Do Giant, Aftermarket Driving Lamps Make Everything Better?


Answer: yes.

First, exhibits A, 2 and 74#.

Was it all about better lighting? Sure, especially if you lived in rural Vermont or on the Dark Side of the Moon. Or if you were one of the few actual rally competitors out there. 

Perhaps, though, it was also something imprinted upon us via the silver screen. More fodder for thought:


Why all this chatter about giant, aftermarket lamps? Let’s just say that we have been noodling a few ideas. For those doing the same, they’re still available. Hella’s catalog still shows the 500 and  1000 lamps, while the Greg Gear Head online store caters to today’s fan of vintage year–especially that from Cibié. 

Have a personal fave sporting some obscenely giant lamps? Let’s see it. 

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View comments on the GRM forums
noddaz UltraDork
5/13/20 12:43 p.m.

Not everything.  But usually they can't hurt!  laugh

Scott (Needs more lamps on the front of my Jetta)

Toyman01 (Forum Supporter)
Toyman01 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/13/20 1:00 p.m.





Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
5/13/20 1:15 p.m.


Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
5/13/20 1:19 p.m.

10 years ago Wally World has Hella 500's marked down to $15 a pair.  I buy all three sets, sell off two on Craigslist and I'm waiting for the right car.  Guy shoes up in 70's Land Rover to buy them.  

I also have the Paddy Hopkirk aluminum Mini Cooper gas pedal waiting in my closet.  An original 240Z steering wheel and factory wooden shift knob, SU carbs, 510 valve cover with elephant oil cap, R180 diffs.......shall I continue?

02Pilot UltraDork
5/13/20 2:22 p.m.

Yes, yes they do.


DirtyBird222 UberDork
5/13/20 2:26 p.m.

I ned to redo the lighting fixtures on my Sequoia to look cool like the examples provided. 

ScottyB Reader
5/13/20 3:03 p.m.



also yes.

i see nothing wrong with this


ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
5/13/20 3:17 p.m.

Yes. And now I need to think about big round LEDs for my pickup instead of rectangle ones in the grill.

EDIT: Well crap. Looks good.

Matthew Kennedy
Matthew Kennedy Reader
5/13/20 3:19 p.m.


oldopelguy (Forum Supporter)
oldopelguy (Forum Supporter) UberDork
5/13/20 4:36 p.m.

Lightforce HIDs ftw.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/13/20 4:42 p.m.

This is from about 1998 or so. The one thing I've modified on almost every vehicle I own - everything but the Tesla - has been the lights. These big boys are currently on the front of my truck but I still have the brackets to put them back on the Miata. Which still has the wiring harness in it, come to think of it...

Hella better.


californiamilleghia Dork
5/13/20 5:37 p.m.

The big vintage Cibie lights are Super Oscars and have a round back , and the glass is dished , clear or fluted  , Lots of Off Road cars used them in the late 60s -70s when running Baja races , 

Cibie later made the same basic light with a flat back ,

Rodan Dork
5/13/20 7:49 p.m.

Yes.  Absolutely.

Box flares + lights for the ultimate win....


And for those of us in rural areas that are actually dark at night, they do serve a purpose! wink


ShawnG UltimaDork
5/13/20 7:55 p.m.


Streetwiseguy MegaDork
5/13/20 8:13 p.m.

Four Super Oscars look really cool on the front of a 240z, but they get dim pretty fast if you have the original alternator.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/13/20 8:48 p.m.

The car that sparked this item, by the way:

G_Body_Man (Forum Supporter)
G_Body_Man (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/13/20 8:59 p.m.

Why yes, I believe they do.

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
5/13/20 9:01 p.m.
Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
5/13/20 9:03 p.m.

spandak HalfDork
5/13/20 9:31 p.m.

(Jeremy Clarkson voice) yessss

I've wanted to put Hella 500ffs on literally everything I've owned. I'm glad I'm not alone. This forum is the best support group


RichardSIA Reader
5/14/20 12:28 a.m.

I still have a few Supers.

Trying to figure out how to mount a pair on the '68 El Camino, without spoiling the look.

Other set probably goes to my very modified Triumph GT6

ShawnG UltimaDork
5/14/20 1:05 a.m.

Those are Trippe Speedlights on our V12 Auburn that I posted.

Pilot Rays are also available and they turn with the steering. 

