Thursday, April 2, 2015

Thursday Twister: Opera Lights

Welcome back to another edition of DT's weekly quiz show, the Thursday Twister <APPLAUSE>.  In the world of useless car design elements, few were as shameless as the opera window. But, the opera window was at least useful to let in some sun for rear passengers, the opera light on the other hand, was totally worthless. Let's find all the cars equipped with opera lights from the factory.

photo from http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/
The opera light was a small dimly lit accent bulb attached the B or C pillar of a brougham styled American car from the 70s/80s, typically mounted in a chrome bezel.  Early versions were 12V DC, but later changed to 110V AC versions that included nearby transformers, because if you are going to put a small accent light on the outside of a luxury car, it may as well be as complicated, prone to failure, and difficult to replace as possible. Don't confuse these with dome lights, they were on the outside of malaise-mobiles and were marketed as bringing the style/luxury/sophistication of opera lighting on the road with you...

I've spent some time a few years ago scouring local junkyards for functioning opera lights and I can tell you that (A) they are abundant in junkyards, (B) most are not functioning, (C) they are difficult to remove without breaking something.  The truth is, the world is a better place without opera lights in any car...but that isn't important, today you are going to help compile a list of all new cars sold with the funky fluorescent 70s abomination.


Photo from Murilee Martin jalopnik article used with his permission.

 Contest rules are as follows: 

1. Only one car per comment (be sure to hit the refresh button on your browser before you post in case someone else has posted since you loaded the page).  Do not nest the replies, just reply to the main post -- if you reply to someone elses comment it should be in reference to his comment and not a new submission.

2. You can post again, but only after someone else posts another car.

3. The contest will end at Sunday, April 5th, 4pm PST.

4. One submission per generation of each make/model.

5. Each car must be a running/driving car (no clay model prototypes) and at least two must have been built of that particular car (no one-offs). 

6. No anonymous submissions -- pick a name with the Name/URL dropdown.

Ready...set...opera lights!

99 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, I'll go first. 3rd gen (1979-1985) Oldsmobile Toronado.
      [img]http://encyclopedia.classicoldsmobile.com/toronado/80.jpg[/img]

      Delete
    2. And shame on you too DT...I see the subject line and immediately decide to post my dear, sweet Grandmother's 1980 Toronado (In her own words, "the best driving car ever made") and you beat me to it!

      Delete
  2. Pics upon request (to speed page loading). Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. Sorry, FTB!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fleetwood T. BroughamApril 2, 2015 at 11:08 AM

      Oh that was sooooo lame.

      Delete
    2. Heh heh.

      Delete
  3. Fleetwood T. BroughamApril 2, 2015 at 11:14 AM

    Since K2 didn't specify a generation or year range, I will presume he meant the 1977-86 variety, and in turn I will offer this 1971 Fleetwood Sixty Brougham.

    Pics included (because it makes the contest more fun and if I haven't been concerned about page load times since I got off dial-up Internet).

    [img]http://automotivemileposts.com/cadillac/images/1971/cadi1971fbcotillionwhite.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah...it's an issue when we get 200+, as you already know. I'm not doing it because you guys already now what the heck a Caddy not-so-Fleetwood Slowham looks like. I'm also not getting into the whole "the 68 is different than the 72" shenanigans either. Just make and model for me but you guys do whatever you want!

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    2. I've also given myself a four comment handicap, which I'm going to do my darnedest to stick to.

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    3. 3 to go now, for me.

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    4. While we haven't done singular model year breakdowns (that's wayyyyyy too granular and persnickity, IMHO) we have done generational delineations as separate entries....Absent that, in the H-kink contest someone could have just said "BMW 5 series" in one sweeping motion and we would have been denied the fun of seeing the e12, e28, e34, e39, e60, and F12 variants listed separately.

      Ergo, early 70's Fleetwood =/= to late 70's early Fleetwood. Just this one man's humble opinion.

      Delete
    5. To tell you the honest truth, I care so little for BMWs that I barely know the difference between an E2 and a E1,237,997. Don't even start with the other letters of the alphabet - you're killing me!

      This was the issue with the Corvette too, if I recall. One Corvette is enough, I think. Like you said, it gets too granular and slicketypicketynickety.

      What makes you think your opinion counts? Oh wait, IT DOES! I threw mine into the hat too, for whatever it's worth.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/zfWGfsh.jpg?1[/img]

      Delete
  4. 78 Plymouth Sapporo

    [img]http://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Plymouth-Sapporro-025-800.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lincoln Continental town car. 1975
    [img]http://www.imcdb.org/i260855.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nobody picked the '79-'89 Mercury Grand Marquis? Well, then I will. [img]http://www.elepent.com/autos/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Mae1.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've spent some time a few years ago scouring local junkyards for functioning opera lights...

