<VV> Late Model Rear Amber Turn Signals.

Jim Becker mr.jebecker at gmail.com
Sat Aug 4 22:08:44 EDT 2018

I'm going to skip over the differences in current vehicle standards in 
various countries and which country is insanely dangerous.  I'll try to get 
back to the original question.

First off, if you don't need to have backup lights, it is pretty simple. 
Replace the backup bulbs with amber bulbs (Google "1156 amber" and you find 
them all over the place.)  Nobody seemed to say much about wiring.  Just 
swap the brake and backup wires on each side.  Go under the dash and unhook 
the wire from the brake switch to the turn switch.  Move the front end of 
the backup wire from the backup switch to the brake switch.  Manual shift 
will require extending the wire.

If you want to keep the backup lights, it is more involved (your option 2). 
Easiest way I see is to use a turnback LED as pointed out by both Matt Nall 
and David Malcolm (I assume adequate brightness for backup).  Modify the 
backup housing as in Matt's picture using a hole saw and a file (I assume 
needed for the new bulbs to fit).  Obtain 2 tail/brake light sockets (two 
contacts and leads) to replace the backup sockets.  Move the brake/turn wire 
on each side to the appropriate lead on a new socket.  Move the backup wires 
from the old sockets to the new.  Disconnect the wire from the brake switch 
to the turn switch.  Run an new wire from the brake switch back and connect 
it to both brake lights (where the wires were disconnected to go to the new 
turn lights).

Jim Becker

-----Original Message----- 
From: Arlette Pat & Carl Kelsen via VirtualVairs
Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2018 6:38 PM
To: Virtualvairs Virtualvairs
Subject:  Late Model Rear Amber Turn Signals.

G’day Everyone,
Firstly I genuinely appreciate everyone’s comments and have taken note of 
everything said. That said I never wanted this issue to become a debate over 
which system is best. That’s not the issue for me.

I appreciate that many Corvair owners are happy to simply continue with 
stop/tail lights that also provide a flashing red turn signal. I respect 
this view but in the end it’s simply not and has never been, a good system. 
The fact that its been used for decades is not a sound reason to retain it.

In Australia, (where most of you know I live) back late 1959 (nearly 58 
years ago!) an Australian Design Rule (ADR) was introduced that legally 
required all new cars from 1960 to be fitted with amber rear turn signals.

This law was introduced following extensive European research that 
conclusively proved beyond any question, the exceptional clarity and 
resulting safety provided by having a separate dedicated function amber 
signal over one provided by a combination red stop/tail/turn signal light

This was particularly true on a dark wet night when a vehicle might have 
high electrical loads (wipers, headlights, radio, heater etc) and be turning 
left or right in a major intersection. An amber signal will be much clearly 
than a red one in these circumstances.

Accordingly all post 1960 American cars imported into Australia as a part of 
their RHD conversion needed to also be fitted with amber rear turn signals. 
General Motors in many cases made export amber tail lights for this very 
reason. But only for full size Chevrolet Impalas and Belairs which at the 
time, were sold as new cars in Australia. They were never made for Corvairs 
as Chevrolet Corvairs were never sold in Australia.

What I am trying to do, is to provide the unquestionable safety of a 
dedicated rear amber turn signal without altering the rear end appearance of 
our ‘65 Monza convertible and at the same time comply with our Australian 
Design Rules.

The obvious way to do this, is to use an amber globe inside the existing 
‘clear’ back up lens. If I can acheive a dual function and retain the back 
up light then all the better!

I know that in the United States most cars still retain the older style red 
turn signals but I think the USA will progressively follow Europe and 
Australia with amber turn signals becoming the norm. It makes absolute 

So, my options as I see it are:
1/ Convert the existing ‘back-up’  tail light housings so that they can 
accomodate two globes. One clear for back up. One amber for turn signal.

2/ Use this new LED technology to provide a single globe that can flash 
either ‘clear’ or ‘amber’ and occupy the existing back-up light housing.

If there is anyone reading this that can tell me where I could obtain the 
LED gobes / fittings that I would need to use my option 2, then please let 
me know. If I am unable to find the suitable LED fittings then my only 
option will be as best as possible, modify the tailight housings as 
mentioned in option 1.

The issue as to whether RHD or LHD was best was raised in one reply. So I 
feel I should respond to this.

Simply, one is NOT better from the other. Simply some countries are RHD and 
some are LHD. Our Corvair is converted to RHD and I am very proud of this 
conversion which looks in every way like it was factory built RHD.

As a RHD car it will be 100% safer and better suited to Australian roads 
where we drive RHD vehicles on the left hand side of the road.

With the turn signal issue, can anyone direct me as to where I might obtain 
these late model LED tail lights? I seem to recall seeing them at a CORSA 
convention, about three or so years back.

Kind regards to everyone from a cold Australia (its our winter now).

Carl Kelsen
RHD ‘65 Monza convertible

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