So, in the past I’ve been a proponent of “nope, I’m grandfathered in” as a response to why my car or my house have certain features. The car I most recently adopted has a third brake light (or center brake light, or as a big faceless company calls it: the CHMSL, center high mounted stop lamp) that was added by a previous owner, and I kinda like it. I’ve talked with people and even though it doesn’t legally need to have it I would feel more comfortable having one (most of them don’t know that older cars didn’t have one). That being said the one I have right now obscures my visibility in a major way.
This appears to be a standard aftermarket third brake light that would have been available for purchase to retrofit on your own car (maybe from some place like JC Whitney). The color does not quite match the rest of the car but it’s perfectly acceptable.
Even if I was ok with the location the part has seriously started to degrade. The red plastic lens is slightly warped and the white plastic is absolutely crumbling.
My fix is to use a 12v strip of red LEDs and a piece of aluminum c-channel to mount the LEDs pointing in the right direction and make it at least a bit directional. I chose to mount this on the gate itself because that had a surface that could be easily mounted to. My weapon of choice for this has been VHB tape because I hesitate to drill a bunch of holes into this car just yet.
I mounted the light to the gate and adhered it with zip ties, tape, and crimp connections. This is entirely modular and does not require hauling the soldering iron out to the car to make part changes (boy do I have stories about doing that in the past).
I had a look side-by-side and they each put out about the same lumens but the original lamp is probably better lensed. This light is not very visible in the day time, but it is perfectly acceptable at night.
The home page for this project is here, it has a link to the album of pictures.