TWN Contessa - Electrics

page updated February 19, 2011 by Dave

Rear Light

The original rear light lens was broken into seven pieces when I bought the scooter, however the rubber surround was still doing a good job of keeping the thing together! I decided to superglue the pieces together initially as a quick fix with a view to sourcing a new lens.

Original Hella K1423 - seven pieces super-glued together

I got the surround re-chromed with a load of other bits as I anticipated re-using it with the repaired lens and later with a new replacement lens.

three components of the brake light

It turned out to be harder than expected, finding a replacement glass lens, and eventually I gave up in favour of an alternative that would at least look the same. I found a Wipac light (British made) at a classic bike show, with similar proportions and a stainless steel surround - however the lens was white! I bought it anyway in case I could use it.

Wipac (British) light with stainless-steel surround

Looking for a red lens I was recommended to go to an auto factors that specialised in vans and trucks. I managed to get a new red lens of similar proportions which I was very happy with even though it was plastic. Its a Rubbulite lens which had the manufacturers name moulded into it - I removed it with some wet & dry paper and a couple of hours work! The lens didn't have a lip on it like the original Hella lens, so I fabricated one to the same shape as the original from some tufnol (actually the stuff they use for fire surrounds) and bonded it on with JB Weld (excellent stuff made in USA - sourced from in UK). I painted the lip black to tidy-up the finish. The lip meant I could re-use the original rubber insert making it watertight.


Rubbulite plastic lens with 'lip' made from tufnol - glued on with JB Weld

One problem with this lens was that it didn't quite fit in the original chrome surround or the stainless-steel one! I decided to slightly modify the stainless-steel surround, opening-up the aperture by filing. This way I would still have the original intact if a glass Hella lens was later found.

Wipac stainless surround filed to fit new lens

The original and replacement lenses can be seen together below. The rubber insert will fit in both. Obviously I'm still looking around for a glass Hella lens, but until that happens I'm happy with my efforts in making a replacement.

Original and replacement brake light

Replacement brake light fitted to scooter

Note of interest: The only other vehicle with the same rear light I've found - Aachen (Germany) 1950's Trolley Buses built by Herschell - They've got one at the Trolley Bus Museum in Sandtoft!


Update: All searches for an original glass Hella lens have failed, so I've decided to try a plastic copy from seen below. It is a faithful reproduction and apart from the odd slight imperfection (on the rim which is hidden by the rubber gasket anyway) I'm more then happy to fit it to the scooter.

Clauss Studio Copy showing original part no.


Large cutouts are to accomodate screws as per original


Very small air bubble on flange but not seen when fitted


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