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Author Topic: Some history of the Lucas turn signals with the Cal-look cars  (Read 9633 times)
johnl
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« on: June 10, 2010, 16:30:12 pm »

At a recent gathering a discussion came up when looking at Keith Seume’s car regarding the “Lucas” front turn signals.  That discussion was between Dean Kirstin, Keith and me with probably some on lookers.

I stated that I was reasonably sure as to how those lights came to be used on VW’s back in the day.  Deano seemed to be amazed that I could remember this stuff, but I’m either blessed or cursed with a “memory”.

As I relayed the story of my beginning days in the “parts business” I worked at the then AJS (Allen James Sheran) Foreign Car Parts, later to become a BAP store, located at 1515 N. St. College Blvd. in Anaheim.

In the back there was a machine shop run by Dan Zappla, whose son Danny would later become a DKP member.  Working in that shop at the time were Doug Haydon and Greg Aronson.  I worked parts up front but spent a good amount of time in the back when ever I could.

What I relayed to those in the discussion was that Greg was the first person to use these lights on his original Cal-look white ’63.  In times to follow I would sell many sets of these for VW applications.   I said those light came from a shelf within that store and there seemed to be some doubt.

Later in the evening I had a one on one conversation with Greg and he did confirm what I had said with more details thrown in.  In this post I’ll not go into those details that Greg relayed to me as that could be another story in itself.

There are many things like the Lucas lights that have had such a strong impact on the Cal-look scene that many don’t know the origins.  Many were created by the DKP guys, but I suspect members of other clubs would have created some of these trends.

The stories of how all of these things came to be should be recorded for history while some of us that were there and lived it are able to share it for future generations.

Hey Deano, want to meet at Wimpy’s for a Burger?HuhHuh
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2010, 17:01:54 pm »

Yep, good times at the pre, pre, pre, top secret, VW Classic bash at Kimballs.... Thanks to Flem-Dog for the Ahi-Tuna, sushi-grade...... Tons of people already in town, from all over the globe. Weather looks great for the entire weekend. Irwindale tonight w/ UnderDog II....
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2010, 17:39:50 pm »

Years later I would sell Lucas lights out of the same BAP/Geon store on 1515 N. State College for the same reason  Wink
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deano
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2010, 19:24:48 pm »

I think I bought my first pair at the BAP/GEON on Beach Blvd, just past Knotts Ferry Farm....
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 17:58:51 pm by deano » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2010, 19:35:24 pm »

I think I bought my first pair at the BAP/GEON on Beach Blvd, just past Knotts Berry Farm....

When I started at BAP, that store was on Stanton Ave. right where it splits off from Beach. Later they moved the store down Beach Blvd. south of Orange Ave.

I never worked at the Stanton Ave location but I did at the Beach location
« Last Edit: June 10, 2010, 19:38:11 pm by DKK Rick » Logged

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johnl
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2010, 19:35:46 pm »

I think I bought my first pair at the BAP/GEON on Beach Blvd, just past Knotts Berry Farm....
Dean, as I told you last night I worked at that location as well.  It was next to the "Love's" Restaurant.  It was a horseshoe industrial center with a British repair shop that worked on Aston Martins and at the very end from Stanton Ave. there was the then famous Hamag Motors owned and operated by some crusty old German guy.  He did good work, but was not the most pleasant guy to work with.

I think that store was a Donut shop prior to being the BAP store.  It was a real strange layout in back and not suited to parts shelves.

Side note:  That location was where I saw the gal in the Baja Bug drive by with real American's on the front.  I jumped in my car and chased her down and bought the two wheels for $40 bucks.  She was happy and needles to say I was as well.   Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2010, 21:24:50 pm »


Bought my first Lucas lights and Cibie headlights at the BAP on Long Beach Bl... 1975 I think... Roll Eyes

 
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Rick Meredith
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2010, 21:33:05 pm »


I think that store was a Donut shop prior to being the BAP store.  It was a real strange layout in back and not suited to parts shelves.


We always called it "the donut shop"  Wink
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kingsburgphil
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2010, 02:35:23 am »

Yep, good times at the pre, pre, pre, top secret, VW Classic bash at Kimballs.... Thanks to Flem-Dog for the Ahi-Tuna, sushi-grade...... Tons of people already in town, from all over the globe. Weather looks great for the entire weekend. Irwindale tonight w/ UnderDog II....
Many years ago, I had the privilege of introducing Ron and the FAT crew to Japanese food at Miyako's in Orange. Nothing too scary or icky just good food, next thing I knew.....Sushi Monsters!!!

I love it when a plan comes together Cheesy Cheesy
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javabug
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2010, 03:07:53 am »

What a discussion.  Thanks John, Deano, and others.


The stories of how all of these things came to be should be recorded for history while some of us that were there and lived it are able to share it for future generations.


