When GM developed the headlight design of the ’55 Chevy, it was all about show and chrome. The design was structured around a lustrous headlight insert that filled a spacious headlight fender opening for a bold look. Albeit the insert is a definitive look of the Tri-Five Chevy, it doesn’t bode well with the customizer. To a customizer, big flashy chrome inserts surrounding headlights are gaudier than the Kardashian’s come New Years Eve! Which means the only cure is to french.

One of the fundamentals surrounding the art of customizing is frenching headlights. For those out of the know, frenching headlights is the task of molding in a set of headlight rings to flow as one with the fender. Upon doing so, any seam—or form of chrome adornment—is welded, painted, and disguised as a simple extension of a body panel. For the most part the job is pretty straight forward, but being it was developed in the early days of customizing, the concept ran uncontrolled with an outpouring of ideas on how to french headlights. For some, they simply chose to use the vehicle’s pre-existing headlight bezels and rings, yet others chose rings and bezels from different makes and models. As the fad caught on, customizers soon found certain breeds of rings and bezels were suited for this type of work over others. Some of the favorites were those pirated from ’52 Fords, ’55 Chevys (cars), ’56 Oldsmobiles, ’52 Mercurys, and ’58 Chevys for those after a dual-headlight. Things have come so far from the first inception of frenched headlights that in today’s marketplace several companies offer their own versions of frenching kits. What it all boils down to is there are several ways to skin this cat!

When scanning the pages of CCT, one would find that frenched headlights are no stranger to these pages. However, the majority of frenched headlights in this realm are of the aftermarket variety, which most commonly mounts the headlights flush with the fender’s cavity. Star Kustom Shop’s latest project, a ’55 Chevy truck, is a throwback to the good old days of customizing and, what custom is complete without a set of frenched headlights? Therefore the ’55 will undergo a french job, old school style. Star Kustom decided to go with a set of ’52-54 Mercury rings and bezels. The Mercury components offer a clean, round , flowing, and period-correct look that will complement the curves of the ’55 nicely. Apart from that, they will also buck the trend of the countersunk look and give the custom a distinguished one-off look. Making things easy is the fact that these Merc products are now available through the aftermarket. Instead of searching swap meets and junkyards a simple phone call will land a set of OE styled Mercury rings and bezels at your door, which means one can get straight to work. Speaking of work, enough hoopla, let’s get the torch! CCT

SOURCE
Star Kustom Shop
StarKustom@yahoo.com
Afton
OH  74331
918-257-4234
http://www.starkustomshop.com
Night Prowlers
855-776-9537
www.thenightprowlers.com