    I'm curious on why you were doing this... and I'm not trying to be snarky.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gianni -- Funny you should ask... I almost included a link to this -- but the truth is it was to fulfill the whims (and whimsy) of a 24 Hrs of LeMons judge.
      [img]http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/04-BMW-E36-Brougham-at-24-Hours-of-LeMons-Arse-Freeze-a-Palooza-626x426.jpg[/img] Image from Murilee Martin.
      -Vince

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  8. Honestly, I cannot quite tell what the car is in this video (nor can I decipher most of what the guy is saying), but here is an LED upgrade fo' yo Opera Lights, bro. Dems da bomb, donchano.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vSc2alQddY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caprice? That's my guess.

      Delete
  9. Howse about a lovely 1987 Buick Regal

    [img]http://buickturboregal.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/1987limiteddarkbluelightblue-300x225.jpg[/img]

    Still trying to find a non-'Merican example...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, there's been one so far! We'll see if there are any more....

      Delete
  10. Rich Corinthian Chrysler Cordoba.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep 'em comin' guys and gals!

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/DbJCx59.jpg?1[/img]

      Delete
    2. Yep. French ninja strikes again.

      Delete
  11. Pontiac Parisienne Brougham:

    [img]https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8011/7111214059_4fa6afd74a.jpg[/img]

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  12. 10th generation Olds 98

    [img]http://images.mautofied.com/adphotos/10133330_2011119172749.jpg[/img]

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  13. Zimmer Golden Spirit:


    [img]http://www.autoviva.com/img/photos/969/zimmer_golden_spirit_sedan_img_56969.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.boston.com/cars/newsandreviews/overdrive/Zimmer-Golden-Spirit-4-door-top.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  14. Fleetwood T. BroughamApril 3, 2015 at 7:09 AM

    Lincoln Mark VI Signature Series

    [img]http://www.americandreamcars.com/1983continentalmkvi4dr051511.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can we just give FTB credit for the entire Conti line? I vote yes.

      Delete
    2. Oops. I just remembered Scooter already did. So do we want to start granulating into the various Marks?

      Delete
    3. It's a completely different car.....kaibeezy and the other mods were just commenting positively on the number of replies these threads are getting. Why parse them arbitrarily? We're car guys----we obsess over details. To use a car you recently expressed interest in, what you're saying is that an F-body is no different than a 67 Firebird, for contest purposes....that's crazy.

      Delete
    4. Sounds good to me! That's Mister Crazy, thank you very much.

      Delete
    5. Just to play devil's advocate and to get a better sense of what you're thinking, are these the same car or are they different?

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/SYz0O60.jpg?1[/img]

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/aZtw99n.jpg?1[/img]

      Delete
    6. Fleetwood T. BroughamApril 3, 2015 at 8:10 AM

      That's rhetorical, right? If this were consumerreports.org or greencarreports.com, then I'd say the same. But not here, no sir.

      Delete
    7. Part of my confusion here lies in what Scooter wrote; "Lincoln Continental town car. 1975". In that year, a buyer could buy a Continental Town Coupe, Town Car or a Mark IV.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_25C4lX7K0

      In 1983, a buyer could waft off the lot in a Continental, Town Car or a Mark VI.

      So to specify, Scooter gets the Town Car and FTB gets the Mark VI Sedan. Right? All other Lincoln models are up for grabs...as long as they aren't those two.

      Delete
    8. Nope, not rhetorical. To me, they are both the same model; both are Corvettes, plain and simple. Am I incorrect in thinking you believe that for the purposes of the weekly Twister, you believe these are two different models?

      If that's true, then my list for this (the opera lights) Twister has just grown exponentially. That means I could list a 1982 Mark VI. Even though they share the exact same model name, because they're different years they're eligible for the Twister, right?

      Or are you suggesting that we must only refer to industry and enthusiast referenced alpha-numerical generation labels (C2, C3, etc.)?

      I think we've got to pick with one and stick to it. It doesn't matter to me, I just need to know so that I can make my lists.

      Delete
    9. In case anybody is confused about why I'm specifying a 1982, it's because FTB posted a picture of a 1983 according to the URL. I'm no expert in Lincolns and so I'm going by the accuracy of the web addy, such as it is.

      Delete
    10. This isn't confusing---I think you just may be overthinking............generational differences count (C2 vs C3, C3 vs C4)....mere model year or body style differences don't count. I didn't make this up, it was from the rules of the first round of these. "4. Special versions of other cars do not count (someone else cannot post the C5 convertible and get credit) but you can post a different generation of Vette with pop-ups. "

      I'm invested in the discussion at a level that's disproportionate to my concern, so you guys do what you want, I'm just thinking the contests are more fun with more cars (and their pictures too, but that's a different discussion).

