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A Pretty Woman – A 1929 Buick Roadster – A Bumper Mystery

1929 Buick Roadster

Updated – Mystery solved. Over five years ago, shortly after the start of The Old Motor in 2011, this image taken in South America, courtesy of Jose Marcelo Lemos was posted and we wrote: An attractive women identified on as Miss J. F. posing on top of the radiator and hood of a very sporty 1929 Buick Roadster. She is wearing a polka-dotted dress, high heels and hat, all in the fashion of the times. The Buick is equipped with an accessory bumper with driving lights at either end. Can anyone identify the maker of this bumper?

1929 Packard Bumper with Driving Lights

  • “Packard Bright Bumper: This bumper incorporates a 32-candle light at each end of the 3-inch tubular bar. The lights are very effective but non-blinding, giving excellent illumination. Lights well recessed and protected in bumper”

Fast forward to the other day when antique and classic car expert West Peterson, Editor of the AACA Antique Automobile magazine came forward after finding a Packard Bright Bumper for one of his family’s Packards. In addition, West sent several pages from a 1929 Packard Accessory Catalog that included a photo of a 1929 Packard outfitted with one of these bumpers and the (above) caption. It was offered by the automaker between 1929 and ’31.

The Buick has the appearance of being a new car, and it also outfitted with a two tube rear bumper as opposed to the three bar bumper that most of the 1929 Buick’s are equipped with. West also checked with Bill McLaughlin the 1929 Buick guru, who said “there is no evidence this bumper was an official Buick accessory.”

I now have seen this attractive bumper on a Buick, in a period photo of a SSK Mercedes, and now offered by Packard. So the $64,000 question is, who was the maker of these distinctive bumpers?

Update – Thanks to reader Tin Indian, who found a reference to The Bright Bumper Sales Company, we were able to find the advertisement (below) that solves this mystery.

  • The Bright Bumper advertisement, “Motor Age” November 6, 1928.

Bright Bumper Company Ad

8 responses to “A Pretty Woman – A 1929 Buick Roadster – A Bumper Mystery

  1. Here’s a couple of other clue’s. Maybe they will help.Those type of illuminated bumpers were sometimes called “Woodlite Bumpers,” or “Ray-Bar Bumpers.”
    I hope this helps.


  2. I own a NOS bumper like this in the original shipping box. It was sent to San Francisco. I will try to take some photos.

  3. See page 113 of the Dover Press book Golden Age of the Luxury Car for a photo of a White panel truck with this bumper. The material in this book is from a journal entitled Autobody, a run of which I unfortunately do NOT own.

  4. When used on a locomotive, these are called “ditch lights”! I sold a good original Bright Bar this past summer for appropriate use on a period correct Packard. The only visible identifying mark was “Victor Made In USA” in very small lettering on the bottom of the reflectors. A classmate of mine worked at Warren Tool where they were manufacturing sledge hammer heads up until the ’70s, still on Griswold street. Oaks Bronze was almost directly across the street where my grandfather worked during World War I in their foundry making cast steel wheels for Liberty trucks.

  5. Warren Tool was located right here near my hometown in Warren Ohio. Griswold St is at the intersection next to where the Packard brothers began their electric light business and built their first car in the 1800s. Coincidence?

    Small world.

  6. Packard, in its 1931 ACCESSORIES catalog, had something for BOTH accessory LIGHTS & SOUNDS! Example: The E.A. Laboratories: “TORO VOCE” — (“Voice of a Bull “) 6 Volt “Elbow Horn”, with 90 degree curved cast Polished Aluminum “Projector”; An Engineering Masterpiece of “Bellering BULL”! WHY? Simple: Way down in Texas, mineral rights were sold off by cattle ranches to OIL Drillers. An oil strike would result in parking the Rancher’s Noisy Model “T” and buying a Packard to drive out to the mail box with, or to go to town. As the Packard was QUIET, Farmers Liked this accessory to “BELLER” the cattle off of their driveway!!!
    Edwin – 30 –

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