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Should pop-up headlights come back?

24w ago


Do you think pop-up headlights should come back to cars? Well before you make up your decision let us take a look at their beginning and their ending. To some of the most famous cars with pop-up headlights.


The first ever car that was fitted with pop-up headlights was the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900A Pininfarina Berlinetta. Each headlight could be activated by a crank in the dashboard. GM perfected the first electric pop-up headlights with its 1938 Buick Y-Job concept.

The popularity started to be at its highest peak in the 60s to 80s where they were fitted to cars such as the Toyota Corolla AE86, Plymouth Superbird and the most famous of them all, the Mazda Miata.

But eventually they did become illegal because of new safety regulations for pedestrians when crossing the road. Although, they can still be legal and the regulations for manufacturing them can be found National Highway Safety Administration's Standard No. 108.

The last cars that were fitted with pop-up headlights were the 2005 Chevrolet Corvette C5 and Lotus Esprit.

5 most popular cars with pop-up headlights

To understand why pop-ups became so popular we have to look at some of the most famous cars that carried the iconic look.

1: First Gen Mazda Miata

Image source: acquiremag.com

First ever introduced with pop-ups in 1989 it continued to carry them until 1997 when it sadly lost the fantastic headlights.

This affordable little classic is still even desirable today despite the owners still trying to figure out how to have the lights up and the car off when trying to clean them.

2: Lancia Stratos

Image source: Cars for Sell New Zealand

The Lancia Stratos is a 3 times World Rally Champion that was built for five years between 1972 to 1977 and carried its pop-up headlights with a lot of pride.

But it's a extremely rare gem with only 492 units only produced but still manages to still eco through the pages of history.

3: Honda NSX 1991

Image source: CarBuzz

No introduction needed for this celebrity of the car world. This supercar took world by storm in 1991 with its great looks and everyday comfort not to mention its 3.0 litre V6 that could produce 270 hp.

The NSX was fitted with pop-up headlights for 11 years until 2002 where it lost its retractable headlights.

4: Toyota Corolla AE86

Image source: www.beamng.com

Drifting lovers will know this iconic Toyota Corolla AE86 hatchback. It gained most of its popularity through the Japanese anime, Initial D, where the car starred as a tofu delivery car that moonlighted as a drifting legend in their spare time.

It was built between 1983 and continued to be made for four years until 1987 but is still popular today featuring in many racing games such as Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport.

5: BMW M1

Image source: Autoweek

Probably other than this car looking like a spaceship the pop-ups made it even look cooler through its design. First ever introduced in 1978 it was built for 3 years until 1981.

Even if 453 were built it is still very much considered a very desirable classic. The BMW M1 was equipped with a 3.5 litre six-cylinder engine that could produce 273 hp and was the first ever mid-engined BMW that was mass-produced.


Do you want to see them on cars again?

We have now looked at the history of pop-up headlights and some of the most iconic cars that carried them. This is where you get to tell me if you want to see them back on cars or not.


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