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Bryan
Hagerty Employee

Our 10 favorite hidden headlights

Modern car designers have it easy. They can sculpt jewel-like housings for their headlights and integrate them into the car’s bodylines almost seamlessly. Back in the days of sealed-beam headlamps, however, there were only so many options to choose from. And while many designers got creative, integrating the lamps into the car’s overall design, some of our favorite cars were available with headlights that were virtually invisible until needed.

 

We know, headlights go up, headlights go down. We love pop-up headlights too, but that’s for another discussion. Pop-up headlights are a form of hidden headlights, but we’re being completely arbitrary and defining those in this list as stationary headlights that are revealed when a panel opens up to reveal them. Here are 10 of our favorites.

 

Read the full list on Hagerty.com:

https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/our-10-favorite-hidden-headlights/

275 REPLIES 275
jwiley
Hagerty Employee

Does the Cord 810/812 count as mass produced? 

Brandan
Hagerty Employee

Yeah, but those are pop-ups, which we didn't include in this list.

StuA
Pit Crew

ahem - Alfa Romeo Montreal????

Brandan
Hagerty Employee

We mentioned them along with the Iso.

Saxybiker
New Driver

Maybe the most unique hidden headlights are the rotating ones in an Opel GT!

JohnEStark
New Driver

Don’t forget Fieros

Harrdware44
Intermediate Driver

ALL the Porsche transaxle cars deserve mention- 924, 928, 944, 968

Harrdware44
Intermediate Driver

33rd Generation Honda Accord- what other 4 door sedan had popups as standard, across all models?

Bcweir
Intermediate Driver

How do you know what the 33rd generation Honda Accord looks like, "Future Dude"? The Honda Accord, first introduced for the 1976 model year, is currently in its Tenth generation since the 2017. 

 

My understanding is that the popup lights on the 1986 to 1989 models added cost and mechanical complexity and required periodic adjustment. 

 

Additionally a new requirement on the USA FMVSS prohibit installing lights on any moveable body panel. This has been a federal requirement since the 2006 model year.

dwswig
New Driver

OK----Pantera should have made the list.

Bcweir
Intermediate Driver

Those are popup lights, not hidden behind headlight covers.

Similar concept but completely different operation.
RickyB
New Driver

37 Cord

TimeFixers
Pit Crew

FIAT X19

Rossco
New Driver

C2 vettes

Mike_E_V
Detailer

While doing a stint as a Datsun parts Mgr. in 1973, a 1964 C2 in black Roadster was traded in. It was black with red guts. I had to wait until the clients 610 wagon arrived and it took forever so I did not buy the car for $1,100.00! Was I an idiot or what? The used car department sent it out for paint and it was done in white. I'll never forget how the body shop forgot to turn the headlights around and paint the back side. The car looked like a racoon when the lights were on. I purchased a 63 Riviera instead. Go figure.

Bcweir
Intermediate Driver

Wait let me get this straight - you let a MAACO or Earl Scheib paint job influence your car purchase?
JamesFee
Pit Crew

C2 Corvettes ? Even though I'm generally a Ford guy, I have always had an appreciation for the symmetry and styling of the C2's - particularly the headlamp solution.

Bcweir
Intermediate Driver

C2 Corvettes had popup lights. This article is about cars where the lights remained fixed and did not move but remained hidden behind moveable headlight doors. Different concept.
HV24
Intermediate Driver

How about the Lotus Elan. All models including the 1962-72 original, plus the +2 version and the later M100 series all had pop up (and in some cases never pop-down) headlights. 

Areg
Passenger

How is C2 Corvette not on the list?

FrankenStag
New Driver

Opel GT

panammar
New Driver

How is the RX-7 not on this listing?

gster
Intermediate Driver

Porsche 914!

220px-1973_Porsche_914_1.7_in_Silver,_front_left_side.jpg

Caraddict
Passenger

What no Cord 810/812?

MYTFAST
Intermediate Driver

whoever could leave the iconic 1966 -69 Toronado out of this list must've been smoken crack!  

KD
Passenger

yea you

cslandry
Intermediate Driver

Alfa Romeo Montreal

NEPony
Passenger

no corvettes on this list? 

renchero63
Pit Crew

No "63 Stingray? Seriously?

jowcol
Pit Crew

1966 Olds Toronado deserves honorable mention...

MnL65
Passenger

Toronados of the Sixtys you sorely missed!

BigBend
Passenger

Ford Probe (two generations)

PalmSpringsJJ
Pit Crew

My favorite is my 1978 Thunderbird, which I took delivery of on September 21, 1977.  BUT I like all if these and really, any car with hideaway or pop-up headlights!  

RMT
Navigator

All the comments above (except the Cord) - read the first sentence of the 2nd paragraph, this list does NOT include pop-up headlights, only panel-revealed fixed lights.  Although the C2 'vette and Porsche transaxle series are anomalies of pop-up or flip over styles.

spoom
Technician

I figure if THEY can go against the 2nd paragraph, why can't the readers. Loved the Cord & C2 😉

spoom
Technician

Like most of the pics, but for sure would drop the Iso Grifo in favor of the C2 'vette, which absolutely has to make a top 10 hidden headlamps. Never cared for the ones on those Camaros, especially the "3 horizontal bar" ones, IMHO a '68 Camaro with 2 big, round, headlamps was one of the sharpest cars of the day.

gr8dane
New Driver

No Buick Y Job? That's why I clicked the link. The Riv definitely deserves props, though.

kjcars
Passenger

You missed 1967 DODGE CHARGER ! ! ! 

 

Ken

SteveInPA
Pit Crew

This article was only regarding fixed headlights hidden behind moving doors or panels. Unlike the '68-'70 Charger, the '66-'67 Charger headlights rotated.
dykaar
New Driver

944.

Yogi-53
Passenger

No C2 corvette. . . . . Possibly the most beautiful car ever!!!!!!!

MOGdriver
Passenger

1936-1937 Cord, manufactured by Auburn might have been the earliest hidden headlight car.

chargeral
Pit Crew

You left out a great one the 66-67 Charger's had real cool hidden headlights.  My wife owns a 66 at it gets a lot of attention at car shows.

SteveInPA
Pit Crew

'66-'67 Charger headlights rotated. This article was specifically for headlights hidden behind doors.
digger
Pit Crew

I think the full rotation and electric power of the C2 vette is pretty cool

PalmSpringsJJ
Pit Crew

My favorite is my 1978 Thunderbird which I took delivery of on September 21, 1977.  But I like all on your list and really any car with hideaway or pop-up headlights 😀

PB
Pit Crew

1966/67 Charger, maybe not as aggressive a look as the next generation but definitely full of class.

SteveInPA
Pit Crew

Those weren't fixed behind moving doors. The '66-'67 Charger headlights rotated.
GAPeach
New Driver

Oh no, say it isn't so . . . did you forget the Opel GT?