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MG MGB Technical - Rubber Bumper Reversing Lamp Lens

I have been looking to change the reversing light lenses on my 1976 Rubber Bumper MGB as one of them is cracked. The lenses have a black surround (I guess to match the bumper) - see attached picture. The problem I have been having is that all the replacement lenses that are available have a silver surround and they are painted on the inside of the lens. My reversing light lenses both look original and are also painted on the inside of the lens, but in satin black.

Does anybody also have reversing light lenses with the black surround and does anybody know where you can buy them?



Andy Robinson

I have never seen the lens with a black rim. I wonder if it is original ?
Roger Walker

I have never seen black, either.

If it looks original, then maybe they were from another car.

I believe series 3 E-types had a similar lens, although I don't know if they were silver or black.

There may well be other cars which were fitted with similar reverse lamps.
Dave O'Neill 2

I've only seen "chrome" surrounds here in Aus.
Quick google search of E types show similar light but again none with black surrounds. Maybe a previous owner thought it would better match the bumpers?
John Minchin

Andy - I've never seen them with black surrounds.

I bought some replacement lenses recently for a major refurbishment of my '79 BGT and they have the silver surround painted inside the lens. The effect is poor compared to the original ones which do look like chrome and match the chrome on the nearby rear lights and fuel cap.
Brian Shaw

New to me too. Clausager doesn't mention it, although the Parts catalogue does show three different types. However one of those was for France which required a yellow insert, and one for the USA and Canada. It was the North American one that is specified in the catalogue supplement for all 1977 and later cars. If the car was built as a 77 model i.e. from June 1976 with chassis number 410001, then it would have the North American lens, i.e. 37H7512, but Googling that part number seems to show them with a clear surround rather than 'chrome'. UK parts suppliers only seem to have that one and not the earlier one, but several of them show a separate chrome bezel (37H7512CR or CB) that fits over the plastic lens. The last time I bought a pair was 27 years ago, and they have the chrome effect inside the rim.

So I suspect they are a recent replacement, i.e. clear, but painted black by the owner rather than buying the separate bezel.

I believe that the separate chrome surround is an aftermarket accessory.
Dave O'Neill 2

Thanks all for your comments. I think the mystery of my reversing lamp lenses is solved. Paul is right and there were clear reversing light lenses that were available. There are that two different reversing light part numbers that fitted the MGB and other BL cars (L798 and L885). I assume that sometime in the past as PO has painted the inside of the clear lenses black.

I'll have a go at that myself as it sort of suits a rubber bumper car.

Andy Robinson

Chrome on my 1979 U.S. MGB. I've never noticed anything but chrome surrounds stateside.


79 MGB
gary hansen

I have seen these black rimmed ones before. I think that they may have been ones that had the chroming on the outside of the lens and the black is the conductive coat that allowed the plastic to be chromed.

I also think my Jubilee has or / had these - it isn't here atm so I can't check.
Chris at Octarine Services

I sort of can imagine it not being chrome on a Jubilee, as they didn't have bright side trim, and possibly on a 77 and later with the black number-plate lights instead of chrome. But for anything else, even with the rubber bumpers, it would be out of keeping with the bright trim round all the other lights (apart from the recessed front indicators).

Thanks Chris and Paul. I found the attached picture on the web, which appears to show a Jubilee edition MGB with the black rim reversing light lenses. My car was made at the end of May 1976 and is a P registration, so maybe they were still using the leftover parts in the parts bin.......


Andy Robinson

Better eyes than mine :o)

I Googled 'MGB Jubilee', selected images, which displayed hundreds, quite a few of the rear, but none showing a black surround.

This thread was discussed between 17/03/2017 and 20/03/2017

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