Pilot Ray Lights

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    Does anyone have pictures of the linkage for a Pilot Ray light system? I am looking for my ’29 Club Brougham, but anything will help. I bought a single light system a few years ago, and am interested in installing it. If anyone has a Pilot Ray assembly they are interested in selling, I am interested. Mine needs a lot of work. Email me at RCoates @cox.net.

    David Coco doesn’t like them, but I think they are pretty cool!



    Dave is right…….but you have a cool car!👍


    Sheesh, dragging me into this mess! Certain cars look good with certain things. To me, a 29-31 Pierce looks great with no extra bling on the front. My ’38 Packard convertible, on the other hand, looks great with a pair of Trippe lights added. Very few cars look good with Woodlites, although I think they’re cool, and on an L-29 they’re perfect. It’s not that I don’t LIKE Pilot Rays or Trippes or horns et al, it’s that I don’t like their appearance in some applications!


    American Arrow used to carry Pilot Ray setups. Since Don Sommer’s death I don’t know if they are still functioning. Website is up but looks unattended.



    I talked to the Sommer kids at Hershey. They built the lights, but apparently didn’t supply the linkage. They seem to be concentrating on the radiator ornaments, laliques, etc.


    Just love to wake you up once in a while! What does a Woodlite look like?



    Woodlites look great on a Ruxton!


    They do look great on a Ruxton, Kenneth! And Bob, here’s what they look like, very odd shape that only does well on certain cars. I have a nice repro set, both headlight and parking lights, but no car to put them on!


    Dr. Peter,

    I did manage to get one of the last sets of Trippe Lights that Richard Bloomquist sold a few years ago. They are beautiful. Being an engineer by training, I am fascinated by how the Pilot Ray system works. My single Pilot Ray is in need of plating, but works. Hopefully, I can get a look at a linkage system so I can buy or duplicate one for the Pierce. Better yet would be to find a system already done. Old age makes you a bit lazy…



    Hello Bob,

    I follow this chat with interest regarding Pilot Ray lights. I also have a nice original Pilot Ray unit that will be used on a (bite my tongue) 1930 LaSalle roadster. I have a fellow LaSalle buddy that may have some bits and pieces that could be used to complete the linkage set-up for a Pilot Ray. I also need to get a few pieces my Pilot Ray installation.




    I found this on the web. Thought it might be what you were looking for regarding the linkage.




    Last year I purchased a model 43 coupe, restored in the early 1970s with all the bling available at the time —— bright colors, stone guard, whitewalls, sidemount mirrors, big trunk, and of course a pair of Don Sommer’s Pilot Rays. I know this type of presentation is no longer acceptable in polite society, but it is still very entertaining as an example of the times. People seem to love it, so I’m going to keep it that way. My Victoria coupe, on the other hand, is dressed in blackwalls, conservative colors, subtle thin pinstriping, no bling, and I’ll be keeping it that way too.

    Now my problem. When purchased, the coupe’s Pilot Rays were not connected. The clevis pin had been removed, but the linkage looks proper including the bracket attached to the pittnan arm. A rod is connected via a clevis fork from the pittman arm bracket to the arm on the end of the light bar. Trouble is, when I turn the wheels right, the lights turn left.

    Can’t quite figure out what’s going on here. Can any of the experts out there shed any light on what I’m missing here? It’s probably something obvious, but I need help. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    Tom Barrett


    Thanks, Robert. I found that too. Great article, but it doesn’t show the actual linkage, and where or how it connects to the steering linkage. That is still a mystery.


    Your lever from the bar that holds the lights must be upside down, or the internal gearing must have been installed incorrectly when it was rebuilt. If you could post a picture, it might reveal a clue or two.

    My Club Brougham is also conservative, as it was apparently bought by a gangster in the Phili area. It is black with fine grey/white pinstripes, blackwalls (tires currently from the 60’s), and a bullet hole through the metal trunk into the rear seat. I am keeping the blackwall tire motif, and the original gray/green upholstery, black paint, etc. The Pilot Rays are the only bling I am indulging in. To me, that is really a cool safety feature.

    Interior shot first.



    Body pic. May be too large a file.


    Tom, I might have an arm that goes from the pitman to the front pivot point. It’s on a car up north, if you can use it I can get some photos…..if it will help, you can have it. Ed



    It sounds like you have a lever that is 180 degrees out or something is missing.


    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I’m still working on it.


    Here are some photos of my setup that might help you figure what is missing from yours. I’ll have to send a series as only one can be sent at a time.


    Thanks for the offer to send photos of the piece you have up north. I’d like to see them whenever you get a chance.



    Here is one if the left side lamp base out of the housing. Note the slot milled into the shaft.

    Sorry for the first photo being upside down. The PAS website seems to do this with all the photos I submit.


    There is an offset ball attached to a stub, which is threaded onto the control arm. When the control arm is turned, the offset ball engages the slot in the lamp base shaft and turns the light. The right side lamp is turned by small connecting rod.


    Here’s the whole assembly. Note the control arm tha threads onto the offset ball stub. It has a flat milled into its entire length. The end crank is attached with a set screw over this flat. I hope this helps you with your installation. Now, if I can only get mine to turn in the right direction!!??

    Tom Barrett



    It appears that the L shaft should be inserted with the hole for the clevis (the short leg of the L) at 12 O’clock or up looking from the side. If you had it at 6 o’clock or down then it would make sense that the lights would go in the wrong direction.

    Just a thought.

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