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Dieter Obeji
03-26-2015, 01:33 AM
Hello. I'm currently restoring my 59 Mercury Memphian ambulance, and I need 2 propello rays and 2 spotlights with the Ford type of mounting brackets. Any help would be appreciated.

Paul Steinberg
03-26-2015, 07:48 AM
Do you need free standing Propello Ray lights, or do you need just the light mechanism to install into a housing that is built into the car? The mounting brackets for the spotlights are cut into the tops of the fenders. They are Unity part number 131 & 131RH. Depending on the type of spotlight that you desire, I might be able to help you, since I have a large inventory of NOS (New Old Stock) obsolete spotlights.

Dieter Obeji
03-26-2015, 11:41 AM
Do you need free standing Propello Ray lights, or do you need just the light mechanism to install into a housing that is built into the car? The mounting brackets for the spotlights are cut into the tops of the fenders. They are Unity part number 131 & 131RH. Depending on the type of spotlight that you desire, I might be able to help you, since I have a large inventory of NOS (New Old Stock) obsolete spotlights.
I need the free standing lights that mount on the front of the roof. The fenders already have the holes for the spotlight brackets, but the spotlights got stolen in storage. It used to have a rectangular light with a mirror on the back.

John ED Renstrom
03-26-2015, 12:40 PM
glad to see you are getting started on this one I would love to get to see it some day.

Dieter Obeji
03-26-2015, 03:31 PM
I bought it 2 years ago and it's been sitting in storage while I finished some other projects. My plan is to restore it mechanically by the summer and enjoy it like that for a while before I paint it. I haven't decided whether to go back to the original two tone blue, or repaint it orange.

Todd Merrifield
03-26-2015, 05:10 PM
Hopefully Paul will have something for you, but unfortunately the rectangular spots with mirrors are much harder to find than the common round unity lights, and almost unobtainable with good chrome. The mechanics are roughly the same though, so maybe a nice round set can serve in their place until you find the right ones. Nice, new looking standard Unity spots can still be found regularly for under $100 a piece if you know where to look, I see them in antique malls all the time. The important dimension is the shaft length. The right brackets are still out there NOS as well, Paul might have those. Not to be discouraging, but I would expect you would have to pay 4x as much for the correct rectangular spots with the mirrors, maybe even for just the heads. Even the round ones with a mirror bolted to the back are harder to find.

Kurt Arends
03-26-2015, 05:35 PM
I bought it 2 years ago and it's been sitting in storage while I finished some other projects. My plan is to restore it mechanically by the summer and enjoy it like that for a while before I paint it. I haven't decided whether to go back to the original two tone blue, or repaint it orange.

PLEASE keep it the original color combination! Orange wouldn't be appropriate for any ambulance in 1959.

Dieter Obeji
03-26-2015, 07:36 PM
Well, the Anadarko Fire Department obviously felt the color orange was appropriate for the car or they wouldn't have painted it that color.

Kurt Arends
03-26-2015, 07:47 PM
Many, many old ambulances were re-painted Omaha Orange in the '70s, however it would have been extremely rare to find any ambulance painted Omaha Orange in 1959.

Todd Merrifield
03-26-2015, 07:47 PM
Orange wouldn't be appropriate for any ambulance in 1959.


Really? Why? Was there a shortage of orange paint in 1959?

It seemed appropriate in 1957:

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/7a/1f/bf/7a1fbf9efce05a0c8c7343ecc098a368.jpg

Kurt Arends
03-26-2015, 07:52 PM
That would be red, white, and gold. Omaha Orange would have been a very rare color on any ambulance in 1957 and 1959!

Dieter Obeji
03-26-2015, 08:38 PM
Personally, I'm leaning towards painting it blue again. I think the car looks strange orange with a blue interior. A lot of people love the way it looks now, however, with the weathered paint and original lettering on the sides.

John ED Renstrom
03-26-2015, 11:41 PM
for some reason people think ratty when they think old. the nice part about unity spots as they will all interchange one you have the mounts and proper shafts exchanging heads is easy. i don't think I have see a set of square heads that adjusted for in side . all I have see had a handle cast in the rear and you moved them by hand

Paul Steinberg
03-26-2015, 11:56 PM
The FOMOCO spotlights had square heads, and fixed mirrors. I am not certain if they were made by Unity, or by a contract provider to Ford Motor Company. I have seen them at swap meets, and they usually sell for a lot of money, unless they are extremely pitted. Unity also made spotlights that had a similar look as the OEM units, with small differences, that only a Ford person might detect. Both were made out of pot metal, and were very susceptible to pitting. Unless you know first hand that they were the rectangular units, they very well might have been Unity round units. I doubt that anyone is ever going to know the difference, unless you have a picture of the car with rectangular spotlights in an album with the car.
Also, at some point in time, Unity did make some changes to the physical spotlight parts, and not all of the old parts will fit the newer spotlights.

