How Lamin-x turned a race fan into a race team supplier

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Jul 7, 2022 | shop talk, Lamin-x | Posted in News and Notes | From the Nov. 2021 issue | Never miss an article

Photography Courtesy Lamin-x

A defining feature of pro sports car racing back in the late ’90s: the mandated move to amber headlamps for GT cars. Why? So the sanctioning bodies could differentiate the classes at night. 

Chris Wadle simply thought it looked cool. 

“As endurance race fans, we were smitten by the awesome yellow-headlight look,” he notes. “We were just fans, though, and didn’t have access behind the scenes to know how it was done–nor where they got the product. But we wanted some yellow lights ourselves!”

Chris eventually found the company in Calgary that supplied the yellow transparent headlight film used by many of the pro teams. “It needed to be perfectly transparent to not affect visibility, but also required a strong enough adhesive to endure 24 hours, 175 mph plus rain,” he says.

Once he got his sample, he saw a secondary market: Why not bring that same look to fog lights on street cars? “So, I started Lamin-x officially back in 2003 in the spare bedroom of a house I was renting in Winter Park, Florida. I started hustling that company’s products to the public and other race teams under the Lamin-x name here in the States.”

And that hustle paid off, he continues: “We started out as one of this company’s smallest customers to eventually becoming their largest customer. In 2010, we bought them out.”

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View comments on the GRM forums
Aaron_King PowerDork
10/25/21 1:15 p.m.

That is one heck of a picture.

nderwater UltimaDork
10/25/21 4:27 p.m.

With so many cars having huge acrylic headlight bubbles now it only makes sense to put lamin-x on them to keep UV fogging at bay.  My Boxster has it and my Jag had it before.  Great product.

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/26/21 7:12 a.m.

In reply to Aaron_King :

thats from GranTurismo

msterbeau New Reader
10/26/21 3:16 p.m.

I love the yellow tinted lenses.  Now I need someone to make a product the allows my Kia to shoot flames like that Viper...  :-)

alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/26/21 3:19 p.m.
nderwater said:

With so many cars having huge acrylic headlight bubbles now it only makes sense to put lamin-x on them to keep UV fogging at bay.  My Boxster has it and my Jag had it before.  Great product.

Other than the color- that's what this does??  I'll have to look into them for my Miata.

Feedyurhed UltraDork
10/26/21 4:09 p.m.

I have blue Lamin-X on my Miata. I typically have used the product on the WRX/STis that I have owned over the years. I like it.

westsidetalon HalfDork
10/26/21 10:09 p.m.

I remember late 90s SCCA racing and you had to tape your headlights, so the glass or plastic wouldn't get all over the track if impacted. Many racers vinyled there headlights and rendered them useless, so the beauty of Lamin x is the fact it keeps the headlights funtional and cool looking too.

hybridmomentspass Reader
10/27/21 7:09 a.m.

Very cool, quick story on this company. 
I bought some of their yellow films for my MR2 fogs years ago...still not put them on, I need to. 

Aaron_King PowerDork
10/27/21 8:10 a.m.

I have been meaning to by some for the Unicorn SAAB

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/23/21 10:15 a.m.

Will get some clear protective film for my 86's headlights, the film's not exactly cheap, but have you seen how much a modern car's headlights cost? surprise

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/23/21 1:54 p.m.

And even though I wrote the piece, seeing it here reminded me to place my order. Looks like they're having a sale now, too. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/5/22 10:33 a.m.

P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/9/22 6:46 a.m.

So with my headlight lenses that are already awful again, I just need to re-polish and then apply and then no more issues?? If so, I'll be doing applying this to the minivan before they yellow

dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/9/22 9:03 a.m.

Obviously check you local laws about changing the color of street car lights.  You don't need another reason for the police  to pull you over. 

On another note did the colored lights in endurance racing come out of the 24 hour of Le Mans where race cars/prototype's would have white lights while street cars that were racing would be yellow as required for street cars in France?  In other words was it a happy accident in France and the lighting regulations there what lead to different classes of cars having different colored headlights. 

914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/9/22 9:41 a.m.

Love it over silly white fog lights!

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