      Delete
    11. I concur; though I'm not over thinking, I'm clarifying. You do whatever you think is correct and I will too.

      But I'm not going to submit cars with the exact same model name regardless of year or generation unless they're special editions with worthwhile differences. I've just removed the Lincoln Town Car from my list because even though the one I came up with is a different year and generation from the one Scooter posted, I believe he should get street cred for that model in terms of the Twister, end of sentence.

      I thoroughly understand where you're coming from, FTB and I understand what you're saying. I've cast my vote in dissent and that's that. We agree to disagree!

      Delete
    12. the Towne Car is so much like the Imperial, but doesn't have the opera lights..(that I could find)

      Delete
  15. Tiffany

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/jrTPNI0.jpg?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  16. 77-78 Riviera

    [img]http://www.2040-cars.com/_content/cars/images/54/423654/003.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does the badge light up on the Landau?

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    2. supposed to. this generation and one after.

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    3. That seems like it might be a little different than an opera light. No? Am I wrong? Maybe I am.

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    4. they were designed to light up.

      Delete
  17. 1983 Zimmer Golden Spirit (Fox bodied variant):
    ...Before you tell me the Golden Spirits - as a lot - have been taken already, please bear in mind that the only thing this one has in common with the newer one is that they're both based off of two FoMoCo products- that are polar opposites of each other!

    [img]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4107/5030962389_0b8512e0b9.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There you go, FTB. A perfect example of what I was talking about. Now a Twister result list is going to read:

      Zimmer Golden Spirit (TRDsmith)
      Zimmer Golden Spirit (TRDsmith)

      Like there's a stutter stutter stutter or something something something. I still think your post(s) are awesome, TRDsmith!

      Delete
    2. Or do you suggest the following as an acceptable result?

      Zimmer Golden Spirit - Fox platform (TRDsmith)
      Zimmer Golden Spirit - Panther platform (TRDsmith)

      ...you don't find that just a little...uh...I don't want to say the word.

      Delete
    3. Sorry for using you as an example, TRDsmith. But it's just too perfect for the other discussion.

      Delete
    4. One is based off a two-door Fox body platform. The other is based off a Panther. Clearly two different vehicles from every perspective, all they share is the name! Are these the same cars even though they're both called 'Vette?

      [img]http://img.timeinc.net/time/2007/50_cars/chevy_chevette.jpg[/img]
      [img]https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7395/12377738505_de75ac689d_z.jpg[/img]

      Delete
    5. You crack me up. Seriously. You should go on the road. Far, far away. :D

      Delete
  18. 77 Lincoln Versailles

    [img]http://images.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/02/CC-P80-091-800.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marvelous! Have you seen the movie "The Queen of Versailles"? Scary.

      Delete
    2. Highly sought-after by the 5.0 Mustang crowd for their nine inch rears with disc brakes.

      [img]http://i41.tinypic.com/2jfi15y.jpg[/img]

      Delete
    3. Those axles are the right width and right spring spacing to bolt onto an early Mustang, but they're only 10.5in diameter, the caliper brackets are very heavy and parts availability is getting spotty, there's better ways to do rear discs on a Ford rearend now. I've still got one in storage but would run something different for the brakes if I ever use it.

      Delete
  19. Just to mess with you guys, since I've already submitted something related to the 98+ Town Car, I will submit another one. Lincoln Congressional Town Sedan:
    Don't tell me it's the same car as the Zimmer!

    [img]http://www.cityauto.com/Vehicles/vehimg/308718_03.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aftermarket, I believe and it's all your fault, FTB.

      Delete
    2. It's a factory conversion. Surrounded by Town Cars (I work in a limousine base).

      Delete
    3. I accept no blame for TRD's contest shenanigans, especially after his ultra-liberal definition of what constitutes a NACA duct sent that contest for a loop. ;-) (I kid TRD, I kid).

      Delete
    4. Ha ha! Regardless, all of the blame falls at your feet FTB. Fight it all you want.

      Delete
    5. @TRDsmith - I'm pretty sure that conversion was done by EG Classics in Savage, MD which would probably explain why you're seeing them. I'm fairly sure Lincoln did not offer the Congressional package from the factory. It is not in any of the manufacturer's documentation that I have, either. But that doesn't necessarily mean that it can't exist and that I'm wrong, of course. But here's my proof - check out what it reads at the very end of the badge on the right;

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/XKA4p0f.jpg?1[/img]

      Delete
    6. Hmm, good job. Does that disqualify it, though?

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    7. That's not for me to say and I'm pretty sure nobody really cares. Just something to add to the Extreme Car Database of Ridiculously Obscure Trivia (Eight Edition)!

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    8. I suppose if it's part of an aftermarket kit, then it's just a plain Town Car underneath all the garnish and farkle. That pretty much disqualifies it.