Dieter Obeji
03-27-2015, 04:20 AM
There are some old pictures of the car floating around that show the spotlight. As soon as I figure out how to post pictures on here, I will. I am more concerned with the propello rays right now since the spotlights are easier to find.

Steve Loftin
03-27-2015, 03:35 PM
Well, the Anadarko Fire Department obviously felt the color orange was appropriate for the car or they wouldn't have painted it that color.

The AFD painted the car red, not orange:

http://www.professionalcarsociety.org/forums/showpost.php?p=29826&postcount=3

Dieter Obeji
03-27-2015, 04:53 PM
It's definitely a darker orange, but it still has that paint job and it's orange. Old pictures aren't necessarily true to the exact colors.

Steve Loftin
03-27-2015, 06:31 PM
It's definitely a darker orange, but it still has that paint job and it's orange. Old pictures aren't necessarily true to the exact colors.

I suppose I could've been wrong about the original owner, warning lights, and colors of the car.

Thanks for the information. I don't have much experience with Oklahoma procars or photography in general...but I'm learning!

Steve Loftin
03-27-2015, 06:35 PM
Hello. I'm currently restoring my 59 Mercury Memphian ambulance, and I need 2 propello rays and 2 spotlights with the Ford type of mounting brackets. Any help would be appreciated.

Did the original siren come with the car, or are you going to use something else?

Dieter Obeji
03-27-2015, 07:59 PM
I'm not disagreeing with you on anything about the car except for the color. Any information I have about it's history comes from your earlier posts about the car. I am using your info and pictures as a guideline in my restoration. I only say it's orange because I own it and it's definitely orange. All the emergency equipment was missing. I have a federal 17 beacon already, and Kevin O'Connell said he had a Sterling 20 for me. I see the spotlights on ebay a lot, so I am mostly looking for the propello rays.

Paul Steinberg
03-27-2015, 09:11 PM
The best way to find the original color is to use some 400 grit wet or dry (that is what it is called) automotive sandpaper, and using some water, start sanding through the paint in a small area, until you can identify each of the colors that the car was painted during its lifetime of service. Once you get past the last color, and are into the final layer of primer, and then the bare metal, you will know what each color was in the order that it was painted. I would start sanding on a section of the car that is least likely to have ever been replaced, such as the rear quarter panel, or the rear door. Sometimes, you can find the original color under the rubber door gaskets, or by removing a door handle. Most painters never removed these items to do a repaint, but just taped around them.

Dieter Obeji
03-27-2015, 10:21 PM
Door jambs still have the original 2 tone blue paint. The paint is peeling everywhere and I can see it's had only one repaint. The repaint is orange. It was probably a reddish orange and we are just arguing about a slight color variation, but it has faded to a lighter orange. If it had been red, it would have faded to pink.

Steve Lichtman
03-27-2015, 11:48 PM
... If it had been red, it would have faded to pink.Not necessarily. I have a fire department vehicle sitting out in my yard now. It's not my vehicle, I'm just storing it, so it sits outside. It was red, I know it was red because I drove it when it was in service (red) and when I got it, it was still red. And the parts that face the sun are indeed now more orange than red. Not pink. The sun does amazing damage to red paint.

I'd say that, based on that and on Steve Loftin's photo of it in service (linked above), parked next to an orange ambulance, the Memphian was red at that time.

Meanwhile, to the original question, I have some Propello-rays that I'm not using. Send me a PM.

John ED Renstrom
03-27-2015, 11:54 PM
those old enamels would do that. there are a lot of reds on the yellow side

Kurt Arends
03-29-2015, 12:35 AM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-unity-spotlight-mirr-wbr-or-chevy-ford-pontiac-buick-/281645190905?&_trksid=p2056016.m2518.l4276

Paul Steinberg
03-29-2015, 08:26 AM
The mirrors pictured mount on the door, and he need them mounted on the front fenders. The heads of this pair could be removed, and mounted on the Unity arms so they would work with some additional parts. I believe that these are Mopar mirrors, but not certain. If I had the part number that is casted into the base where they mount to the door, I could identify that, which would in turn identify the year and make of car that these came off of. Even if thy are Mopars, most people today wouldn't know, and they would look great on the car.

John ED Renstrom
03-29-2015, 12:49 PM
about 400 bucks each there in replating on that set.

Kurt Arends
03-29-2015, 01:28 PM
I see that the listing ended prematurely with no bids. Someone must have contacted the seller and bought them privately.

