When building a car, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made, sometimes even before you turn a single nut. Is it going to be a restomod, stock restoration, strip-only, Day Two machine, or somewhere in between? This simple question should be answered before you start. For the most part, these builds use different parts, but sometimes there are parts that can cover all of these, and even add a modern touch without knowing it. We feel that having a classic muscle car is way cool, but adding some modern conveniences makes it even better.
Case in point: the headlights. Typically, these chunks of glass don't get a second thought until they stop working. Today, there are more options for headlights than ever before, from simple replacements to halogen upgrades, crystal clear lenses, and so on. The newest option in frontal lighting—and something we are seeing more and more on new cars—is halo-style headlamps. Halo headlamps have a lighted ring or halo inside the unit that works as an unobtrusive daytime running light. There are a few halo lights available, but their longevity and construction have been suspect.
Ausley's Chevelle Parts has come up with a quality halo headlight kit for '64-'72 Chevelles, or any other vehicle running a 5-3/4-inch headlight. These lights feature a glass lens that has all the diffusing lines of a more traditional lamp, so they will look correct. Inside the sealed beam housing is a circular, lighted ring that, once energized, will provide a smooth, consistent, and even illumination. When the halos are not on, the headlamps look stock.
The lights come ready to go, and all you will need to do is provide the halos with a 12-volt signal and a ground. Everything else plugs in as stock. Simple, right?
1 Here's what you get in the halo headlight kit from Ausley's: four 53⁄4-inch units, two high beams, and two high/low beams, all wired up and ready to go. The lamps have a diffused glass (not plastic) face that covers a halo ring on the inside perimeter. The Halos are pre-wired to a transformer and only require a 12-volt and ground signal to operate. No need for fancy relays or upgraded wiring. The head- light itself has a halogen bulb and will plug right in to the factory sockets.
2 Just to give you an idea of how cool these really are, we powered up one of the halo rings. As you can see, it gives off a nice glow to the lamp and will give people one more reason to check out your ride.
3 Installation of the headlights is as straightforward as it comes, with a simple remove-and-replace scenario. We ripped out the factory lights in preparation for the new ones.
4 The new lights have all the right tabs and shape to fit directly into our factory buckets, with no modifications necessary.
5 The wiring harness features a small plug at the transformer, so you can separate it to ease in the installation. This also allows you to remove the headlight without disturbing the transformer once you have it all secured in the car.
6 Here you can see the lamps fit into all the stock stuff. One thing to note: The bulbs with three prongs (high/low beam) go to the outside, while the two-prong bulbs (high beam only) go to the inside position.
7 With both the high and low beams in place, we reinstalled all the trim.
8 The factory headlight plug fit right on the back as stock.
9 To wire the halos, you have a few options. You can wire to a keyed circuit for daytime running lamps, the parking lamp circuit so they come on with the parking lamps, or a standalone circuit that runs off of a toggle in the interior. We decided the parking lamp option was for us, so we found the brown wire in our harness, which is the factory parking lamp wire.
10 The grounds were tied together with a ring terminal, which was attached to the core support via a self- tapping screw.
11 The power wires were attached to the brown wire via a butt connector.
12 Then transformers were zip- tied to the harness, which was then tucked under the fender out of sight.
13 Here is what the lights look like with no power. We think they look right at home compared to the crystal-clear lenses competing halos have.
14 Here they are with the halos lit up. These will really draw some attention and maybe even a few thumbs-up. When we turn the headlights all the way on, the halos fade into the background as if they weren't even there. The entire set of halo headlights from Ausley's is only $139.95 at time of print, which is about what you'd pay for a good set of T3s. It's definitely more than just parts store replacements, but those are a lot less cool for sure.