Woody MegaDork
5/14/20 7:18 a.m.

Bigass lights and Heather Thomas are the things that made this possible:

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
5/14/20 8:19 a.m.
Nick Comstock said:

Ha! The Team Gutty tribute Honda Civic is in there!  GRM is everywhere.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/14/20 8:23 a.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk (Warren) :

Awesome group. Thanks for sharing. 

DirtyBird222 UberDork
5/14/20 10:00 a.m.
DeadSkunk (Warren) said:
Nick Comstock said:

Ha! The Team Gutty tribute Honda Civic is in there!  GRM is everywhere.

I remember meeting the Team Gutty guys back in 08 and was like "man these guys are way too obsessed with Hondas" as I had built my first Honda for that event. Now I'm on their level of obsession.....okay maybe not....I don't have a huge [H] tatted on my back. 

DirtyBird222 UberDork
5/14/20 10:06 a.m.

I re-watched "No Country For Old Men" recently. A lot of the older trucks in that movie had the awesome roll bar with KC HiLites style lites on them. The cars in that movie are awesome. 

NoBrakesRacing Reader
5/14/20 11:57 a.m.

Not giant, not yellow either like the stock lights. Need to airflow for the radiator. 

Will use them this weekend at the Lonestar Gambler 500 in Big Bend. 

thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter)
thatsnowinnebago (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/14/20 12:20 p.m.

Yeah of course they do.

snowrx New Reader
5/14/20 2:46 p.m.

Subaru was kind enough to furnish factory mounts for proper driving lights. Big watt bulbs for those black moose lurking in the dark.

Rodan Dork
5/14/20 3:24 p.m.

Hella 500s forevever!

ddavidv PowerDork
5/14/20 4:43 p.m.

Round rally lights are cool. LED light bars are for brodozers. Hella lights are expensive; I found a brand from the UK called 'Ring' and have bought a couple sets of 'Rally Giants' over the years. They work really well.

Prior to that it was 'whatever I could find at Carlisle'.

And no, I don't intentionally buy white boxes with wheels.

ProDarwin UltimaDork
5/14/20 5:19 p.m.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/14/20 6:24 p.m.

In reply to ddavidv :

SuperTrapp for the win. 

californiamilleghia Dork
5/14/20 6:36 p.m.

Dick Cepek  also made some copies of the Cibie Super Oscars.......

offroadwine New Reader
5/14/20 7:54 p.m.

Yes! It is like a blessing from the Pope, it fixes everything. I've put Cibie BiOscars on a Gremlin rally car, oh hell yeah, it'll fix anything.

Extra points if the add-ons are bigger than 6014 bulbs.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/15/20 8:52 p.m.

Just doing some, um, research. 9-inch Super Oscars are still available. 

ddavidv PowerDork
5/16/20 7:28 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to ddavidv :

SuperTrapp for the win. 

LOL, yes I really did have one sticking out the back. I worked at a parts store and we could get them for a reasonable price (my cost) so it had a Stainless one. Sounded okay. I thought the 'tuning' aspect of it was novel but today am not convinced it really did much.

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/16/20 8:19 a.m.

Spotted tgis guy yesterday, I'd say yes.

outasite HalfDork
5/16/20 8:35 a.m.

Installed and sadly never used them. 

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/16/20 9:43 a.m.

only car I ever installed big lights on was my 91 saab 900s


TurnerX19 Dork
5/16/20 9:52 a.m.

Yes they did, right up until they got stolen off this car, 40 miles from home, at midnight. I found out they were missing on the road, when I went to use them and the world stayed darksurprise

Toyman01 (Forum Supporter)
Toyman01 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/16/20 10:37 a.m.

This was in the above mentioned FB group. Awesome picture.

wspohn Dork
5/16/20 1:14 p.m.

Answer - no.

But mounting the same lights on the rear of the car, hooked to a spring loaded on/off switch can certainly reduce the number of bumper sniffers you have to put up with.  And ditto for cars behind you with high beams on at night.

Daylan C (Forum Supporter)
Daylan C (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/16/20 1:32 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

This is from about 1998 or so. The one thing I've modified on almost every vehicle I own - everything but the Tesla - has been the lights. These big boys are currently on the front of my truck but I still have the brackets to put them back on the Miata. Which still has the wiring harness in it, come to think of it...