Dieter Obeji
03-29-2015, 04:30 PM
I have pictures of the lights that were on it and the holes that are in the fenders that I want to post, but I'm not sure how to do that on here. Do I need to use an image hosting website?

Dieter Obeji
03-29-2015, 11:26 PM
http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/cadillacdieter/Mobile%20Uploads/attachment-2.jpeg (http://s78.photobucket.com/user/cadillacdieter/media/Mobile%20Uploads/attachment-2.jpeg.html)
You can see the spotlight in back of the car.

Dieter Obeji
03-29-2015, 11:28 PM
http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/cadillacdieter/Mobile%20Uploads/20150327_113135.jpg (http://s78.photobucket.com/user/cadillacdieter/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150327_113135.jpg.html)
The mounting hole on the fenders

Dieter Obeji
03-29-2015, 11:31 PM
http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/cadillacdieter/Mobile%20Uploads/20150327_113144.jpg (http://s78.photobucket.com/user/cadillacdieter/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150327_113144.jpg.html)
The roof holes for the propello rays

John ED Renstrom
03-30-2015, 01:03 AM
those holes are the standard pattern for a federal siren. I would think a propeller ray would be a lot smaller than that I take it the spots did not run clear into the cab. or am I losing the position of the car in the pictures.

to post on site you need to be a site supporter.

Dieter Obeji
03-30-2015, 01:32 AM
I read the FAQ about posting pictures after I asked that question. The spots did go into the cab.

Dieter Obeji
03-30-2015, 01:35 AM
http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/cadillacdieter/Mobile%20Uploads/20150327_113124.jpg (http://s78.photobucket.com/user/cadillacdieter/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150327_113124.jpg.html)
Perhaps this picture of the other fender is more clear. You can see the lower windshield molding in the top right corner.

Paul Steinberg
03-30-2015, 10:48 AM
That type of mounting would require about a 18" spotlight arm.

Dieter Obeji
03-30-2015, 12:49 PM
Do you have those lights and brackets?

Paul Steinberg
03-30-2015, 01:49 PM
http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j98/cadillacdieter/Mobile%20Uploads/20150327_113144.jpg (http://s78.photobucket.com/user/cadillacdieter/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150327_113144.jpg.html)
The roof holes for the propello rays

those holes are the standard pattern for a federal siren. I would think a propeller ray would be a lot smaller than that I take it the spots did not run clear into the cab. or am I losing the position of the car in the pictures.

to post on site you need to be a site supporter.

The stand along PropelloRay or Solaray lights used the same mounting bracket (base) as the Federal Siren. From the look of the area surrounding the holes, it appears to me that you will need the Federal Bracket with the 10 degree mount. Below is a picture of this particular bracket in chromed brass. Most of these brackets were made from aluminum, and require polishing.

Paul Steinberg
03-30-2015, 05:32 PM
To put a little perspective on what a pair of OEM spotlights are worth today, take a look at this auction (http://www.ebay.com/itm/221728166571?ru=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fsch%2F i.html%3F_from%3DR40%26_sacat%3D0%26_nkw%3D2217281 66571%26_rdc%3D1). Your jaw might drop, but if you need them for your ambulance, you have to reach deep into your pocket to buy them... With one bid, and the bid going up by $50 each time, it can get out of hand quite quickly.

Dieter Obeji
03-30-2015, 06:37 PM
I know what good chrome costs these days. Things can get expensive real quick.

John Royark JR
04-01-2015, 07:28 PM
Not necessarily. I have a fire department vehicle sitting out in my yard now. It's not my vehicle, I'm just storing it, so it sits outside. It was red, I know it was red because I drove it when it was in service (red) and when I got it, it was still red. And the parts that face the sun are indeed now more orange than red. Not pink. The sun does amazing damage to red paint.

I'd say that, based on that and on Steve Loftin's photo of it in service (linked above), parked next to an orange ambulance, the Memphian was red at that time.

Meanwhile, to the original question, I have some Propello-rays that I'm not using. Send me a PM.

I agree. I had a red 51 Barnette Pontiac that was red that faded into a orange color. I have a rear quarter shot of this Memphis Mercury that I found on the internet in 2008 (possibly when it was for sale) and saved to my computer and it was red in that image.
Not that it really makes much difference, but I also vote it would look best in its original blue. It would really make this stand out.

Dieter Obeji
04-01-2015, 07:46 PM
I'm pretty sure I'll go with blue anyway. The lines of the car were made to be 2 tone, and the interior is blue. Right now I just want to get it drivable and complete.

John ED Renstrom
04-01-2015, 11:51 PM
boy do I know:thumbsup: that feeling