You have seen them on all kinds of cars: tail lights that are an obvious aftermarket modification that give even the most nondescript compact sedan an attention getting, stylish look. From Neons to Civics, and from Dakotas to Escalades, and for mostly any model in between, enthusiasts are changing their vehicle's appearance with these cool looking mods. Exactly what are they? Some call them European tail lights while others call them Altezzas, after the name of a popular manufacturer of this type of tail light. No matter what you call them, you can install a pair in less than one hour on your vehicle.
European tail lights are an easy to install modification of your car's tail light assembly. Available as either “clear tail lights” or “red tail lights” your stock tail light assemblies are replaced with a custom fitted unit developed for your particular make/model. In short what you are doing is installing crystal clear or red lenses that go over bullet-style taillight and turn signal lenses. The new lenses, paired with style rings and platings, help to accentuate the light emitting from auto tail lights and turn signals for a distinctive look that is vastly superior to the original design.
Euro tail lights are marketed in an assortment of styles and bezel colors including chrome, carbon fiber, black, etc.; some surfaces are paintable for a customized appearance. What's more, new LED or light emitting diode tail lights are catching on tool. This particular mod features the fitting of new bulbs that light quicker and illuminate brighter than standard tail light bulbs. LED bulbs are filament free and can bear up under grueling road conditions better than any stock bulb. At some point in the future all vehicles will likely come equipped with LEDs, but why wait that long?
Naturally, if you already own certain European models – BMW and Audi are two examples -- then you probably are satisfied with your stock lights as they are what inspired the whole “Euro tail light” craze in the first place.
Best of all, Euro tail lights are street legal and meet stringent Department of Transportation (DOT) and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) regulations. No need to worry about being ticketed by highway patrol either unless you modify the mod illegally!
Manufacturer directions are simple to follow and assembly can be completed in as little as 30 minutes for the pair. So, before you know it you'll be cruising down Rodeo Drive in your little deuce coupe for the whole world to see!
Matt Keegan is an auto aficionado and contributing writer for PitStop Auto Parts, a seller of discount auto accessories including
IPCW tail lights and APC tail lights for your car, truck, van, or SUV.