Pop-up Headlights, An Iconic Car Design

By Vint-tro / 26th February 2022

In the late 1970s, 80s and 90s pop-up headlights were one of the most prominent features of the sports and supercar world but did you know this design dates way back to 1936, where the first car featured was the Cord 810 (later 812).

Hidden headlamps also first appeared on the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900A where the car was displayed at the Musée National de l’Automobile in Mulhouse.

It is absolutely mind blowing just how many cars were actually designed with pop up or hidden headlights and just to prove our point click HERE to see a list, it might just surprise you!

Opinions will always vary on what cars are Icons and what are not, but it is without doubt the pop up headlights do come into one’s thinking when talking about certain cars.

Let’s take an 80/90s classic Mk1 Mazda MX5. When thinking about this little road sniffer, the pop up headlights are a significant status as is the same with the Porsche 944 and Honda NSX.

The 80s poster cars such as the Lamborghini Countach and Ferrari Testarossa are again known for this iconic design and you can not fail to mention their ‘ice-cool’ visual factor which makes many petrolheads weak at the knees even after all these years.

Pop up headlights continued to be manufactured into the 90s, such as the BMW 8 series, however this is the decade where we were seeing less and less of cars with this design, so we ask where have these gone?

It has been suggested it’s because pop up headlights are illegal, this certainly isn’t true, it’s probably more to do with the European safety laws and regulations simply because in today’s design requirements the front-end of cars have to be more ‘absorbent’ in the event of hitting a pedestrian or objects. The Pop-up headlights with their low sharp, pointy nose surface area certainly don’t fall into this category.

So is it time we have to face the reality and kiss goodbye the pop up headlights or do we just hang on to hope that one day this Iconic design will again embrace the motoring world, the later comes to mind.

Peace & Love

Do you own a car with pop up headlights? Tell us what you have, and what cars are your favourite.

White Lamborghini Countach in front of barn

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