Agreed.  Us crazy street freaks are forever indebted to you guys.
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kingsburgphil
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2010, 04:22:21 am »

At a recent gathering a discussion came up when looking at Keith Seume’s car regarding the “Lucas” front turn signals.  That discussion was between Dean Kirstin, Keith and me with probably some on lookers.

I stated that I was reasonably sure as to how those lights came to be used on VW’s back in the day.  Deano seemed to be amazed that I could remember this stuff, but I’m either blessed or cursed with a “memory”.

As I relayed the story of my beginning days in the “parts business” I worked at the then AJS (Allen James Sheran) Foreign Car Parts, later to become a BAP store, located at 1515 N. St. College Blvd. in Anaheim.

In the back there was a machine shop run by Dan Zappla, whose son Danny would later become a DKP member.  Working in that shop at the time were Doug Haydon and Greg Aronson.  I worked parts up front but spent a good amount of time in the back when ever I could.

What I relayed to those in the discussion was that Greg was the first person to use these lights on his original Cal-look white ’63.  In times to follow I would sell many sets of these for VW applications.   I said those light came from a shelf within that store and there seemed to be some doubt.

Later in the evening I had a one on one conversation with Greg and he did confirm what I had said with more details thrown in.  In this post I’ll not go into those details that Greg relayed to me as that could be another story in itself.

There are many things like the Lucas lights that have had such a strong impact on the Cal-look scene that many don’t know the origins.  Many were created by the DKP guys, but I suspect members of other clubs would have created some of these trends.

The stories of how all of these things came to be should be recorded for history while some of us that were there and lived it are able to share it for future generations.

Hey Deano, want to meet at Wimpy’s for a Burger?HuhHuh


Another great thread John. As you know Maribeth and I worked at that BAP Geon just after Doug and Greg. She worked the counter
and I worked for Dan, who without a doubt was the nicest guy I ever worked for. The manager at the time who's name I don't recall
was a little "edgey", soon replaced by a Phil "somebody". Whom do I recall had a Jowett Javalin Jupiter for sale in the store, previously
owned by the actor Red Skelton and with looks only a Brit could love  Wink.

Later he had an Amphicar for sale , which we bought and paid for, only to have him refuse delivery after someone else offered him more..
what a heel!. All's we'll that ends well, as I did manage to buy a rather dusty NOS 36hp 69mm Okrasa crank for $50 from the store (pearls before swine).
And yes we did sell a lot of Lucas turn signal assemblies, coco mats and Talbot mirrors. 

"Those were the Day's my friend .......
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 04:32:13 am by kingsburgphil » Logged
deano
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2010, 04:51:06 am »

Aronson said last night that the boss told him to clap his hands as he walked through the aisles (so he wouldn't stuff parts down his pockets.....). Trusting soul.
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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2010, 06:22:57 am »



Another great thread John. As you know Maribeth and I worked at that BAP Geon just after Doug and Greg. She worked the counter
and I worked for Dan, who without a doubt was the nicest guy I ever worked for. The manager at the time who's name I don't recall
was a little "edgey", soon replaced by a Phil "somebody". Whom do I recall had a Jowett Javalin Jupiter for sale in the store, previously
owned by the actor Red Skelton and with looks only a Brit could love  Wink.

Later he had an Amphicar for sale , which we bought and paid for, only to have him refuse delivery after someone else offered him more..
what a heel!. All's we'll that ends well, as I did manage to buy a rather dusty NOS 36hp 69mm Okrasa crank for $50 from the store (pearls before swine).
And yes we did sell a lot of Lucas turn signal assemblies, coco mats and Talbot mirrors. 

"Those were the Day's my friend .......

Was Phil kind of short maybe with long brown hair and a beard?
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kingsburgphil
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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2010, 15:40:47 pm »



Another great thread John. As you know Maribeth and I worked at that BAP Geon just after Doug and Greg. She worked the counter
and I worked for Dan, who without a doubt was the nicest guy I ever worked for. The manager at the time who's name I don't recall
was a little "edgy", soon replaced by a Phil "somebody". Whom do I recall had a Jowett Javalin Jupiter for sale in the store, previously
owned by the actor Red Skelton and with looks only a Brit could love  Wink.

Later he had an Amphicar for sale , which we bought and paid for, only to have him refuse delivery after someone else offered him more..
what a heel!. All's we'll that ends well, as I did manage to buy a rather dusty NOS 36hp 69mm Okrasa crank for $50 from the store (pearls before swine).
And yes we did sell a lot of Lucas turn signal assemblies, coco mats and Talbot mirrors. 

"Those were the Day's my friend .......

