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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Helphos Light Being Tested At The German Junkies Shop
For complete information on the Helphos light click on the following file link:
1. “Rallying In A Works M.G.” by Len Shaw, 1997