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Todd Merrifield
08-16-2009, 01:36 PM
I think I asked this in the past, but I don't recall what the answer was.


Does anyone know when the spotlights that have a red flashing light on one side and a normal spot on the other first went into use? Or, what is your first recollection of seeing them on a car?

Clark Hurlburt
08-17-2009, 01:39 PM
I have a 1968 M&M with the lights that you mentioned and am lucky enough to have obtained some original photos from when it was in service in New Jersey. The person who sent me the photos claims that they were taken when the car was new, so I have to go with the fact that these lights go back to the late 1960s. We have a 1976 Ford Mini Pumper at my Fire Department that has the same lights from when it was new as well. Hope this helps.

Clark Hurlburt

Paul Steinberg
08-17-2009, 02:15 PM
The red steady on spotlight is a California thing that seems to have taken hold in some other states. When I was on the squad from the late 1950's through to the mid 1970's, we never used any red spots, except for the double sided Unity models. I don't ever remember a steady red being used in New Jersey in the areas that I was active in.
Possibly further South, like Manasquan possibly did, because they were always trying to play catch up inexpensive add on's with there antiquated equipment... :D

Todd Merrifield
08-17-2009, 02:23 PM
Paul, do you remember always having the double-sided spots, or did they come later in the sixties? People so far have been telling me they think they only go back to 65 or so.

Seems like there used to be a Unity guru around before, but I don't remember who it was?

Paul Steinberg
08-17-2009, 02:27 PM
I found a set on a 1959 Superior in a salvage yard, but I have no idea exactly when they were first introduced. I do remember that originally, they didn't have a switch under the red light section, so they were either all on or off. The earliest that I remember them was on a 1969 Superior. I will check with my source today and get an answer for you hopefully by tomorrow... Paul

Anthony J. Rzucidlo
08-19-2009, 08:25 AM
A local funeral home in the Dearborn, Michigan area has a 1969 Oldsmobile ambulance and it is all original and its equipped with dual color (red on one side and clear lens on the other side).

Also the police department that I worked for in the early 1970's had all of the 1972 marked patrol cars equipped with them.

Anthony J. Rzucidlo

Jeremy D. Ledford
08-24-2009, 03:11 PM
Our funeral home had a 1967 M-M 42' Sentenal Ambulance that was ordered new by the FH with a set of the dual head Unity spot lights on it. We also had a 1969 M-M Duplex (ordered new) a 1970 S&S Park Row combo (purchased used) and a 1972 M-M 54' Lifeliner (ordered new) all having the dual spots as well.

Mike McDonald
08-24-2009, 06:30 PM
I have seen the ones you described but never on anything out in CA that I can recall at least. CA's STEADY RED Light Law had a minimum size designated I don't think they could meet that's only been relaxed a little in the past few years with the advent of smaller LED Lights. The CA CHP still does not use any strobe lights. MM

Steve Loftin
09-22-2009, 08:04 AM
I have seem these as OEM items as early as 1962. The exterior switch had three positions: (1) flasher only, (2) flasher and spotlight, and (3) spotlight only. The interior switch (on the handle) turned the unit on or off. The flasher lenses were available in red, blue, or amber.