I have a pair of appropriate lights that were supposed to go on my Caprice, but now I kind of want to try them on my NB.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/16/20 6:22 p.m.

Used to be on my actual rally car, but that one is running all LEDs now so I put them on the recce rig.

Real deal Hella 3000s

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
5/16/20 8:39 p.m.

I've got a pair of 7" driving lamps, brand unknown, that were manufactured in the DDR, so I've had them for quite some time.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/16/20 9:49 p.m.

In reply to ddavidv :

I ran a SuperTrapp on my Sentra SE-R, and there's another one (somewhere) in my garage. 

wclark Reader
5/17/20 4:22 p.m.

When STPR typically ran night stages, they were a must.

wannacruise New Reader
5/17/20 4:43 p.m.

They definitely help.  But I rarely use them because my buddy in front of me complains they are too bright.  The answer is DON'T LET HIM IN FRONT OF ME.






snailmont5oh Dork
5/17/20 10:03 p.m.

My buddy pulled this out of an old lady's garage. She gave it to him on the promise that he'd take care of it. 

ShawnG UltimaDork
5/17/20 10:51 p.m.

In reply to snailmont5oh :

Ok... Tell us more...


Chris Norris
Chris Norris New Reader
5/18/20 12:49 a.m.

Those 500's were great on the trails at night! 

Right before I sold her to buy my e36 m3. 

wreckerboy SuperDork
5/18/20 8:44 a.m.

Of course. How is this even a question?


< - about to install lights and bracketry on new Super Duty that may or may not have been optioned specifically for that purpose.

Duke MegaDork
5/18/20 10:06 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

They might for you from inside the car, and even that's only a 50/50 chance.  For the rest of the world, not so much.


pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/18/20 10:35 a.m.

68TR250 Reader
5/18/20 7:20 p.m.

Yeah, I say they do help. 

noddaz UltraDork
5/18/20 7:34 p.m.

Driving lamps won't help these.

Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
5/18/20 7:44 p.m.

Waiting for the right car...   

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
5/18/20 8:03 p.m.


5/18/20 11:33 p.m.

Ok theyre not Hella brand, but they look hella good on my bike and can blind an oncoming truck!

Tingbudong New Reader
5/18/20 11:34 p.m.

ZOO (Forum Supporter)
ZOO (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/19/20 9:15 a.m.

My dad is on here, too, and he had a great set of Marchal driving lights and some sort of Cibie pencil beam from the 1960s that I mounted up my n my old Volvo wagon.  I never did get the wiring correct.  Pre-internet sucked for DYI enthusiasts.  

I had some cool round Hellas on my Rabbit . . .

snailmont5oh Dork
5/20/20 1:17 p.m.
ShawnG said:

In reply to snailmont5oh :

Ok... Tell us more...


It's an unrestored '53 Allard K3. It cleaned up pretty nice. 

On edit: I don't know anything about the lights.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/20/20 4:36 p.m.

And my skin in the game: our old 1971 Innocenti Mini Cooper. 

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ Dork
5/20/20 8:55 p.m.
Tingbudong said:

Speed Triple?  Careful.  That'll put your eye out.

MTechnically (Forum Supporter)
MTechnically (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/20/20 9:03 p.m.

We'll see when they're wired up but I'm inclined to say, yes.

Sidewayze New Reader
5/25/20 9:13 p.m.

No doot aboot it!

bradyzq Dork
5/26/20 9:05 a.m.

They always have!


wspohn Dork
5/26/20 12:54 p.m.

Some of my stuff had stock fogs on them. The smaller light on the old Jensen were driving lights - rare and converted to halogen bulbs. Lucky it was the first British car to use an alternator instead of a generator!


Crxpilot Reader
5/26/20 10:04 p.m.

How about old Duesenbergs?  Theirs turned with the steering.  From my visit to Volo.



MadScientistMatt PowerDork
5/28/20 2:24 p.m.

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/28/20 2:28 p.m.


pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/28/20 2:29 p.m.

Sting thinks so.

Snowdoggie Reader
5/28/20 2:42 p.m.

In reply to pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) :

From the movie Quadrophenia.

How many batteries can you fit on an old Vespa GS to power that many lights and maybe an extra generator or two to charge it? Or did the movie company just not hook them all up. 


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