Distinctive Automobile Headlights of the Past
There are thousands of design elements that went into the creation of the automobile. It must be safe, aerodynamic, functional, and attractive. One of the smaller but critical elements of an automobile is its headlights. For some automobiles, headlights are an afterthought. For others, headlights have been made into an important design feature.
Here are a few cars where the headlights have been accented.
1948 Tucker Torpedo
There were only 51 models of this innovative car produced. It featured advanced safety features like a padded dashboard, disc brakes, a roll bar, and more. It also included a third center headlight that would turn in the direction of the steering wheel to better illuminate around turns. In spite of its progressive features, the automaker went out of business in 1949.
The Riviera was GM’s first entry into the personal luxury auto segment and it did so with some unique design elements, including a fender-to-fender front grill that split in two, exposing its headlights when needed. The car was produced from 1963 to 1999, although only early editions featured the split-grill, hidden headlamps.
The Opel GT
This two-seater was sleek and sporty. To enhance its sleek appearance, designers built hidden headlights into its front fenders that maintained the aerodynamic integrity of the front end. The headlights flipped up when in use.
1964 Jaguar XKE
The extended hood of the XKE was enhanced by long sweeping headlights that followed the contour of its curved fenders. The general headlight design has been emulated by others in the years to follow, but never with the same impact as the Jaguar.
While it seems the Chevy Corvette always had hidden or pop-up headlights, that is not exactly true. First generation Corvettes had standard headlights, and the pop-up ones didn’t become a staple until 1963. The feature was a part of the Corvette personality until 2005, when standard headlights made their return.
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