While originally introduced as a standard feature on the 1965 Ford Thunderbird, the sequential tail light has become a much sought after feature in recent years. By implementing sequential signals on modern vehicles, car owners can recapture that retro look by giving their turn lights that signature ripple effect to clearly distinguish their intention to turn. In this article, we will examine the history of sequential tail lights and some of the reasons they are still so popular today.
By 1996, the Ford Thunderbird became even more distinctive by supplementing the existing sequential tail lights with a running light at the center of the vehicle’s tail. While it served no direct purpose in the braking or signaling process, it did provide complete taillight coverage for night-time driving. At this same time, backup lights were also concealed behind the wings of the Thunderbird emblem that would only be visible when active.
Following the success of this aesthetic achievement, other automobile manufacturers began to take notice. Among the first to follow in the footsteps of the Ford Thunderbird was the Mercury Cougar in 1967. As an instant hit among car owners, the inclusion of sequential tail lights took the popularity of this feature to new heights as the vehicle earned the Motor Trend Magazine Car of the Year honors in 1967. However, it wasn’t until these existing models were referenced to create the Chrysler Imperial in 1969, effectively making sequential tail lights more mainstream.
Even in modern times, this technology can be found on many of the most sought after vehicles or added to existing tail light functionality to achieve that classic retro look. Although sequential tail lights seemingly disappeared for decades, the arrival of this feature to modern vehicles has become celebrated by a wide variety of collectors and everyday drivers. If you want to add this functionality to your vehicle, AutoTrix can help with our Sequential Tail Lights kit!
AutoTrix LLC is an aftermarket automotive electrical manufacturing company based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma and founded in 2007. We believe in building quality, American made and designed automotive electrical accessories. Bringing today’s technology to yesterday’s vehicle has always been our motto. We re-create modern-day vehicle creature features in a way that can be installed into older cars and trucks.