This 61-Year-Old Tool Helps You Spot Annoying, Hard-to-See Stop Lights

Because bending your neck is so lame.

byStef Schrader| PUBLISHED Aug 14, 2020 6:59 PM
This 61-Year-Old Tool Helps You Spot Annoying, Hard-to-See Stop Lights

Some traffic lights are in the worst locations. You have to bend over and twist your neck just to see where the hell they are. Certain vehicles, like this beautiful 1959 Willys Maverick, make it especially tough to see those green lights. 

Fortunately, this particular Willys has a tool for that mounted on its dashboard, and it's even branded with Willys' W-logo to match the zillion other Ws on the car. It's a traffic light viewer. 

It's the little magnifying glass-looking thing to the upper right of the steering wheel. , Stef Schrader

Point the viewer's concave glass up at a traffic light, and voilà! It reflects the light back at you so you know when to go. No more twisting around just to see it. You can stay comfortably seated. Relaxed, even. Who needs that extra stress in their life? 

You can buy reproductions of these new, and Mooneyes' version comes without the Willys logos in case you'd like to mount it in a different car. 

Personally, I'd love to know if this works on awkwardly-placed lights, too. For example, Germany mounts their stop lights on the same side of the road as stopped traffic, making it deeply annoying if you're at the front of the line. If you're in a country that puts their traffic lights in unusual or annoying locations, please test this out and let us know!

Honestly, I don't know why this idea didn't catch on, and why traffic light viewers aren't a feature on present-day cars. Part of the technology being developed now for driver-assist and self-driving systems has been traffic light recognition. A modern day version of this could use a camera to detect where the problem traffic light is and display it on a screen that's easier for the driver to see. 

In the meantime, we'll just have to admire this clever solution from over half a century ago and enjoy the gorgeous classic cars that have them. 

Stef Schrader

[H/T Petrol Lounge for showing off this interesting feature!]

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