Recessed The Right Way: A Cool New Look for '50 Pontiac Taillights. Street Rodder Magazine, July 2004.

Recessed The Right Way: A Cool New Look for '50 Pontiac Taillights

By Jason Walker. Photography By Brian Brennan.

In the pursuit of going above and beyond the "norm," some ingenious hot rodders have come up with fantastic concepts, many of which involve executing innovative bodywork. For quite a while now Hot Rods & Custom Stuff (HR&CS) of Escondido, California, has been turning out some of the coolest and most innovative cars we've seen. You could even say that much of the work coming out of HR&CS is reminiscent of the great coach builders of days gone by. If you've been reading STREET RODDER over the past year, you've probably noticed many such tech stories involving HR&CS and their not so everyday custom tricks.

Hand forming tail light bucket.

The latest trick we are about to show you involves taking aset of Bob Drake Reproductions' '50 Pontiac tailights (showcased in our March '04 issue in the story titled, "The Other Hot Rod Taillight") and installing them within HR&CS's new '50 Pontiac taililght recessed buckets.

Hand forming the tail light buckets.

In this day and age, to stand out in the crowd of unending amounts of beautifully built hot rods, you have to take things a step further, even if it means taking a well used hot rod part like '50 Pontiac taillights and creatively coming up with a totally new way to use them.

Finished tail light bucket.

For now, these buckets are being hand-formed using good ol' muscle and sweat, as well as a special wood buck and body working tools. The heavy-gauge sheetmetal is pounded into shape and smoothed off into perfect form. As the accompanying photos illustrate, these buckets are quality pieces that will require no metal finishing or work of any kind. Very soon, however, HR&CS will be punching these buckets out with a machine.

50 Pontiac light inserted in in recess.

These kinds of ideas are what inspire and motivate us all to come up with unique concepts. We hope that after reading this story (and many others just like it featured in the pages of SRM) you will keep the diversity coming, whether it's in the form of a high-tech gadget or, as in this case, simply a new twist involving a classic hot rod taillight. Whatever the case, this is what it's all about, and we love it. SR.

Marking the spot for the tail light recess.

A large hoel saw is the easiest way to cut the hole.

Tail light bucket ready to be welded into place.

Aligning the buckets from left to right.

Welding in the tail light bucket.

Finished welds are ground clean.

Finished tail light recess with lights installed.

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Hot Rods & Custom Stuff - builds, restores, paints, services and sells parts for classic autos, cars, trucks and street rods.