Funnies: Lucas Electronics

I grew up in a weird time. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (Sunnyvale and San Jose), I was at the epicenter of the rise of tech. But also, I was a car and motorcycle guy.

As such, I was exposed to some oddities and interesting troubleshooting of electrics of various mobiles. One pleasure I never had was owning anything with Lucas electronics, for my auto shop friends in high school would tell hair curling stories.

Years later, I found this list of slogans and one liners about Lucas Electronics, and having re-discovered them, I will share.

  • The Lucas Electric motto: “Get home before dark.”
  • Lucas denies having invented darkness. But they still claim “sudden, unexpected darkness.”
  • Lucas–inventor of the first intermittent wiper.
  • Lucas–inventor of the self-dimming headlamp.
  • The three-position Lucas switch–DIM, FLICKER and OFF. The other three switch settings–SMOKE, SMOLDER and IGNITE.
  • The original anti-theft devices–Lucas Electric products.
  • “I’ve had a Lucas pacemaker for years and have never experienced any prob…
  • If Lucas made guns, wars would not start either.
  • Did you hear about the Lucas powered torpedo? It sank.
  • It’s not true that Lucas, in 1947, tried to get Parliament to repeal Ohm’s Law. They withdrew their efforts when they met too much resistance.
  • Did you hear the one about the guy that peeked into a Land Rover and asked the owner “How can you tell one switch from another at night, since they all look the same?” “He replied, it doesn’t matter which one you use, nothing happens!”
  • Back in the ’70s Lucas decided to diversify its product line and began manufacturing vacuum cleaners. It was the only product they offered which didn’t suck.
  • Quality Assurance phoned and advised the Engineering guy that they had trouble with his design shorting out. So he made the wires longer.
  • Why do the English drink warm beer? Lucas makes the refrigerators.
  • Alexander Graham Bell invented the Telephone.
  • Thomas Edison invented the Light Bulb.
  • Joseph Lucas invented the Short Circuit.
  • Recommended procedure before taking on a repair of Lucas equipment: check the position of the stars, kill a chicken and walk three times sunwise around your car chanting: “Oh mighty Prince of Darkness protect your unworthy servant.”
  • Lucas systems actually uses AC current; it just has a random frequency.


Lucas Electronics was / is British, and were common on the British marques of the 60’s and 70’s. Legendary for their unreliability, and the bane of many mechanics around the globe.

Was that the demise of the British auto makers? Perhaps, perhaps not, but it is still the butt of many jokes.

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