      Delete
    9. Dear Self,

      That would be Eighth Edition, you knucklehead. Get it together, man.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/P8KQhC6.jpg?1[/img]

      Delete
    10. I believe you are correct-o Señor TRDsmith about it just being a Town Car with a rubber hat.

      Delete
  20. This four comment handicap suuuuuucks. Nobody's playing and if feels like I'm waiting years for an opportunity to post. If I hint around, will you guys steal from me so I can play the game? In the meantime...Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz. I might as well post pictures because this Twister is so slow.

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/ubrAp3Q.jpg?1[/img]
    Why is this car named after a town in France that I've never heard of? Of course, I'm not allowed out in public.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Chrysler New Yorker:

    [img]http://images.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/03/CC-71-046-800.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool! One down, three to go.

      Delete
    2. Dear K2 Mystery Car,

      If you’re going to have any opportunity to play this Twister, you’re going to have to stop pontificating about how you can’t play and make the grandiose gesture of giving up one of your prized examples of vehicles with opera lights. Hopefully, someone will read this and help you out. Until then, stay sane and don’t take any wooden nickels.

      Sincerely, K2 Mystery Car

      Delete
    3. PS...and stop being an idiot and trying to stick to your ridiculous four comment handicap rule on Easter weekend while playing a Twister nobody else is. Dope.

      Delete
    4. The Pope, a buffalo and K2 walk onto a used car lot...

      Delete
    5. The Pope and the buffalo say to K2, "What is wrong with you?" K2 replied, "I don't know, but are there chips in the woods that have something to do with the Pope?" Both the Pope and the buffalo shook their heads and left. The moral of the story is to look out for the...always remember to...and Bob's your uncle.

      Is that a bottle in front of me or a frontal lobotomy?

      Delete
    6. How about it, Kaibeezy...help a brother out?

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/DWukSEY.jpg?1[/img]

      Delete
    7. ... and spot a pointy yak, a grandpa car (is that a Monte Carlo? a Cutlass? a Regal?) and a Prius. Who buys what?

      Delete
    8. So cruel. Nobody knoooows the trouble...I've seen. Nobody knows....my sorrow.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHFveRxXfM4

      Won't anybody read my post and steal one from me?

      Delete
    9. I don't know, Kaibeezy; who buys which one? Can't wait to hear. I'll bet it's gonna be good.

      In the meantime, will you PLEASE post a car with opera lights? I'm beggin' ya!

      Delete
  22. Lincoln Continental Mark V

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/jrVuWlQ.jpg?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yo! Rhonda! A little help here would be much appreciated.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPnBrK6D26g

      Delete
    2. Help! Back away from the Peeps and chocolate rabbits! Instead, why not post a car with opera lights? It's better for your waistline.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCGvZgDvtkU

      Delete
  23. 82 Tbird Heritage

    [img]http://www.logak.com/c/2014/12/alfa-romeo-nhuttrong-ngo-1982-ford-thunderbird-bought.jpg[\img]

    ReplyDelete
  24. Yay, Sean T!

    Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/uzp8vBK.jpg?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  25. Weird. My post appears in the recent comments list, but not here. Let's see if this comment makes it through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Super strange. I'll try posting my original comment again.

      Yay, Sean T! Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/uzp8vBK.jpg?1[/img]

      Delete
  26. Blogger won't let me reply to Sean T's comment. Here's what I was trying to add;

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/UJy7YTM.jpg?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks. my image loading skills still need work apparently.

      Delete
    2. No worries! I hope that image is okay with you. I just picked one at random.

      Delete
  27. Tick tock the time has run out on the clock. Those of you brave and knowledgeable souls that played this Twister - YOU ROCK! But it's clearly over and so I might as well post my last ones that I came up with off the top of my head. I didn't do my usual research and I hang my head in shame. Don't judge me!

    Chrysler LeBaron

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/8TwEXGB.jpg?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  28. Imperial

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/y38K073.jpg?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  29. Buick Electra

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/vbvf7Me.jpg?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oldsmobile Delta 88

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/MZVEImx.jpg?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  31. Chevrolet Caprice Classic Brougham LS...I mentioned this one above as the answer to a query that Bobinott didn't ask. I had hoped that somebody would pick up on it and steal it from me, but alas...hopes dashed and plans foiled!

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/JuHVEus.jpg?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  32. Mercury Cougar

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/LpAIHwe.jpg?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  33. Cadillac de Ville Series

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/IAjX2TP.jpg?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  34. It was a fun Twister. This last entry practically takes it all back to the beginning, as it's the Mama-san to the second entry. Goodnight, sweet Twister, goodnight.

    Mitsubishi Eterna

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/q1TayTO.jpg?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete

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