Blue light special

Boy did I pick the wrong time to gut Moby and make an attempt to refurbish her interior; life got really busy and was not kind enough to warn me!  Needless to say I’ve neglected this blog to concentrate my scarce free time on getting Moby back on the road and ready for warmer weather.  Fortunately that warm weather is taking its time getting to us here on the east coast but the improvements are progressing slowly.  I fear my cold spring may end before I’m ready!  On the bright-side, anticipate a flood of posts starting some time in May when my schedule returns to normal.

In the mean time, I am sticking my head up to publish this post that has been in the works for the better part of a month.  As part of the wiring for the stereo, I decided to install some family heirlooms at the same time.  They’re nothing special in themselves, definitely not stock, but these blue lights are something of family lore and have lived in my father’s 1961 Chevy as well as my uncle’s 1958 Oldsmobile when they were young.  In turn, they made it into both Big Red and Big Blue.  My uncle purchased them along with several other color shades with which to turn his car’s interior into a traveling light show.  I have no idea what happened to the others but the blue lights were passed on to my father.  For some reason I continued to carry the torch so to speak and will someday pass them along as well but, before that happens, they need to live in Moby.

According to the legend, these lights became implements of romance and aid in the wooing of one’s special girl.  Picture yourself driving home, taking the scenic route of course, after a great evening out with your date.  While trying your darndest to be nonchalant, you reach over and flip a tiny switch and in a flash, you and your date are bathed in a quaint, elegant, relaxing, and so romantic blue glow emanating from under the dash.  This is when you anticipate that your date will become yours forever uttering an instantaneous “Oh you’re sooooo coool!!” as she falls madly in love with you.  But in reality you receive a somewhat muffled giggle that quickly grows into a full fledged fit of laughter and a “What the heck are you doing?”

Growing up with stories about these lights, I was quite excited when they were turned over to me.  They were a serious upgrade for me at the time, no not for the romantic potential, but rather because of the associated lore and “coolness” factor.  For some reason at that young age, I never really paid attention to the laughter radiating from the female contingent in the family as a blue light story unfolded or why they might think blue lights are funny.  I can’t say what I really expected when I switched them on for the first time either but I know it was not the snickering I heard from the passenger seat.

The infamous blue lights turned out to be as much fun as I hoped as a young driver.  They served as a somewhat out of the blue (pun intended) surprise, a conversation piece, a way to make myself stand out (though I’m still not convinced standing out from the crowd in this manner was best), and a great way to illuminate the cab with little windshield reflection while one’s copilot navigated by map at night.  They also served well in preserving one’s night vision while rummaging for supplies on camping trips.

The last time I turned them on was 13 years ago before I removed them from Big Blue prior to her sale, and I married the last person to sit in the passenger seat bathed in blue.  Now in Moby, I am not out to impress anymore but still view them as a fundamental addition to our family’s VW experience and look forward to the chuckles emanated from the young’uns.  But mostly I await the resulting smiles that make these lights special.

I dug the blue lights out of the parts stash the week Moby came home to us.  They sat on top of the dog's crate waiting for the axillary fuse block ever since.  With that little project out of the way, i found an hour a few weeks ago to wire them up!

I dug the blue lights out of the parts stash the week Moby came home to us. They sat on top of the dog’s crate waiting for the axillary fuse block ever since. With that little project out of the way, I found an hour many weeks ago to wire them up!  I think they are some type of truck light.

Installation required no new drill holes.  I used the fresh air/heater bracket fro the driver side and a screw designed for the parcel tray on the passenger side.

Installation required no new drill holes. I used the fresh air/heater bracket for the driver side and a screw designed for the parcel tray on the passenger side.

The driver side light went in at the same time as the fuse block since both use the same lower bracket screw

Spectacular!!

Spectacular!!  Well, maybe more so in person than in the photo.  I put the otherwise useless defrost switch (tiny green light above)  to work as the control switch for these lights.

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4 thoughts on “Blue light special

  1. That’s a lovely story and I hope your young ‘uns treasure the inheritance when the blue lights ( and van?) are passed down to them too. Hope you get Moby back on the road again soon !

    • Thanks! Hmmm… hadn’t thought about passing Moby along. They might get the lights when they drive but I don’t know about the bus 🙂 Made good progress this weekend. If the weather holds, we’ll be driving in two weeks – tops!

  2. Looks great! I thought of adding some similar floor level indirect lights to the kitchen block I want to build this year. To provide gentle light that will not wake up the little one in the night. But under the dashboard looks more useful, and way cooler 🙂

    • Thank you! If I had installed them faster, we would not have needed to take night lights along on our camping trips for the little ones! One issue I found with the lights under the dash is that the front seats block most of it from getting to the back, especially at floor level. I think you should add the lights under the dash AND in the kitchen block!! Talk about cool!! I’m looking forward to the post on building your kitchen block. Sounds interesting.

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