In 1875 Joseph Lucas started making lamps in Birmingham for lighting ships and homes. When the bicycle, motorcycle and car came along his company made lamps for them also. During the vintage years, Lucas 'King of the Road' products became the market leaders, being fitted to most of the vehicles made in Britain at the time. This continued into the classic period when just about every car being built in Britain was fitted with the Lucas 7" headlamp/headlight. At the time it was said that if you wanted to know how many cars were being built just ask Lucas how many headlamps they were making and divide by 2!
What is a Lucas part?
Lucas, as the manufacturing conglomerate it once was, no longer exists. The various sites were sold off or closed down (as in the Birmingham Hampton Street site). Management buy-outs and some specialist factories still exist. At the time of sale of these companies, the parent Lucas company entered into long term trade agreements, whereby those factories could continue to manufacture the same items and use the Lucas brand. Our understanding of the current ownership of Lucas is that they make modern braking components and fuel injection systems. There appear to be agreements with some companies to sell modern reproduction items using the Lucas brand, and packaging these items, in our opinion, are sometimes good, sometimes poor.
At Holden Vintage & Classic we stock a vast range of Lucas parts for classic vehicles. Some are new old stock made by the original Lucas Company, and for some, we have the original Lucas tooling and continue production ourselves. If a part is no longer obtainable from any of these sources, what happens in the restoration industry is that new tooling is commissioned to enable copies to be made. We have played our part in commissioning new tooling for a number of Lucas items previously unobtainable, and we purchase others from suppliers who have done the same. The key thing is that through these channels, Lucas parts continue to be available for classic cars.
Some items are been re-tooled by a number of different suppliers and we always try to supply the best example available.
If you have a Lucas part on your vehicle and are seeking a new replacement, the key to identifying what you is the Lucas part number. Taking a switch as an example, it had a five/six/eight digit number stamped or moulded into the part (often this is very small). It may be followed by a letter A/B/C etc but these can be ignored.
If you enter this Lucas Part No. onto this web site in the top right-hand corner you will find out if we have it as a listed part in which case it will come with a description, picture and price. If you don't find your Lucas part listed here it is worthwhile making a telephone call as we do have stocks of other Lucas parts, at the moment not listed on this web site. We may also know that there has been a later Lucas Part No. that replaces that of the part you are seeking. Alternatively, you can browse through Electrical/Switches/Ignition and so on to find a suitable Lucas (or other) part for your vehicle.