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Old 02-25-2002, 09:19 PM
Fimum Fit
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Identification of old headlight lens, not necessarily M-B

I've been collecting headlights and headlight parts for about 45 years, ever since I got an "A" on a high school physics paper about the then-new asymmetrical low beams being introduced in Europe. One item which I have never really identified is a lens and trim ring (the latter very rusty, but originally painted, not chromed) which seems to be designed to lean back just a bit at the top like the Mercedes of the late '50s -- not nearly so much as the lights on VWs or Porsches of the era; the fluting of the lens suggests that it may be pre-asymmetric, but I'm not sure.

On the bottom of the lens is a trademark with an Aladdin's lamp surrounded by a gear (?), and with the words (as best as I can read them) "Cristal Faessa" on each side of it. On the right side (as you look at it) is "INCFISA-5923" and on the left is "189-C." I haven't found any markings on the metal rim.

Does this ring a bell (light a bulb) for anyone?
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Old 02-25-2002, 10:14 PM
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Something Italian? Late '40s - early '50s Lancia or Alfa Romeo maybe? Do you have a picture?

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Old 02-26-2002, 09:24 AM
Fimum Fit
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Italian was my first guess, too,

since _cristallo_ is an Italian word for "glass," but it could also belong to other European languages as a loan word. When I first acquired the lens and rim, about 20 years ago, I searched my library of classic Italian automobile coffee table books and found nothing with a headlight with the actual lens "laid back" aerodynamically, although there were lots of the clear plexiglass cover types.

Someone else (A fellow Latin teacher who knows more Italian than I do) just suggested to me that the "FAESSA" may actually be "FA.ESSA" which would be an Italian abbreviation for _Fabbrica Essa_, so I'll have to pursue that lead.

I don't have any means of posting a close-up picture with any useable degree of resolution.

Last edited by Fimum Fit; 02-26-2002 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 02-26-2002, 10:23 AM
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Your description reminded me of a picture of an early postwar Alfa Romeo. If it's not from an Italian car, maybe off an Italian truck or van.

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Old 02-26-2002, 11:13 AM
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This may be Spanish. Cristal is lens or glass in Spanish. Doing a Google search I found 3 links which indicate that a Spanish company called Faessa (or Faes SA) was doing business in Barcelona in the 1960s making electrical automotive equipment. There is also a 'Society Faessa' listed in a book on automobiles. These links are:

http://perso.club-internet.fr/pboursin/autohis3.htm

1959 Book on automobiles - details 1923 acquisitions and mergers of electrical? companies half way through the document under 1923, including a paragraph that mentions Faessa, Marchall, Cibie, and SEV all in the same context, and part of it seems to translate as '1966 acquisition of a holding in the company Faessa I Men Par , Barcelona, manufacturers of thermal (electrical?) equipment. This site details a French book on the history of the automobile.


http://members.es.tripod.de/miseat127/id246.htm

(Faessa-Trico) reference to auto equipment in a Seat 127 auto

http://www.iscar.net/z/pieldetoro/detalle.asp?ID=250

(SEV-Faessa in context of a Chrysler 150sx: "Equipo: Faros: Cibié rectangulares/halógenos de 300 x 180 mm., con lámpara H-4 de 60/55 vatios. Limpiaparabrisas: Faessa-SEV. Escobillas: SEV-Marchal. Velocidades: dos continuas y manual. Frecuencia: 45 y 71 ciclos/minuto. Instrumentación: Veglia-Bressel. Bocina: dos. Luneta térmica: de serie.")

Since Cibie and Marchall make electrical equipt and Headlights, I speculate that Faessa (or Faes SA) is/was a Spanish car equipment manufacturers in Barcelona, Spain.

Hope this is right, researching it was a lot more fun than starting in my income taxes!!!
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Old 02-26-2002, 01:51 PM
Fimum Fit
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Thank you for the lead!

I do have one old book with a close-up of the front of a Pegaso convertible which has a light which seems similar, except for having chrome trim. Maybe it's from a Spanish truck? But how would such a thing get to a junk yard in Williamsburg, VA, around 1980???
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Old 02-26-2002, 09:51 PM
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Hispano Suiza

Hispano Suiza used Cristal Faesa SA lights. They also had one of the first car delerships in the US (New York city).
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