Early Maserati 3500 GT - Tail lights question

Discussion in 'Maserati' started by Wizz, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Wizz

    Wizz Rookie

    May 24, 2014
    Early Maserati 3500 GTs, like mine, had SIEM tail lights.
    Two horizontal steel bands, surface is flush. No reflector lens that sticks out from the surface.

    A question for somebody who has one...
    Can you tell me the measurement from the top outer tip of the chrome surround to the bottom outer edge of the chrome surround?

    My car (badly abused through the years) has SIEM tail lights, but they seem to be the wrong size.
    They have an odd fat trim ring inserted between the SIEM tail light chrome and the bodywork, so I speculate it is perhaps a different smaller size of incorrect SIEM light from another model of car that has been forced upon the car.
    A measurement comparing a normal car to mine would clear it up. Either they're the right size, or they aren't.

    Either my tail lights are wrong and too small, or my bodywork is non standard giving a too-large place for them, or I am misreading a lot of photos.
    The car does have some non-standard features that make it seem as if it's possibly a very early body that got reused/repurposed, so the "bodywork too big" theory is faintly possible.

    This is the dimension I'm looking for (not my car)...vertical distance, upper tip to lower tip.
    Measured parallel to the vertical surface of the lens.

    Image Unavailable, Please Login

    Thanks in advance!

    Attached Files:

  2. Wizz

    Wizz Rookie

    May 24, 2014
    More is an image of my tail lights on my car.
    Note the tail light is much smaller than the flat spot on the bodywork, all the way around.

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    On the standard blue car in the first post above, note that the tail light pretty much completely covers the flat spot, except for a few millimetres around the edge for the gasket.
    By that standard, the tail light should be about as big as the yellow dotted line in this image.
    And it should definitely cover the mounting holes.

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    So...either my bodywork is non standard with an unusually big flat spot, or my tail lights are the wrong model and too small.
    I have to decide which thing to fix. New tail lights, or redo bodywork.
    Right now I'm thinking it is non-standard bodywork.

    Any insights appreciated.

  3. Portenos

    Portenos Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 20, 2004
    Full Name:
    Here is a photo of an original 3500GT #708 showing the original tail light.
    It looks like you have the wrong tail light. My guess you have the what I will call the second sires body which would take the larger tail light.
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  4. Wizz

    Wizz Rookie

    May 24, 2014
    Thanks for the reply. (nice clear photo too, of a nice clean car)

    >>>My guess you have the what I will call the second sires body which would take the larger tail light.
    I have been coming to the same conclusion, but was confused by not knowing that the middle-year lights are a different size from the early-year lights.
    They are almost the same shape and colour pattern, so I kind of assumed they were the same size. Dumb mistake.
    So...I guess they aren't.

    To be clear, by "early" ones I mean the SIEM ones as in the photos in this thread, I guess roughly 1957-1960.
    The mounting area against the body is 11.5cm wide at the widest and about 26.5cm tall at the tallest.
    Measured out at the metal trim, they're about 10cm wide and about 23.5cm tall.

    By "middle year" I mean the ones that look similar from a distance but have no steel straps and do have the stick on reflector, like these.
    I think identical ones were made by both Altissimo and Carello. Roughly 1960-1961?

    Late GTI cars of course had the "two torpedo" style with separate round and orange lenses, definitely not right.
    Roughly 1961-1964.

    It seems that the "middle year" style with stick-on reflector was also used on the Alfa Giulietta.
    The bad news is it's not nearly as nice looking as the early style on your car to my eyes, but the good news is that it's much cheaper and easier to find.
    And, of course, maybe it fits my car, which would be useful.
    Right now I'm trying to find the dimensions of those.

    By the way, I love those style left-and-right style license plate lights in your photo as used on the early cars.
    I can't find a source for them anywhere, nor even who made them.
    If anybody has a source, I'd love to hear about it.
    This is the style with the big screw on the bottom, also used on [at least some] Ferrari 250 Boanos/Ellenas.
    Not to be confused with the 1960s Alfa ones that are superficially similar.

    Thanks and regards
  5. redfred84

    redfred84 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 24, 2010
    My '61 3500 GT has tail lights that are 10 1/2" tall over all, including the chrome bezel. I believe mine are the "mid" series units however, w/o the horizontal chrome straps.

    HTH, RF

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