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Michael C Wauhop

PILOT RAY LIGHTS

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Application 

year

junior or senior 

drum or cone

More information would be helpful. They are available new. Easy to find used, they are very out of style.

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Having restored several original sets (as well as having several NOS sets over years), I would recommend reproductions from American Arrow (because the original gear housings are die cast and the light base to drive is die cast too, plus hard to get the engraving crisp when rechroming  = Don's reproduction lights are brass and ...). 

 

As a sidenote:  Ed is correct that it helps to know the application as certain cars "big" cars often look better with the 7" junior light vs. an 8" light, certain cars look better with singles verses duals, certain cars look better with certain types of brackets over other types (as well as "height of light"), certain cars have linkage challenges, certain cars should just never have them, certain cars look fabulous with them, and ...  Example:  Technically, a 30 Cadillac V-16 should not have the dual lights that match the headlights (a single plain 8" senior light is all that is in the the accessory brochure), I am rarely fond of the lights "look" on such as a  Phantom I Rolls-Royce, and ...) .

 

I loved them on the 1931 Cadillac's (nice to have the extra light at night too) - they match the headlights and ....- most  V-8, V-12, and V-16's look great with them (and both singles and duals were available via accessory catalog) and at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance you may win Best of Class  = PERHAPS, but Best of Show = doubtful, so go with them as it was a "keeping up with the Jones' car" to begin with. 

 

http://theoldmotor.com/?p=133530

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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"Out of style" - well that is a matter of opinion, perhaps they are with you Ed, and this forum certainly has a lot of opinions!😯 I know on my own cars I fit what I like, do not care what is in or out of style or favor for restorations at the moment.

John's points are well made - single or dual, diameter of lens/rim.  Application as to use on a car as well. I met a fellow from New England decades ago who had a pair of Pilot Ray lights on a 1931 Plymouth PA conv coupe . I love the look of a 1931 Plymouth, great styling, but with the Pilot Ray lights on it, they were just a bit smaller then the headlamps on the Plymouth and made the car look like a search light truck for the local fire department.  My preference ( again depends upon the car) is to have a single Pilot Ray light.

The original one I restored and had on my 31 Franklin needed a new small bracket to connect the shell of the light to the base as it had deteriorated and broken - Don Sommer was nice enough to sell me the part(s) I needed to restore mine ( which came off a L 29 Cord, that car was the fabric bodied 2 door , that I believe is now in Europe) . I think we all like to tweak the cars we own to reflect our individual personalities and "make them our own" .

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b40d714866ccd11967f669debe8433e2dbc92a36.thumb.jpg.a61dcd4742325c943dcdb3551074484b.jpg

This is a car I probably would not have a Pilot Ray on (I do like the wheel disk covers though - aka as we move into what people at the time had in mind as a modern car). 

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4 hours ago, Walt G said:

The original one I restored and had on my 31 Franklin ...

I built up a 7" single Pilot Ray for the 30 Franklin (all be it never installed it).  A Franklin seems to be able to pull off a single Pilot Ray, though do not recall ever seeing a double set on a 1929-1933 Franklin and would probably be way too much going on the front of the car (a single is in the accessory catalog).   Franklin's tend to also look a little awkward with Trippe Lights with the traditional Senior brackets too (I built a pair of the more rare "lower slung" Senior Brackets all be never installed these either).   What looks good on a Franklin is a nice set of period correct "Pierce" flat amber lens Dietz fog Lamps (and that set was never restored and eons later is still sitting on the basement shelf). 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)

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For any driving lights to work well  and not overpower the front end of the car styling wise or make it look to cluttered , the car has to have a fairly long shell , or radiator shell. If the grill has vertical bars as well it helps let you eye flow , a basket weave stone guard is a bit busy and can act like a blank wall and keep your eye static  so thus you won't flow with the design/styling of the rest of the car. I agree that Franklins tend to look a little awkward with Trippe lights. I sold my 31 Franklin to a good friend who lives in Pa. and he is more active then I ever was about taking the car to concours, grand classics etc. but still takes it on tours as well.

Edited by Walt G
mispelled word, typo! (see edit history)
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The Rolls Royce pictured above was purchased new in West Virginia by a gentleman who had it upgraded back in Springfield with the more modern bumpers and lights. He then traded it in on a Model J Murphy Disappearing Top Roadster. The Model J still exists and is unrestored. The Rolls was restored about ten years ago, and they put the old style lights back on it and added the smaller drum lights, which in my humble opinion distract from the cars looks. Restoration was very well done, and I  am sure cost a fortune. The original factory upgraded lights and bumpers were swapped out from a sedan. So now there are two incorrect cars. I have never added lights to a car in my entire forty plus years of collecting. Recently I have taken four sets of pilot lights off of cars, and had a very difficult time selling them, and they were all off 100 point cars. Took a long time to sell them and they were at give away prices.........

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Irony:  last night on Facebook I saw these for sale: Here is another gone wrong Pilot Ray adaptation - these are Duesenberg Pilot Rays on a  Drum Headlight 1925 Packard 

 

Pilot Ray lamp
Dallas, TX
$2,350

Selling Pilot Ray lamp currently fitted on my 1925 243 Series Touring Packard. $2,350.00 plus shipping These are in excellent conditions.

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)

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John.....you want to bet whose car these came off of? 😎

 

They sure look familiar!

 

I can assure you, that you are correct that they are Duesenberg.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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22 hours ago, edinmass said:

John.....you want to bet whose car these came off of? 😎

 

They sure look familiar!

 

I can assure you, that you are correct that they are Duesenberg.

The one you are driving looks better just plain on the front - especially with the honecomb showing via grill verses louvers.

autocontentexp.com1A9A3947-e8c1fe92391bb103a946acafeea5f79283bd51f2.jpg

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On ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 3:08 PM, John_Mereness said:

b40d714866ccd11967f669debe8433e2dbc92a36.thumb.jpg.a61dcd4742325c943dcdb3551074484b.jpg

This is a car I probably would not have a Pilot Ray on (I do like the wheel disk covers though - aka as we move into what people at the time had in mind as a modern car). 

The look would be much improved if they were below the bumper.

 

Craig

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21 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

The look would be much improved if they were below the bumper.

 

Craig

 

I would prefer to see them on the shelf..........

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4 minutes ago, edinmass said:

 

I would prefer to see them on the shelf..........

Only with the original counter display rack, banner, and 115V to 6V transformer with switch to turn them on and off while your waiting to be served.   

 

(Boy, we had FUN playing with a big Cibie light display board in the 1970's!!)

 

Craig

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