accuracy of year date on side lights? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:23 PM
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accuracy of year date on side lights?

What I mean is, how accurate is the year imprinted on the Red or clear lenses on old cars? I was told that you can tell what a car's year is by the number.

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Old 09-21-2017, 03:27 PM
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Nope, it's usually the first issued year. Why do you want to know, maybe there is something else that can help you with it.

Brian
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Old 09-21-2017, 03:39 PM
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I'm getting a Corvette but not sure year. I think it's a 74,but lens says 70. I'll find out later today what year it is.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc2dave View Post
I'm getting a Corvette but not sure year. I think it's a 74,but lens says 70. I'll find out later today what year it is.
You don't need a lens date to tell those two years of Corvette apart, it is readily apparent from 50 feet away....the 1970 has chrome bumpers front and rear, the 1974 was the first year to have urethane front and rear bumper covers like all new cars have today.

That's if someone hasn't done some shady parts swapping trying to make the rubber bumper '74 look like the more desirable and more valuable 1970 model..

As a general rule, tail light lenses, side marker lenses and front turn signal light lenses will bear the year number for the year that body style was introduced, unless there has been some revision.

My 1972 Nova as an example.....body style was introduced in 1968, but all the pertinent lenses were revised in shape and size in 1970....my Nova has all the original 1972 pieces
-The red rear and yellow front side marker lights have 1970 on them as they were unchanged from 1970 models,
-The front turn signal lenses have 1971 on them, the 1970 had a clear lens with yellow frosted bulbs, in 1971 it was changed to yellow/orange lenses with clear bulbs, so my 1972 still says 1971 on it's yellow/orange front turn lenses.
-The tail lights were the same for 1970 and 1971, but the size of the clear reverse light portion changed in 1972(was made larger), so those lenses actually do have 1972 on them.

If you tried to use a lens date to name the year of my 1972 Nova, you would be totally confused by the time you looked at them all

Through all this, I could swap any or all of those lenses 1970, 1971, and 1972 and they fit right up, most people who aren't Nova owners would never even notice if I did.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72 View Post
You don't need a lens date to tell those two years of Corvette apart, it is readily apparent from 50 feet away....the 1970 has chrome bumpers front and rear, the 1974 was the first year to have urethane front and rear bumper covers like all new cars have today.
Ok. When I saw it, it was at night and It's a fixer upper. I know very little about Vettes. I'm getting the complete car and a spare Big Block engine for 1,000. The Vette for sure needs a paint job and seats. Are these somewhat desirable? I'm hoping it's under a '75 ,so that way I don't have to smog it.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc2dave View Post
Ok. When I saw it, it was at night and It's a fixer upper. I know very little about Vettes. I'm getting the complete car and a spare Big Block engine for 1,000. The Vette for sure needs a paint job and seats. Are these somewhat desirable? I'm hoping it's under a '75 ,so that way I don't have to smog it.
Can't help you there, other than knowing what they look like, my interest in Corvettes ended with the last chrome bumper cars, the 1972.
The 1973 is an odd duck, it has a chrome rear bumper, but was the introduction year for the all rubber nose.
I do know that for a given used condition, the rubber bumper cars are worth about 1/2 of what the chrome bumper cars are worth.

Far more than paint and interior worries, you need to be looking at Frame rust issues, rear suspension trailing arm issues(arm that runs forward from wheel hub upright to frame) and rust in the window frame supports at dash level.....frame and structure rust is a real deal killer.
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Old 09-22-2017, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc2dave View Post
I'm getting a Corvette but not sure year. I think it's a 74,but lens says 70. I'll find out later today what year it is.
With a car, you should (hopefully!) get a title, which will tell you the official year of the car: this would be the year for smog or no smog, for instance.
Then there is the VIN, you can decode it and it will tell you the year.
After that, I guess a Corvette specialist or forum can help you ID things like seat cloth and colour, dashboard shape and other such details to figure out the year.
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