This morning a reader named Mustang ‘DontHitTheCrowd’ GT sent me this little video of a 1981 Saab 99's headlight wiper system in action, and I found it so strangely satisfying and delightful that I thought that perhaps you may enjoy a post of nothing but short clips of headlight wipers in action. Because that’s how you are.
This Saab 99's system is amazing. I love that they’re using a linear approach to the wiping as opposed to an angular approach like conventional wipers. It’s almost more like the act of squeegeeing than windshield-style wipering.
Most of these systems seem to be on Scandinavian or German cars, but by no means exclusively. Here, look at this one:
That’s a setup on a Polish 1979 FSO Polski Fiat 125p. Man, I love this mechanism for wipers! They’re ideal for a round headlight like we have here. And there’s even four of them. So good.
Far more common in the U.S. are these Mercedes W140s with headlight wipers. These are pretty much just relocated stumpy windshield wipers.
BMW had a novel solution for its round quad-headlight cars, where two motors carried two wipers each to clean four lights. This one looks especially cool with the yellow foglamps.
Let’s have another one of those BMW wipers!
Yeah, that’s the stuff.
These Volvo 240 headlights required wipers so big you could see them over the hood. I think those blades are bigger than the ones I use on my Beetle’s windshield.
I bet these could also be adapted to be the wiper for your television screen, if that issue ever comes up.
These are less common on Japanese cars, but they do exist! Here’s a Nissan Patrol’s very capable-looking system, with some nice musical accompaniment.
Another Mercedes, but I like this one because you get the full punch of seeing all four wipers in action at once.
Headlight wipers were never common on American cars, and I can’t say I would have expected the Oldsmobile Aurora to be one of the few to have them, but there it is.
In typical French fashion, these Renault Fuego wipers have a pleasingly quirky motion about them.
Representing Britain, here’s a Rover wiping its spectacles.
And, proving that even behind the Iron Curtain clear, clean lights were important, here’s a Lada.
...and why not another Lada, this time a Niva?
We’ll end this magnificent journey into clean lighting with this lovely Citroën DS, wiping away tears of joy from its electro-eyes.