updated October 2001
The Halda Speedpilot was an all-in-one mechanical rally computer introduced in the mid-1950s. Based on the speed set on one dial, internal gears drive an extra hand on the clock. The driver is supposed to keep the extra hand lined up with the minute hand to stay on "Pilot" time. Accuracy is only about 1/2 minute as a result.
The Speedpilot was popular in Europe where it was only necessary to arrive before your assigned time to keep from getting penalties. U.S. rallies were timed to the second, with penalites for being early as well as for being late, so the accuracy of the Speedpilot was insufficient to determine whether the rally team was on time.
The Speedpilot was standard equipment on the SAAB GranTurismo 750, a specially tuned competition version of the Saab 93 and Saab 96 from 1958 thru 1962. Saab built only about 600 GT-750s, most of which were sold in the U.S. They are quite rare today as many were turned into race or rally cars and were used up.
Following are reprints of several magazine articles and instruction manuals on the Speedpilot.