Adding a distinctive look to your car doesn’t always have to entail hundreds of labor hours and an endless budget. Sometimes the easiest upgrades are hiding right in plain sight; we just can’t always see them. What if you could couple a dramatic visual enhancement with improved safety? Sounds like a winner right? And if you could do it yourself with simple hand tools in a short amount of time, we’re talkin’ a home run.
We were aware that Marquez Design made some attractive hardware for first-gen Camaros, but when they recently expanded their taillight line into the second-gen arena, ’70-’73 to be exact, we were all over it. With housings machined from solid 6061-T6 billet aluminum polished to a mirror finish, combined with their very stylish custom lenses, it was obvious the rear of Project Orange Krate would take on a whole new personality.
Along with the idea of replacing the taillights, it got us thinking that we should explore the rear lighting as well. This would be the perfect time to make the update for safer illumination to the back of the car as well. Our research brought us to Dakota Digital. They offer a ’70-’73 replacement kit to allow us to add an LED lighting system into the mix that would be the perfect compliment to the Marquez Design taillights.
With the recent delivery of the Camaro Performers magazine project car, known as Project Orange Krate, to Peter Newell at Competition Specialties in Walpole, Massachusetts, we figured we’d get busy right away with some quick, but effective changes. Follow along as we bring a whole new life to the back of the car with taillights that will have you needing to wear shades!
We chose to update the car with a fresh new look and contacted Marquez Design for a set of their stylish red lens taillights with hand polished billet bases (PN 112).
Dakota Digital offers a neat LED lighting system for the ’70-73 Camaro (PN LAT-NR100), which included all of the necessary hardware to make the installation a snap. We went with two sets of lights as we chose to delete the white backup lens for now.
Before getting started, Peter Newell of Competition Specialties, disconnected the car’s battery for safety. Then, using a 7/16 socket, he removed the taillight housing from the rear body panel then removed the taillight bulbs and wiring from the housing.