamps on the car.
    After installing new 200mm Cibie's in the Conquest I noticed that the lights in the VW were dim in comparison. Having driven only the VW over the past few years I didn't realize that the lights were slowly degrading, but when compared with new ones in the Conquest the difference was obvious. The reflectors are dulled with a faint haze, kind of a "rainbow" hue depending on the angle you look at them. Will have to pull them out and have them refinished; they were my first pair of Cibie's and the lenses are still as-new since they're installed behind the outer VW headlight lens. Need to do that soon before they get any worse and damage the base metal of the reflector.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Finally found a pair of NOS Amplilux headlights at a reasonable price, been looking on and off for 2-3 years. Can't wait to see how they compare to the Z-Beam and E-Code Cibie H4's.


  14. #14

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    "Finally found a pair of NOS Amplilux headlights at a reasonable price, been looking on and off for 2-3 years. Can't wait to see how they compare to the Z-Beam and E-Code Cibie H4's. "

    Interesting,as I see on another forum that you listed these for sale today and already found a buyer at $625 for them?
    Last edited by Qship1996; 02-21-2015 at 03:21 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    The average automotive lighting enthusiast is an "unusual" character...present company excepted, of course! :-)

  16. #16
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by theastronaut View Post
    Finally found a pair of NOS Amplilux headlights at a reasonable price, been looking on and off for 2-3 years. Can't wait to see how they compare to the Z-Beam and E-Code Cibie H4's.
    Quote Originally Posted by Qship1996 View Post
    Interesting,as I see on another forum that you listed these for sale today and already found a buyer at $625 for them?
    Maybe they didn't compare favorably.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Qship1996 View Post
    "Finally found a pair of NOS Amplilux headlights at a reasonable price, been looking on and off for 2-3 years. Can't wait to see how they compare to the Z-Beam and E-Code Cibie H4's. "

    Interesting,as I see on another forum that you listed these for sale today and already found a buyer at $625 for them?
    Yeah, I decided this morning that it would be a few years before my truck is finished and I won't need them until then. I found a first-gen Celica last weekend that I REALLY want and I needed some extra play cash to be able to buy it. I'm saving for a house so I'm not allowed to touch the savings account. So I put a few things up for sale today including the Amplilux lights. I'll find another pair by time the truck is finished. Now I need to see what options I have for quad 5 3/4" lights for the Celica... Like Virgil posted, "normal" for some of us isn't the usual normal. I'm definitely not good at sticking to a plan and can be easily distracted. Anyway, If I hadn't run across the Celica I wouldn't have sold the Marchals. I'll post pics of it when I get it.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by theastronaut View Post
    Now I need to see what options I have for quad 5 3/4" lights for the Celica
    Cibie CSRs would be the top-best, but they are extremely rare, much harder to find than Ampliluxes. Hella BiFocals are almost as good and much more easily available (I bought a from Stern for my nephew's '70 Buick not long ago).

  19. #19

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Cibie CSRs would be the top-best, but they are extremely rare, much harder to find than Ampliluxes. Hella BiFocals are almost as good and much more easily available (I bought a from Stern for my nephew's '70 Buick not long ago).
    I knew of those two, ranked in that order. We're about to try out a pair of Hella Bi-Focus low beams on a '68 Chevelle we're building at work. Have H3 Cibie high beams to go on it too. Did Cibie make a version of the CSR for certain Jaguar models? Worth trying to find a set if so? There is a pair of Marchal 5 3/4" H1 low beams on ebay, thought about getting those for the Celica.

    That's another reason that selling the Amplilux lights wasn't a big deal, they pop of for sale relatively often

  20. #20

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by theastronaut View Post
    I knew of those two, ranked in that order. We're about to try out a pair of Hella Bi-Focus low beams on a '68 Chevelle we're building at work. Have H3 Cibie high beams to go on it too
    Hey, that's a cool score! The H3 Cibie high beam is a much scarcer bird than the more common H1 units. Where on earth did you find them?

    Did Cibie make a version of the CSR for certain Jaguar models?
    Yes. And Saabs, and Volvos, and the Dodge Monaco/Eagle Premier, and a bunch of other vehicles. But none of those are standard 5 3/4" units.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Hey, that's a cool score! The H3 Cibie high beam is a much scarcer bird than the more common H1 units. Where on earth did you find them?

    Yes. And Saabs, and Volvos, and the Dodge Monaco/Eagle Premier, and a bunch of other vehicles. But none of those are standard 5 3/4" units.

    Bought the H3's from Daniel Stern based of his recommendation based on us wanting a high beam that still had good peripheral vision. Didn't want all out distance vision without being able to see around the sides of the road as good. Lots of critters and wooded areas where we're at so its good to be able to see the sides of the road a little.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Anyone else into collecting vintage lights? Cibie, Marchal, etc

    Well, neat. I didn't know he had those -- usually he shoots me a mail when he has something interesting like that. If they're the ones I'm remembering, they have the number 165 molded into the lens.

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