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It's a white soft cotton cord you can get at DIY stores in the UK - and I'm sure elsewhere. You can get it in several thicknesses. It looks like oversized shoelace.
If you want me to send you a sample (I think I've got some left), please PM me.
35 Terraplane said:
When I rewired the 35 T I bought the head light gaskets from Don Axlerod. I tamped them into the groove with a drift. Snug fit. As Geoff indicated, they were flush with groove and the lens go in & out nicely. The original gasket had small sections missing and the remainder snapped off in stiff chucks.
I could see the use of different material for the gasket on your car as what was on hand may have been used. I think the stiffness of the cork may help as you push down and in on the bottom half of the lens & reflector then lift the lens up slightly and rotate it out of the housing. You hear the reflector springs creek as you push the lens / reflector itself down & in, which at first made me wince thinking I was going to break something.
The head light bucket is slightly elliptical, the horizontal center being the shorter of the two axis. As you lift the lens up you are moving up toward the vertical long axis. I kinda think of it as a cleaver design, using math / geometry to hold the lens in. Clean and maybe more aerodynamic. Per Geoff, “the originals do look nice”.
Not being round I'd think the tooling costs may have been more.
Those are cool with no metal trim to hold it in. Sort of similar to 36 ford