Was Phil kind of short maybe with long brown hair and a beard?
I remember the previous manager clearly, the Phil guy....only vaguely. I'm thinking 5'10 180, clean cut, dark hair,
about 30 yrs. old and lived in the Newport area. I left to go work for Rollings Automotive shortly before he came
on board, some 35 years ago now. I could be way off on this one  Cheesy
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flemdog
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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2010, 15:49:30 pm »

theres a reason they were called wimpys!!!!!!!!! see me at nicks and i will explain why culinary excellance was not on the menu at wimpys!

"old but still fast"

Ron Fleming

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Sarge
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« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2010, 16:28:59 pm »


theres a reason they were called wimpys!!!!!!!!! see me at nicks and i will explain why culinary excellance was not on the menu at wimpys!

"old but still fast"

Ron Fleming


Damn... who left the door unlocked? Grin  Real culinary excellence could be had a few blocks south at Ed's Chili Palace... Wink
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flemdog
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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2010, 16:39:00 pm »

now we are talking real food! the only problem with Ed's chili when taken out was container life for anyone around then knew the formula for Ed's chili was somewhat like the blood of the creature in the movie "alien"

"older and gettin faster"

Ron Fleming
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Rick Meredith
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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2010, 16:51:13 pm »



Another great thread John. As you know Maribeth and I worked at that BAP Geon just after Doug and Greg. She worked the counter
and I worked for Dan, who without a doubt was the nicest guy I ever worked for. The manager at the time who's name I don't recall
was a little "edgy", soon replaced by a Phil "somebody". Whom do I recall had a Jowett Javalin Jupiter for sale in the store, previously
owned by the actor Red Skelton and with looks only a Brit could love  Wink.

Later he had an Amphicar for sale , which we bought and paid for, only to have him refuse delivery after someone else offered him more..
what a heel!. All's we'll that ends well, as I did manage to buy a rather dusty NOS 36hp 69mm Okrasa crank for $50 from the store (pearls before swine).
And yes we did sell a lot of Lucas turn signal assemblies, coco mats and Talbot mirrors. 

"Those were the Day's my friend .......

Was Phil kind of short maybe with long brown hair and a beard?
I remember the previous manager clearly, the Phil guy....only vaguely. I'm thinking 5'10 180, clean cut, dark hair,
about 30 yrs. old and lived in the Newport area. I left to go work for Rollings Automotive shortly before he came
on board, some 35 years ago now. I could be way off on this one  Cheesy

OK.. not the same Phil I was thinking of.  Wink
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Jim Ratto
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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2010, 21:48:23 pm »

John, Ron, anybody else that was around way back when...
something I've wondered forever, how did European spec (amber turn sig) 62-67 tail lights get into the mix way back when?
I think I've seen old pics of Don Crane's car equipped with them.
How'd you guys get started with them? Talk about a trend....

Thanks,

Jim Ratto
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OgCalLook
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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2010, 05:30:13 am »

I built this car in 1977....
I ran euro tail lights on every car I had, they were different, you just didn't see amber turn-signals that often.
So it was cool to have something different.

After this pic was taken I found some euro bumper guards for the car, again just to be different.
I knew a guy who used to get hassled for running T-Bars.

This was back in the day, when just having a dropped front end would draw the cops attention, and get you "fix-it" tickets.
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johnl
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« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2010, 17:42:44 pm »

John, Ron, anybody else that was around way back when...
something I've wondered forever, how did European spec (amber turn sig) 62-67 tail lights get into the mix way back when?
I think I've seen old pics of Don Crane's car equipped with them.
How'd you guys get started with them? Talk about a trend....

Thanks,

Jim Ratto
Jim, I don't remember the amber lense.  As I recall we used an amber bulb with a clear lens.  Also, I don't remember Don Crane's red '67 ever having Lucas lights.

John
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johnl
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« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2010, 17:58:14 pm »

Another side note:  When I worked at the St. College store Ron O’Dell was the manager.  Costic would be stating Ron’s presence mildly.  He was really nasty and never cut anyone slack. 

His format was you could ask him a question once and he would say that is “ONE”.  The second time you asked the same question he would answer and state that is “TWO”.  On the third attempt he would answer and say “THAT IS THREE AND THE LAST TIME I’LL ANSWER”.  At that point he would stand behind you at the counter and one could feel his eye’s (one was cockeyed) burning a hole in your back.  You either found the answer in the book (this was long before computers) or you were out the door.

I use to hate to get up and go face him daily, but when I realized he wasn’t going to beat me down I applied myself and never had the issue with him again.  He was the sharpest parts guy I’ve ever encountered and trust me I’ve known my share over the past 40 years.

Some years later Ron had moved on and the last time I saw him was on the 91 freeway when an old ratty VW pulled up next to me and honked.  Yep, it was Ron and he had a gal with him.  He waved and drove on.

Not to long after this I heard that he had gone to work for a warehouse in greater Los Angeles and the owner was in trouble and had the place torched.  Ron apparently saw this action being done.

