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Pilot-Ray Lamps "Lights The Winding Way" - Advertising, Details, Vintage Photos


John_Mereness
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Thanks John, GREAT STUFF! Interesting to see that many of the period photos show only the single Pilot Ray light , and many now who add them to cars want to be symmetrical and have a pair.  Current day collector car thinking , to each their own, but my own opinion is that the single works best in all applications. From a front head on view the pair of headlamps at the top and the Pilot ray at the lower center just pull you eye to focus on the whole design/look not just see two pairs of lights ( which also may be flanked by parkig lights on the top of the fenders or cowl lights etc)

That fellow leaning on the front of the 1933 Packard I believe is George McManus , one of my favorite cartoonists of a long forgotten popular cartoon strip "Bringing up Father" that starred Maggie and Jiggs.

I wonder how many CCCA types will look here for some great classic car information.

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11 hours ago, Walt G said:

Thanks John, GREAT STUFF! Interesting to see that many of the period photos show only the single Pilot Ray light , and many now who add them to cars want to be symmetrical and have a pair.  Current day collector car thinking , to each their own, but my own opinion is that the single works best in all applications. From a front head on view the pair of headlamps at the top and the Pilot ray at the lower center just pull you eye to focus on the whole design/look not just see two pairs of lights ( which also may be flanked by parkig lights on the top of the fenders or cowl lights etc)

That fellow leaning on the front of the 1933 Packard I believe is George McManus , one of my favorite cartoonists of a long forgotten popular cartoon strip "Bringing up Father" that starred Maggie and Jiggs.

I wonder how many CCCA types will look here for some great classic car information.

Seemed like we needed to start a data dump and get some of this all into one place.

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

Seemed like we needed to start a data dump and get some of this all into one place.

Calling Walt??!?

 

He's the master at collecting and putting it to print for all to see!!

 

Craig

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John, please go back and date the publications and advertisements if you have them, if not, please mark them unknown. We have a one off New York Show Car from 1933 with a single light on it......and photos of it delivered new with the original owner sitting in the car.......and it's a FAMOUS American car family.........I won't disclose the car, but it will be at Amelia nest month coming out for the first time in many, many years. 

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Ed, i just did a quick internet search and posted what I found interesting. 

I do think I kept a photo copy of the installation instruction sheet and perhaps that is dated (I bought several NOS sets eons ago and had original boxes and ... - one of dad's friends grandfather was a saleperson to dealerships). 

Dan Sommers also should have a collection of paper regarding.

 

I may have a photo copy of 1930 Cadillac Accessory Brochure (that pictures a single lamp), plus a 1931 (that shows a double lamp) and 1932 shows double too.

 

THE BROCHURES ARE from the collection of  Joe Cimoch  WWW.DODGEPOWERWAGON.COM 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Great original information. A couple of weeks ago, at one of the Florida concours, a certain former CCCA E.D. stated to a car owner that Pilot Ray lights on his car were not available on early 1930s cars. This is second-hand information, so I'm not sure how the whole conversation went, but to say the least, I was very surprised to hear. Did one person hear wrongly, or did one person tell wrongly??

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West, not sure who the "expert" was that stated pilot ray lights were not available in the early 1930s but they were just wrong.  I have never seen a pilot ray light when new on a car before 1927 in a period image or photograph. Those lamps by 1935 were pretty much out of favor because of the design of the front fenders with their envelope, rounded styling and stamping. They just did not fit any longer.

Classic car owners think about only two accessory lamps - Pilot ray and Trippe lights. There were many others but they were not produced in the quantity the lamps just mentioned were, nor were they advertised as much. One needs to have factory issued accessory catalogs to see what was available when, not easy or plentiful to acquire for a lot of makes. Also high end accessory stores located in major cities ( where the main $ was and people who bought the luxury cars also resided) like Nil Melior in NY City issued catalogs that show the lamps available. I have a fairly complete run of Packard factory accessory catalogs from 1923 to 1941, Franklin for 1930-31, plus miscellaneous others all pre WWII. As some here may surmise I base my research on material published in the era , have always felt if I state something I have to have the solid information to back it up if questioned.

WEG

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Thanks, Walt. I'm well aware. Also, while a Trippe light may have been a factory accessory for Packard, the Trippe light seen in the accessory catalog is NOT what we normally see on Packards today. What we normally see today were more oft used on trucks.

