Seiries 1 E-Type headlight covers

Why would it be laminated glass and not tempered . Seems like tempered would be the ticket

It will be possible to remove scratches from tempered glass wet sanding with ultra fine paper and a lot of patient elbow grease, followed by compounding and polishing. Expect some surface distortion though. Is the triplex logo on the inside or outside of the covers?

It may just be tempered. The screen is safety glass so laminated with rubbery glue in between. I’m not sure tempered could be rebent either though.

In a couple of dozen restorations I’ve broken at least two of these things trying to fit them.

There are a whole lot of factors in bonnet, chrome rim and glass shape that contributed, and refitting the glasses is usually an awful job.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if in the 6 years Jaguar fitted these the supply changed several times, and also the shape. You have to wonder if the reason Jaguar switched to the later open light style was influenced at least in part by fitting problems.

You might also study carefully the ways in which they differ and decide if the mounting lip in the bonnet can be slightly tapped to make them fit better. This assumes the bonnet still needs to be painted, and that they aren’t very far out of profile. If it’s a different physical size, it is also possible to shape it.

When I was struggling to fit my badly bent screen I tried cutting back the corners, removing about 1/8". It did 't fix the problem unfortunately but it I did remove material. I just used a belt sander, no more than about 15 seconds at a time, then allowed it to cool, and repeated. Wear a respirator while sanding glass, and do it outdoors. .

This might be your answer, NOS pair were/are available in below thread;

Also there’s a guy Mark Clapp? in the US, doing plexiglass covers if you want perfect fit, basically indistinguishable from glass.

Yes, Mark Clapp produces plexi covers for both standard and Competition cars and has done for many years. Lots of UK owners fit them for precisely the reasons stated concerning repros of originals. You can contact Mark at: Details of fitment and photos here: The 'E' Type Forum - Login

As for the Triplex logo it looks like this:
Headlamp glass left hand:

Headlamp glass right hand:

Note how the Kite symbol is always pointing to the outer edge.

Everything we know (there is a lot!) about the Triplex logos can be found in the UK Forum ‘Factory Fit’ thread: FACTORY FIT - Series 1 3.8 - Page 9 - The 'E' Type Forum

Note: Some areas of the UK Forum are open to all whilst others require creating a member account and logging in. Doing so opens up a huge amount of information not available to casual readers.



The headlight lenses are indeed tempered, not laminated.

The word on the logo is TOUGHENED, which I guess means the same thing.

As I found out when I parked my car in the garage one night with the covers intact and found the right cover in a few thousand minute bits on the floor the next morning. Tempered glass can do strange things.

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Ditto: left the bonnet up, and came back after a few days, lens having EXPLODED.

Tempered glass is weeirrrrd stuff.

It’s not clear to me just how bad the fit is. A proper seal will be quite soft, with a LOT of compliance, allowing for considerable variation in the shape/size/curvature of the glass. I doubt they ever fit perfectly.

AFAIK, there is no reason tempered glass (which is what the covers are - certainly not laminated “safety” glass) cannot be re-heated, and re-bent, if done properly. The tempering occurs during the cool-down cycle. BUT, to end up with the correct shape would require a form, and the shape of the form may not be precisely the same as the desired final shape, due to distortion that may occur during cooling. And, of course, it requires a suitable kiln to slowly heat and cool the glass, so certainly not a DIY.

Interesting stuff!

As an aside, I’m usually a pack rat, but…

When I moved my family into a new home in 1995, I tossed my old (original) scratched TriPlex headlight covers that I’d had on display on a shelf in my garage. I had installed NOS TriPlex covers during restoration in 1985 - 1988, and felt, at the time, that the originals were worthless.

Oh well…

Hence many of us use Mike Clapp’s plexiglass versions from the US. They are a fraction of the cost of the glass ones, fit easily and don’t break. Scratches easily polish out and they seem immune to chips.

The problem comes when you have a repro bonnet panel or wings fitted as the curvature can be wrong and you have no other way of getting the glass covers to fit short of trying to tweak the bonnet.

Yep, I can relate, many years ago. No idea why it happened, managed to fluke a good sh replacement.

I noticed today that the Triplex logos on my original covers are not identical. The right side has a number above the logo, while the left side does not. Is that normal?

I see other differences as well. How are the logos applied to the glass?


They are etched in. I went down to the Pilkington Factory and was shown the entire process. Full report here: Visit to Pilkington Classic - The 'E' Type Forum

The link I posted earlier has the full decode of the Triplex markings and many examples of the logo’s through the years.

AJ11 (do you have a real name?) - your headlamp glass:

AS2 = American (National) Standard (AS-1 is required for all windscreens and at least AS-2 is required for sides and backs. AS-1 can only be made out of laminated safety glass while all other AS numbers can be either laminated or tempered, as long as they meet the minimum AS requirement)
S = Sheet
TF = Tempered Float
M6 = The M number is a model number for the piece of glass, which identifies the type of construction. The M number is unique to the manufacturer.



Updated the above post with details of the headlamp covers numbers. Looks like one of them was not made for the US as it lacks the AS2 code.

Incidentally all the Triplex logos include a coded date although even Pilkingtons did not know why it was done as it serves no useful purpose.


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