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Classic Auto LEDs Brand Lighting

History, Future...           -and Comparisons? Seriously. Compared to What!

Above: Logo from 2008 onwards

Classic Auto LEDs is the product and Brainchild of Steve and Mary Kolseth of Albany, Oregon. In 2008, Steve came up with the idea for LED light boards for Classic Cars. He started with the MGB board system, and worked his way out from there. Primarily focusing on British Classics including almost all postwar MGs, Austin Healey, Jaguar, Triumph, Morgan, as well as a number of cross-over tail-lamps used by other British manufacturers. He also had some Volvo and BMW, which we still have a few select board sets for. These light kits were sold by us (bmcautos.com), as well as XK's Unlimited (now mossmotors.com), welchent.com and several others (we're glad to name you if you permit us to).

A Snippet from the early website is how they were made then, and STILL made this way:

The goal of Classic Auto LEDs is to design and manufacture LED tail lights, front parking/turn signal lights...

We can design and build LED lights for other cars, motorcycles, boats, etc.  Call for details.


  • Wiring Error Protection:  Precision diodes protect each tail light circuit from incorrect wiring.
  • Controlled Current:  Our LED lights use electronic circuits to control the current for each light section (tail light, brake light, and turn signal (if available)).  They are the same brightness over a wide voltage range.
  • Over voltage protection:  Prevents over voltage damage from an incorrectly adjusted or faulty charging system.  Tested to 30VDC without damage.
  • Direct Wiring:  This method eliminates the possible problem of faulty ground connections through the stock bulb socket.
  • Available for Negative or Positive ground electrical systems.
  • We place LEDs to light the entire tail light lens including the stock reflector areas.  We have turn signal LEDs pointing to each side of the lens (if there is space in the lens assembly) creating better visibility to drivers in the next lane.


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In 2016, Steve and Mary Kolseth worked with Brian Mc Cullough to transition Classic Auto LEDs ownership to BMC British Automobile, and a continued High Quality product. In 2017, we made a decision to offer the unparalleled Ten Year Warranty on all of our board systems, we have not looked back. 

BMC has Continuously offered Classic Auto LEDs Brand tail lamp boards since 2009 as one of the greatest Safety products for our Classics with the potential to save lives, lower accidents due to previously and completely un-seeable stock tail lamps, and save collector car vehicles many tens of thousands of dollars in damage (to an individual car!) of our cars and our hobby. Although no safety device can completely remove us from rear-end collisions, anything helps over technology the new generation of drivers may not be able to see/recognize!

The Future of Classic Auto LEDs, and to those who say "I can Build it Cheaper." First, getting this out of the way: YES You Can Get/Build Cheaper lights. If price is your #1 concern, safety is NOT a Real Concern to You! How can we "Cheapen it up" for you? Let's do the opposite of what Steve taught us about keeping a Great Product? Perhaps and maybe, I'll use the expression I am not really fond of. 

"Hold My Beer!"

Hold My Beer... while I make this for a lower price, so anyone searching online will find this product cheaper, thus we will have more sales online and in magazines. How... Hmm. I know!

Hold My Beer... while I make 1156 and 1157 LED "bulbs" that will fit all cars from 1930s to the 1980s, unlike modern tail lamps from around 2010 onward that can be seen clearly. These late model tail lamps (Circa 2005 onwards) are now specific to each-make-and-model-of-Each-car. Note that Classic Auto LEDs board designs manufactured give an Extreme amount of Both Light and Volume that uses the entire tail lamp lens in an efficient manner!

Hold My Beer... while I make the board design smaller, or use between 25 to 50% less lights on each board, along with that many less supporting circuits, which also cuts down light Brightness as well as the appearance of the tail light size (volume) that we are known to use- unlike a single (incandescent or LED) "bulb" will do in the tail lamp housing.

Hold My Beer... While I use LEDs the way modern manufacturers No longer do- face bulbs at 90° to use the reflector, and pray that enough light escapes from the tail lamp that it Might be brighter than the original dim incandescent rather than specific board designs.

Hold My Beer... while this product is manufactured in China with no accountability, no warranty, and No Quality. Modern LED in a classic socket: Dim, On, Off, Flicker. You read that right- LEDs tend to flicker when re-using the 1056/1057/1156/1157 sockets.

The Classic Auto LEDs Statement:

We Design and Manufacture the best and brightest LED Tail Lights/Turn Signals for British and European Cars.  Our LED light sets are brighter, have more coverage in the light housing and a better warranty than any competing product.

What we are saying is we Literally produce the Brightest Lights, better than Everything we have ever seen in our classics, and we use the Complete tail lamp for the full "Volume" (IE: Space, Square inches, Size) of the tail lamp, and the only way to improve upon what we do is to put a collector car on stilts to move the tail lamps up to modern car height- the one thing we probably agree, would look pretty silly.

Before purchasing Classic Auto LEDs light boards, don't take our word for it, look at Everything else produced. Look into how many lights other products use, the design, how the charging system effects other types, compare photos of our board when un-lit to everything else, and how they use word out their units as "really bright" (compared to what?) or not so bright that it will cause issues. Buy ours for safety and warranty. Our company name and contact information is on Every board! Buy any other product to cut costs- and Needed light output. Search Classic Auto LEDs to see what others say about our products.

BMC British Automobile, brian May 8, 2024
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