Adding A Helphos Light To My Rally Toolbox

The newest piece of rally kit that I have added to my rally navigator’s toolbox is a Helphos spot light.  This is a light that mounts inside the car on the windshield.  The light beam is moveable which allows the rally navigator to move the direction of the light to read street signs and other objects during night rallies.

Helphos Light 1

A Helphos Spot Light

These lights were used by some rally navigators, primarily overseas, during the 1950s and 1960s.  Occasionally you can see them in photos of rally cars from that era.  If you look closely at the photo below, you can see what appears to be a Helphos light in the upper right (looking at the photo) side of the windshield.

MG At Daily Express 1953

Reg Holt In A Works MG Y In The 1953 Daily Express Rally (1)

I have bench-tested the light in my basement and my Helphos light provides quite a bright light.  The light is a good size with a 4-inch diameter face.  I don’t know the numbers on the brightness of the bulb.

Helphos Light 2

Rubber Ring Secures The Light To The Windshield

The Helphos light is held on to the window by a suction mechanism.  I do not know how well it will secure itself to the windshield, but I will be doing some road tests with the light in my newly acquired Saab 99.  The Saab 99 windshield has a substantial curve in the corners near the side pillars and this curving might make mounting a challenge.  Car windshields of the 1950s where relatively flat.

I have attached the installation instructions as a pdf file at the bottom of this post which provide the information on the mounting and use of the Helphos light.  If anyone has some personal experience or advice about the Helphos light I would appreciate hearing about it.

Helphos Light 3

Two Piece Light Holder

The white switch on the back of the unit turns the light on and off.  The spot light beam can be moved around as desired by moving the back half of the mounting unit.

Helphos Light 5

I Did A Test Mount On A Door Window

I got the Helphos light unit from a supply house in England called The German Junkies.  They were very helpful.  They found the unit that I wanted and tested it before sending it to me.  These units are not new and it turns out that the bulb in the unit that I bought was faulty.  They sourced some bulbs for unit.  Apparently they found a supplier who had bought all of the remaining bulbs from a shop that closed in Egypt some years ago.


The folks at The German Junkies sent me the following photograph of the Helphos light working.

Black Helphos 1

The Helphos Light Being Tested At The German Junkies Shop

For complete information on the Helphos light click on the following file link:

Helphos Spotlight Instructions


1. “Rallying In A Works M.G.” by Len Shaw, 1997

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19 Responses to Adding A Helphos Light To My Rally Toolbox

  1. greg g says:

    Wondering how effective the mount will be on contemporary curved glass windshields. The smaller diameter suction cups for GPS mounts don’t work well/long on either of my dailies, buts sticks like crazy to the flat glass of my 46 Plymouth. Good luck with it. G

    • Hi Greg,
      I share your concern. My Saab 99 windshield has a substantial curvature on the left and right sides. It might means that the light will have to be mounted towards the (lower or upper) center in order to get a good seal.
      Steve McKelvie

  2. greg g says:

    Du hadst der suchscheinwerfer hinter der windschutzscheibe. In weinerger minuten zu mountieren. Machts du ein kurvenlicht, nabenlicht, blinklicht, and handlicht. Sehr vielseitige.

  3. Bob thomson says:

    Just came across this when lookin for a helphos. Had one in my Cortina GT when I I used to do a bit of rallying about 1967_68. Great bit of kit. That’s why I want one to put in my range rover p38. Do off roading in the dark etc. Could be handy cos it has a long lead, you can unclip from the main suction holder and use it outside as a wander lead. Cool.

  4. Ian Ley says:

    Hello, I have just acquired a Helphos spotlight. It is black and looks exactly like the one shown in the photos. Please can anyone advise me how to dismantle it; to replace the bulb for example. The flex needs replacing as well. I have printed off the instructions, but these relate to mounting and not dismantling. It also shows a white model with levers etc. Perhaps this is the later version as I can’t see any lever and I don’t quite understand the hinge pin. I just don’t want to damage it trying to take it apart. Anyway, any help will be much appreciated! Thanks, Ian

    • Hi Ian,
      I had hoped that someone would come to your rescue here, but alas it appears not. I have a good idea on how to take the Helphos spotlight apart to change the bulb, but I suggest that you contact The German Junkies. These are the folks from whom I bought my Helphos. They needed to change the lamp’s bulb, so I know that they have recent, successful experience changing the bulb. They can be reached at
      I hope that this helps.
      Steve McKelvie

      • Ian Ley says:

        Hello Steve,
        Your reply is much appreciated, thank you! I will make contact the TGJ and see what they say.
        Best Wishes, Ian

  5. Roland says:

    Hi the bulb is easy to change, but be wary if you try to rewire it. To do this you have to remove the small screw in the handle be careful as it has a habit of flying apart. Take the bulb out first so you can hold the bulb holder and the centre contact, there are several parts. Soldering a new cable on is no problem no worries about polarity the lamp is insulated.

  6. automotorist says:

    Hi Steve, I’m curious if you were supplied glycerine and if not what did you use?

  7. Dick says:

    I now have a light grey Helphos lamp and still can’t work out how to get to the bulb. Do you have any news on this yet? I looked at but there was nothing obvious of help there either.

    • automotorist says:

      I had my entire unit apart to make a wiring repair so my memory is fuzzy and the car is in storage but I’m quite certain there is a single screw in the body of the handle opposite the cord that allows for disassembly.

      If you don’t figure it out let me know and I’ll go visit the car and take photos.

      By the way bulbs are readily available but WITHOUT the painted end (and much cheaper) which is something you can do yourself.

      • Dick says:

        Oops. I put my reply in the wrong place! I found that diagram X in the pdf you provided does say/show how to do it but I didn’t understand it properly the first few times I read it.

        Regarding painting the head of the bulb, what sort of paint is safe to use? I am considering enamel or engine-block paint.

      • automotorist says:

        Dick I haven’t painted mine yet, I’ll report back when I do, however I find NOTHING beats the durability of Tremclad (possibly a Canadian product?) which is similar to

  8. Dick says:

    No need to answer. Diagram X in the pdf you provide does say/show how to do it but I didn’t understand it properly the first few times I read it.

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