The CCCA guy was the former E.D. Nuff said.

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I think the Owl light from about 27-28 was the first tracking light I have ever seen. Rare is an understatement. I have only seen two in the last 45 years. I think the accessory lights were also close to non existent. I have seen probably less than ten photos that were "when the car was new" showing the lights installed. We have a car built in late 1932 in our collection that had the light on it when delivered in January 1933. It is the earliest example of a car that exists with definitive proof it was on the car when new........ the car and photo were on display at Amelia last week..........

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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On 3/11/2022 at 10:59 AM, Walt G said:

West, not sure who the "expert" was that stated pilot ray lights were not available in the early 1930s but they were just wrong.  I have never seen a pilot ray light when new on a car before 1927 in a period image or photograph. Those lamps by 1935 were pretty much out of favor because of the design of the front fenders with their envelope, rounded styling and stamping. They just did not fit any longer.

Classic car owners think about only two accessory lamps - Pilot ray and Trippe lights. There were many others but they were not produced in the quantity the lamps just mentioned were, nor were they advertised as much. One needs to have factory issued accessory catalogs to see what was available when, not easy or plentiful to acquire for a lot of makes. Also high end accessory stores located in major cities ( where the main $ was and people who bought the luxury cars also resided) like Nil Melior in NY City issued catalogs that show the lamps available. I have a fairly complete run of Packard factory accessory catalogs from 1923 to 1941, Franklin for 1930-31, plus miscellaneous others all pre WWII. As some here may surmise I base my research on material published in the era , have always felt if I state something I have to have the solid information to back it up if questioned.

WEG

Not sure about traditional senior Trippe Lights as to when they became available as you rarely see original/period photos of cars with Trippes on them. There is an earlier style for frame bar and headlight cross bar mounting - obviously, these are earlier 30's, though again you rarely see an original/period photo.

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Here is the 1933 Stutz DV-32 Waterhouse show car. Bought new by Fredrick Brewster of Brewster coach building fame. The single light was installed on the car new. We have a photo of it on the car being delivered. Recently trophied out of the Waterhouse class and won the Chairman’s Award at Amelia last week. A 100 point car that is driven regularly. 200 miles on it this month. Off to breakfast this morning. We used the single pilot ray and parking light for the first 45 miles in the dark. They have wheels.....DRIVE them!

IMG_5551.jpeg

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On 3/12/2022 at 1:45 PM, John_Mereness said:

Not sure about traditional senior Trippe Lights as to when they became available as you rarely see original/period photos of cars with Trippes on them. There is an earlier style for frame bar and headlight cross bar mounting - obviously, these are earlier 30's, though again you rarely see an original/period photo.

 That single Trippe that you're discussing is in the factory accessory booklet for Packard. What we know of today as the Senior and Junior Trippe Lights usually mounted in pairs are NOT in the accessory catalog. However, AACA accepts them and does not deduct points.

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On 3/13/2022 at 9:08 AM, edinmass said:

Here is the 1933 Stutz DV-32 Waterhouse show car. Bought new by Fredrick Brewster of Brewster coach building fame. The single light was installed on the car new. We have a photo of it on the car being delivered. Recently trophied out of the Waterhouse class and won the Chairman’s Award at Amelia last week. A 100 point car that is driven regularly. 200 miles on it this month. Off to breakfast this morning. We used the single pilot ray and parking light for the first 45 miles in the dark. They have wheels.....DRIVE them!

IMG_5551.jpeg

That’s one big motorcycle coming at me in the dark.

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On 3/13/2022 at 10:08 AM, edinmass said:

Here is the 1933 Stutz DV-32 Waterhouse show car. Bought new by Fredrick Brewster of Brewster coach building fame. The single light was installed on the car new. We have a photo of it on the car being delivered. Recently trophied out of the Waterhouse class and won the Chairman’s Award at Amelia last week. A 100 point car that is driven regularly. 200 miles on it this month. Off to breakfast this morning. We used the single pilot ray and parking light for the first 45 miles in the dark. They have wheels.....DRIVE them!

IMG_5551.jpeg

It looked sweet in the video of Amelia Island while getting its award !

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