SEARCH SCALEAUTOMAG.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Frenched headlights?

1892 views
8 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Ambler, PA
Frenched headlights?
Posted by revshag on Friday, January 30, 2004 7:49 AM
How do you french headlights? I'm thinking about doing this on my next project, but have never done it.

Thanks,
Chris
  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Calgary, AB
Posted by Canada Jeff on Friday, January 30, 2004 12:46 PM
How it's done sort of depends on what kind of car you have in mind. If it's something like a 40 Ford, you could strip the chrome off the headlight trim ring, glue it to the fender and sculpt it into the body with some putty. The idea is to make it look like the headlight is just part of the body, not like a seperate part that was bolted on. Smooth is the idea, like it was just born that way.

If you're looking for a tunneled headlight look (sunk inside the car a little) that may require some more involved scratchbuilding.

What kind of car is it?

Interesting side note -- the term "frenched" usually refers to something being sunk or recessed into the body, but has nothing to do with a french kiss. American G.I.s in Europe during WWII were impressed with the smooth and highly artistic art deco body styles of the European coach builders (back when you could get a custom body made for your bare chassis from the manufacturer) and wanted some of that influence on their own customs after they got home. Smoothed headlights, tail lights, license plates and side trim were common tricks, and were called European style, French style, and eventually, "Frenched".
  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Fairfield, Ohio
Posted by Drackopolis on Friday, January 30, 2004 1:20 PM
I'll be doing this little trick to my "Panamerc Sled" project in a couple weeks.
It really does give a ride that sculpted look.

I was around when the idea of just painting chrome pieces and bumpers was hip, lol. The American version of Frenching that never got off the ground, thank goodness. That is a putrid sight to behold let me tell ya...
painted bumpers work on a Mach 1, or a Hemi Cuda', but not a Chevy Impala or Cadillac, lol.
Chrome should be where it was intended to be and it should be chrome, not color...in most cases.

But that's just me!
Rev. James D. Baker www.bakerministries.org
  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Denmark
Posted by ThomasA3D on Friday, January 30, 2004 2:47 PM
Hey Drackopolis
Panamerc Sled? What project is that? Sounds interesting. Can you give some more info on it?

ThomasA3D – http://www.a3d.dk
Recently finished: Camaro Concept Car and 40 Ford Coupe.
Current projects: 56 Chevy seventies-style custom and 50 Chevy Custom Truck

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Ambler, PA
Posted by revshag on Friday, January 30, 2004 3:20 PM
Canada Jeff,
I'm working on a 54 Chevy Panel Delivery. There's no chrome to remove from the headlights. I guess I can probably just sink the headlight lenses deeper into the "sockets."

Chris
  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, January 30, 2004 3:27 PM
where in the middle of doing that to a 39 chevy that we chopped it 8 inc and made a 3 window out of it.. Channel the body and chassis. Tub the rear.. Section the rear of it 1/8 inc longer and put some lonnnnnnnng skirts on her.
  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Fairfield, Ohio
Posted by Drackopolis on Friday, January 30, 2004 4:10 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by ThomasA3D

Hey Drackopolis
Panamerc Sled? What project is that? Sounds interesting. Can you give some more info on it?


Yeah, I am going to build a '49 Mercury with no top like the one in the Van Halen video Panama. It has a boot but no top so i am told. I am still searching hard for my reference material at this point.

I was watching VH-1 and they played that video and i just thought i would replicate it to go with my Van Hauler pickup, lol.
Rev. James D. Baker www.bakerministries.org
  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Denmark
Posted by ThomasA3D on Friday, January 30, 2004 5:00 PM
Ahh, thats the one you were asking about some time ago.
I’ve never seen the video, but I love 49 Merc’s so I look forward to see it.

ThomasA3D – http://www.a3d.dk
Recently finished: Camaro Concept Car and 40 Ford Coupe.
Current projects: 56 Chevy seventies-style custom and 50 Chevy Custom Truck

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Fairfield, Ohio
Posted by Drackopolis on Friday, January 30, 2004 5:11 PM
It's going to be a tough one too. there are some really fine pinstripes in that paint job and it will be tough replicating them on such a small scale.

I was tripping out because i needed fender skirts for it and found out the kit supplies them. there are also some tools in that kit. They look like sculpting tools but there isn't a thing about them on the box or in the instructions.
most likely for body work on the Merc is my guess. There are a couple of things i have no idea what they are or what they're for, lol.
Rev. James D. Baker www.bakerministries.org

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

SEARCH FORUMS

FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our privacy policy