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What many of our American readers probably do not know is that until 1993 all cars in France were required to have yellow headlights. This tradition started during World War II so that the French civilian cars would stand out form enemy vehicles. The Government enacted a law on the 3rd of November, 1936 stating that all vehicles put into production in 1937 are required to have yellow headlights. The French being who they are, didn't abandon these headlights until 1993 when forced by the European Unions conformity standards. Today, it is illegal to drive in France with yellow headlights unless your car was first registered before 1993.

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Yellow headlights on the Citroën DS

Yellow headlights on the Citroën DS

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Tom Fitzpatrick 23/05/2019 07:42

In 1950 I drve a pickup truck for an auto-parts store in Queens,NY, and one day I had a most unusual delivery to make; a full truckload of standard sealed-beam headlights, that were yellow. I don't remember where I picked them up, but I delivered them to a warehouse in Manhattan. My route took me onto the elevated East River Drive, on which I suddenly realized commercial vehicles were prohibited. I managed to get off the Drive before being caught, so I avoided a ticket. I imagine this had something to do with the posting of American troops and their families in France.

CrashingDuke 18/03/2019 15:30

The DS in the picture has Dutch (oldtimer) plates. Most DS-en these days are in the Netherlands these days.

Seamus T O'Carey 02/09/2018 00:41

How did the tradition start in WWII, 3 years before Germany invaded Poland?

Seamus T O'Carey 02/09/2018 00:44

(If the law was enacted on the 3rd of Nov, 1936 and Germany didn't even invade Poland, the essential beginning of WWII, until the 1st of Sept., 1939)

Alexander Rooksmoor 13/08/2017 11:08

As an aside, would be interesting to see Clarkson sporting a tank top like the guy in this footage!

Alexander Rooksmoor 13/08/2017 11:07

Useful information when writing a novel set in Paris in 1961, just what I am doing at the moment.

CrashingDuke 18/03/2019 15:27

During the '60 dimmed headlights were banned within city limits in France. You might watch France movies like In Flic to get an idea about Paris in the 60's

Shawn Cromwell 30/07/2017 01:07

I've often wondered, and now I know. Thanks.

V8 15/01/2017 23:36

They didn't say anything about the war in this top gear video

Max 09/08/2017 14:57

Top Gear is not a serious TV show, they only joke... Don't believe them...

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