Totally Clear Corners for the Z32

OK, I admit, this is an incredibly cheap mod. In fact, if you spend the time/money for a set of JSPEC clear corners, buying a set of Philips Silvervision bulbs should be no big deal. The factory corner lenses have an orange lens for turn signals, and many people buy clear lenses to eliminate the orange. However, some have an orange insert in them (JSPEC lenses) and some are completely clear (orange inner plastic removed). To complete the clear lenses, orange 1157 bulbs are installed, as in Alberta, my lawyer wife informs me,  that the Highway Traffic Act requires orange turn signal markers.  (In her defence, she does view the Highway Traffic Act as more of a guideline than a rule…)

Moving along, once I bought my (totally) clear corners from Alain Laroque in Montreal (aka Alchemist on and installed them, I thought that clear corners should be, well, clear. With the orange bulbs, though, there is a distinct orange hue reflected through the lens:

Philips Silvervision bulbs fit the 1157 socket, although you have to file off one pin from the bulb to lock in place. They are a silver coated bulb that flashes orange, keeping your clear corner clear until you activate the turn signal.

There are two problems with these bulbs:

  1. 1) They are not readily available (most auto parts store clerks stare dumbly at you if you inquire)
  2. 2) They are insanely expensive for an incandescent  bulb. Two suppliers in Canada (Alain Laroque, q.v. and Visual Dynamics in Toronto) want $ 25.00 USD for a pair.

Despite the fact I had paid a large sum for fully clear corners from Mr. Laroque, every time I thought of ordering the Philips bulbs, I quailed. Yikes, that's a lot of cash for two lousy bulbs!

OK, there must be an inexpensive solution that will give me legally clear clear corners. So what the heck, I read that most people in my situation paint their orange bulbs silver. What? That can't work?!? Well, I had a spare set of orange bulbs and a bottle of Testors # 1181 Aluminum model paint.

Basically, you paint a thin but complete layer of model paint over the orange lens. It's too simple! If you have put too thick a layer of paint, you can remove some with some methyl hydrate or in my case, Testors Brush Cleaner.  But does it work? Here's the lens with the painted bulb installed:

Looks good. but does the orange flasher work?

Answer: Yep. Not only in the dark, but in daylight:

Best of all, if a bulb burns out, I'm out $ 2.95 for a set plus some model paint and time.

Next mod: cheap homemade intercoolers from metal ice cube trays….

Rob Kiddell
1990 Twin Turbo Coupe