There was a trial and Ron testified against the owner even after being warned the owner would have him killed.  Off to prison went the owner and about six months later Ron was found dead in a Motel in the San Diego area.  Offically the cause of death was a heart attack, but those who knew of this often wondered how true it was.
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« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2010, 20:22:00 pm »

Another side note:  When I worked at the St. College store Ron O’Dell was the manager.  Costic would be stating Ron’s presence mildly.  He was really nasty and never cut anyone slack. 

His format was you could ask him a question once and he would say that is “ONE”.  The second time you asked the same question he would answer and state that is “TWO”.  On the third attempt he would answer and say “THAT IS THREE AND THE LAST TIME I’LL ANSWER”.  At that point he would stand behind you at the counter and one could feel his eye’s (one was cockeyed) burning a hole in your back.  You either found the answer in the book (this was long before computers) or you were out the door.

I use to hate to get up and go face him daily, but when I realized he wasn’t going to beat me down I applied myself and never had the issue with him again.  He was the sharpest parts guy I’ve ever encountered and trust me I’ve known my share over the past 40 years.

Some years later Ron had moved on and the last time I saw him was on the 91 freeway when an old ratty VW pulled up next to me and honked.  Yep, it was Ron and he had a gal with him.  He waved and drove on.

Not to long after this I heard that he had gone to work for a warehouse in greater Los Angeles and the owner was in trouble and had the place torched.  Ron apparently saw this action being done.

There was a trial and Ron testified against the owner even after being warned the owner would have him killed.  Off to prison went the owner and about six months later Ron was found dead in a Motel in the San Diego area.  Offically the cause of death was a heart attack, but those who knew of this often wondered how true it was.


I knew Ron very well. By the time I got to BAP he was overseeing the regional store managers. Very caustic and abrasive. I tried to avoid him as much as possible.
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kingsburgphil
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« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2010, 05:23:14 am »

Question about Ron?  Was he on the short side, overweight, dark hair, perpetual 5 o'clock shadow
and lacking people skills? Someone you could easily envision wearing a wife beater with a beer
in one hand and a cigarette in the other?  I don't mean to besmirch the departed as I found him
quite entertaining. Cheesy
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« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2010, 16:25:14 pm »

Jim, I don't remember the amber lense.  As I recall we used an amber bulb with a clear lens.  Also, I don't remember Don Crane's red '67 ever having Lucas lights.

John


John,

Forgive me for hijacking your thread, however Ratto referred to the "Amber Top" taillights. As this pic indicates:

I agree, clear front turn signal lenses w/ amber bulbs were in vogue.

Humbly,

Chris Andrews - The Mailman
« Last Edit: June 15, 2010, 16:27:35 pm by Chris Andrews - The Mailman » Logged

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johnl
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« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2010, 16:26:56 pm »

Question about Ron?  Was he on the short side, overweight, dark hair, perpetual 5 o'clock shadow
and lacking people skills? Someone you could easily envision wearing a wife beater with a beer
in one hand and a cigarette in the other?  I don't mean to besmirch the departed as I found him
quite entertaining. Cheesy

It has been a looooooooooooong time, but what I remember is a guy about 200 pounds with dark hair and his most distinguishing thing was the one eye that was off a bit.  Don't know the history of the eye or if it was even functional.  One would never go there with a guy like Ron.  He just had the personality to ALWAYS be in someones face.  I even saw one time with a customer in the store where I thought they were going to "go at it". Ron was certainly not a soft spoken guy.
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Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
johnl
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« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2010, 16:29:21 pm »

Jim, I don't remember the amber lense.  As I recall we used an amber bulb with a clear lens.  Also, I don't remember Don Crane's red '67 ever having Lucas lights.

John


John,

Forgive me for hijacking your thread, however Ratto referred to the "Amber Top" taillights. As this pic indicates:

I agree, clear front turn signal lenses w/ amber bulbs were in vogue.

Humbly,

Chris Andrews - The Mailman
Thanks for clearing this up.  I completely lost my way on the reply.
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« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2010, 03:15:50 am »

now we are talking real food! the only problem with Ed's chili when taken out was container life for anyone around then knew the formula for Ed's chili was somewhat like the blood of the creature in the movie "alien"

"older and gettin faster"

Ron Fleming

Ron, you once introduced me to the joys of Ed's chili and ever since, I get stomach pains when I see an old boot.

Marc Buehler
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kingsburgphil
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« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2010, 03:44:10 am »

Since we're on the subject of chili, is 'Ed's Chili' "better" than 'Charlies Chili'?  Grin Grin

http://www.charlies-chili.com/  Where NBVA members would go to detox  Cheesy
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Rick Meredith
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« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2010, 04:16:28 am »

Oh man... I spent a few nites at Charlies detoxing myself.

Usually after the beer bash at Shakey's on Newport AFTER Speedway at the Fairgrounds!  Grin
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