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jaudette3's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Sisters, Oregon
Posts: 918
SWB Headlights: A Brief Summary

I thought it might be helpful to provide a brief summary of the various headlights available during the SWB production years of 1965-1968. All of these work on all of the cars but they weren't all "correct" as some had not been introduced when the cars were manufactured. Bosch H4's are a good example. They are commonly found on SWB cars but, as they were first introduced in the early 70's, they weren't available when the cars were produced and are not therefore correct. Which matters to some folks, not to others. This short guide will identify which headlamps were correct for which years.

"U.S." Hella Sealed Beam
Sealed beams were mandated in the U.S. and these were the headlights used on all U.S. delivery cars until 1968.
  • Hella bucket, single drain hole
  • Hella SB19 SB20 SB21 clear lens
  • Dual filament sealed beam
  • Two adjustment screws, 1:00 and 7:00

Bosch H1
The dual reflector, dual bulb configuration was developed as a clever way to use halogen bulbs in headlights. At first only single filament halogen bulbs were available and so it was not possible to use them for headlights as they could handle only a low or high beam. H1's, with their dual reflectors made it possible to use two single filament bulbs, one for low beam and one for high beam.
  • Bosch bucket - Essentially the same bucket used for the earlier Euro headlights, three drain holes
  • Bosch lenses - Asymmetric, fluted with ridged clear tops
  • Dual reflectors - one large reflector for low beam and one smaller wedge shaped reflector for high beam, adjustable separately
  • Two halogen single filament bulbs, one for each reflector
  • Four adjustment screws - one of the quickest ways to identify an H1

"Euro" Bosch 4487 Tungsten
These used a single larger reflector with a replaceable dual filament tungsten bulb. There were at least two version of the Euro headlights: one had no city light and no baffle in front of the bulb and another, possibly a later one, had a hole for 4w city light and mounted baffle in front of the bulb. The dual filament halogen, introduced in the early 70's, can be used used in these headlights provided they have the P45t base.
  • Bosch bucket, three drain holes
  • Bosch lens - Asymmetric, flat, fluted
  • Single large reflector
  • P45t dual filament tungsten bulb
  • Two adjustment screws

Bosch H4
The H4 is a dual filament halogen bulb introduced in the early 70's. The headlight that we know as the H4 today is closely related to the preceding Euro headlight.
  • Bosch bucket - same one used on the Euro headlamps
  • Bosch lens - fluted asymmetrical with ridged pebbled top
  • Halogen dual filament bulbs
  • One large reflector
  • Two adjustment screws

"Sugar Scoop"
This was a sealed beam unit for the U.S. with a housing for the sealed beam that attached directly to the fender. It was introduced in 1968 for U.S. cars and was used for many years after that.

Please advise me of any errors or omissions and I will make the appropriate edits.


John Audette - Porsche Lighting Specialist
Vintage Porsche Light Restoration - LED Headlights

Last edited by jaudette3; 09-06-2015 at 07:17 PM..
Old 09-06-2015, 02:00 PM
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Fixer's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Philadelphia Area
Posts: 3,156
Thank you for posting this John.

I was just thinking about this. I really prefer the older correct head lights for my MY '68 but already have a brand spankin set of new H4s (PO included in the sale)

I'd do a trade if anyone is interested. It's funny, I find the old stuff prettier than even the Singer lamp.

Here is a nice additional resource with pics:

A Guide to Porsche 911 SWB Headlights | Audette Collection: The SWB 911 Light Resource

Matt Mariani BSID, Haverford, Pa Instagram acct: @the_r_institute tel: 267 767 4565
Back date hotrods, design, metal and paint.
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Last edited by Fixer; 09-06-2015 at 06:21 PM..
Old 09-06-2015, 06:18 PM
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