XJS Glass Lenses
You may think that there is something off in what you are seeing or that your mind is playing tricks on you. Well, neither is the case. This was apparently a prototype photo in 1974 or 1975. The lights to the right with two round sealed lights are what we first saw delivered as I remember in the States and today is known as quad headlights as there are four of them in which I posted earlier this week that I found in one of our warehouses.
To the left is an oval-shaped headlight that was made of glass and was fitted on cars that were delivered throughout Continental Europe and Countries with righthand drive cars but those lenses were the same make but had a different direction for right-hand drive cars and were made by Cibie. In the States, we called these lights back then Euro lights because they were not normally fitted to U.S. cars. In 1992 Jaguar began the first phase of the facelift XJS starting with the headlights which were the oval shape in the States as other parts of the world already had the oval shape.
There were two differences at that time which was a different maker Carello and the other difference was that cars from 92 forward in the States were made of Acrylic material when the rest of the world was fitted with glass lenses. This continued until the last XJS in 1996. As far as I could find a record of, Jaguar made the last of these glass lenses in the 90s. The process to make these lenses is hundreds of years old and there is a limited number of companies left in existence who can still do this and it is very costly.
A mold has to be made which cost tens of thousands of dollars to make and because there are a right and a left, two must be made. Then the molten glass is poured into the mold then cooling into a solid glass lens. When I was a youngster we had a summer home upstate NY in a town named Bath and a couple of field trips my parents would take my friends or cousins on was to Corning NY to the glassworks and we would watch this process as well as blowing of molten glass.
Due to the pandemic, one of the plants that I had discussed remaking these glass lenses closed its doors for good after 150 years in operation. I asked the comptroller if they could reopen to make the lens thereby prolonging some worker's jobs but she explained that this type of operation is 24 hours and once you decommission the furnace you can never use it again. I did have several companies that are capable of making these lenses so we are in good shape.
I announced a few weeks ago that in order to make the glass lens that so many Europeans have wanted for many years and Americans who are tired of always having to clean the yellowing and dulling of the acrylic lens, that we need as many people as possible who would like a pair to please go to the contact page to fill out your info and state your interest in them. Once we get enough request will contact the capable plants to get a date as to when they can have the lens ready and then each person will be asked to pay a deposit of $300 which is 50% of the total cost then once we have them in hand and ready to ship then we will request the balance and shipping cost.
Again these are for XJS in the States and anywhere that left-hand cars are the norm. In addition to the glass lenses, we are currently negotiating to have the headlight buckets remade as well with the understanding that these cars are 24 plus years old and the chrome finish on the inside of the light buckets may be faded or peeling. To register your request please click on the link below. Anyone who has already done this we acknowledge your request so please do not duplicate it. https://jagxjsparts.com/pages/contact-us