This replica of the Lucas type 8" DU142 headlamp with inbuilt binnacle containing black faced 6v Ammeter and U39 type headlamp switch were normal fittment on girder fork Norton models from mid 1930's (aprrox) through to 1947, when the telescopic fork models were introduced.
This is a nice example of this complete unit and represents excellent value for money. They are supplied to us from a UK distributor, but I know they are manufactured offshore - so although they may not be of quite the quality of the original Norton/Lucas items, looking at them - they do seem very good, even the glass lense looks close to the original style, and the switch/ammeter electrics look well put together.
However, I noticed that as manufactured (not suprisingly) the side mounting bolts are a modern UNF thread and are fitted with cadmium plated bolts and washers - where the head of the bolt has modern writing on i dont know about you - but I dont think anything quite ruins a nice restoration more - than using modern bolts with writing on them, Norton's did not do this!! Therefore, we supply each headlight unit with two similar length stainless steel UNF thread bolts to replace these, but our bolts have had a Norton type 'curved' profile head CNC machined on them by us . . . and obviously these have no writing on them. We also supply two pan type stainless washers to go with these bolts. We tape a small bag with these in, to the outside of the box the headlights are supplied in - so look out for them if you purchase this for us. (Note: if you have purchased a similar headlamp from a different supplier in the past and know the threads are UNF - we also sell these bolts seperately as Item 1094)
Therefore Note: Our versions are supplied with additional headlamp mount bolts and washers in stainless steel with Norton type 'curved heaad profile', to replace the standard modern plated bolts normally fitted. See listing for more detail
I purchase from a UK distributor - but am aware they are made offshore. But on inspection - I have to say I was impressed on given that they are not UK manufactured, I was suprised how good the quality of these looked . . . I remember the original Lucas switches (many years ago, when trying to restore old Nortons for the road . .. and trying to keep original wiring working!!) - and frankly, these units look very similar in construction to the originals.
We can also sell the switch's, ammeters and complete binnacles as seperate replacement items
Finally, if required , we also supply a laminate of the original Norton wiring diagram from the same period, in our facsimile section
Background on Headlights Fitted to Norton Singles:
Most Norton road going singles through the 1930's to the mid 1950's (i.e. pre-Featherbed models) seem to have been fitted with headlamp units by Lucas of similar style to this type - i.e. with a seperate binnacle built into the headlamp shell to contain the light switch and ammeter unit (The only being the few models that had the instrumetn panel built into the tank pre-war).
However, according to the original 1951/6th edition Pitmans 'Book of the Norton' (one of two definitive 1940's-50's workshop guides to Norton models, this one by W.C. Haycroft, the other one being by Edgar Franks): Pre-1947 models were fitted with the larger DU142 model headlight (i.e this item ), and then from 1947-1949 with the MU42 model (Item 1088), and finally from 1950 onwards with the similar SSU700 unit. Visually, the only differnce I can see between the original MU42 and SSU700 units are the latch mechanism for the headlight rim changed slightly - with a small screw on the later version, but visually both units looked similar to the headlamp unit shown here. Note: The later 1963/9th edition of the same publication had been completely revised, to make the manual more focused on the later mid 1950's models. This later edition mentions that from 1955 onwards, several types of Lucas headlights were fitted - dependent on model (i.e. Featherbed or swinging arm etc) - but the SSU 700P1 was first fitted - which although similar to the headlight shown here - had its pilot light fitted seperately, with an additional small reflector, underneath the main headlamp unit (sorry - dont think they have been replicated by anyone yet!).
(As an aside - For anyone wishing to purchase old copies of W.C. Haycraft' 'The Book of the Norton' - it is well worth looking for them on E-bay or similar, but please note - there were various editions - I think the first was approximately 1939, through to the early 1960's. I have 3 different editions of this excellent book - 1947/5th edition (still with War Economy Stamp on it!), 1951/6th edition and 1963/9th edition - and although much is the same, they are all different - and details of the electrical fittings, and wiring diagrams often seem to change. It is worth noting that some later editions do not contain the same level of detail on the earlier 30's/40's models, so multiple copies are worth considering. Also, my earlier versions show interesting factory pictures of the 30's/40's models that the later editions look to have omitted, a shame!)