Call us vain if you want, but in the battle of good looks versus safety, most rodders go for the style points. We like big engines, open cars, and technology predating the Eisenhower administration. We also tend to favor small lights ('39 Ford, '59 Cad, etc.) on our cars' posteriors, and we typically mount them low on the body or in the bumper. For the most part they work fine, and R&C would be the last to mandate uncool, billboard-sized blinkers for every cruiser out there. Yet we've seen several rear-ended rods and customs recently serving as reminders that today's glassy-eyed motoring public sometimes needs more in-your-face cues to warn it when your rig is coming to a halt.

The subject came into clearer focus the other day when Editor Rizzo was following my Plymouth wagon. Not only are the car's taillights small, but Riz noticed that the brake lights came on well after the car started slowing down. The culprit, of course, was the original and not-so-reliable pressure-activated brake light switch. Simply replacing it with a fresh one might've helped. However, I decided a different approach was in order, so I ordered up a mechanical brake light switch from Watson's StreetWorks, which is activated off brake pedal action instead of brake line pressure. While I was at it, I asked Steve and Carol Watson what else they offered to bring attention to my (ahem) rear end. The accompanying photos show several options (plus a closer look at the switch), and the Watson's StreetWorks catalog has even more. Check it out and see what you think.