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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/

260 REPLIES 260
BULLITT65
Pit Crew

1936 Cord 810 (first full production car) !!! come on Hagerty....

TheModelCitizen
Pit Crew

1937 Cord Coffin Nose

1967 OldsmobileToronado

 

MOTORHEADTY
New Driver

Didn't Cord have them back in the 30's?.... Personally I never liked them.

searaydean
Passenger

How about the '67 Eldorado

SilentBoy741
Advanced Driver

Didn't you guys do a story about someone who made an aftermarket hidden-headlight conversion kit for the Healy "Frogeye" Sprite?  Now those were some interesting headlights!

autoartist
Passenger

C4 Corvette 1993 to 1996

Motoramm55
Passenger

68-69 Cougars

68-69 Caprice

70 Plymouth Fury GT

happiedazs
Passenger

can't believe the 1967 Corvette didn't make the list !!!

OkJustOneMore
Intermediate Driver

1st place Charger. 2. GTO. 3. Torino.  IMO.

John
Intermediate Driver

Do people actually read and comprehend these articles?  It said right at the start that they would not consider pop-up headlights in this article, only stationary lights!!!  That means if the light bulb moves it would not be included.  I hope an article on pop-ups is coming however. 

GC
Intermediate Driver

Exactly what I was thinking . . . Nobody seemed to have actually read the article before complaining.

gweedoze
Passenger

My 1987 Corvette has hidden headlights, better disguised than most others.

Maestro1
Instructor

The Riviera and the 68 Dodge Charger are two of my favorite designs. I had a '66 Olds Toronado, a very early car, which had vacum powered headlight covers. At night, at 60mph, the covers would lower, and the headlights would disappear. My dealer fixed with a kit supplied by the factory. Other than that the car was a sensation in its time, and still is. 

DeanH
Intermediate Driver

I've owned 2 Opel GTs , a Fiat X-19 and a Fiero GT

VolvoSleeper
Pit Crew

Opel GT was a great car, would still look great

Duntov7
Passenger

Where the heck are the ton of CORVETTES ?

M. Cross

silverfox36
Passenger

I like my 1969 Lincoln Continental Mark III hidden headlights

jimbacot
Passenger

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado.  Recessed and beautiful. 

stephentempleto
New Driver

Cord 810/812 Sportsman is the best!

keepmoriginal
Passenger

1969-71 Lincoln Continental MK III - Pure Class and Perfect Fit and Finish. Few cars could match the presence of these cars in the day and even fewer can match it today.

okfoz
Intermediate Driver

How could you forget the 66-69 Riviera,  Those would fold down and completely out of view when up, until you opened the hood, where you could see them pointing to the sky. 

ScottM
Pit Crew

‘67-‘69 thunderbird. The hidden headlamps lent an elegant look. The tail treatment with sequencing turn signals was also distinctive.

Mikeintexas
Pit Crew

Love to see the list of pop-up headlights. 1958 - 1961 Austin Healey Sprite was planned to have hideaway headlights, but cost cutting modified them to be fixed in up position and created one of the most iconic designs of the era. Mine always elicits smiles where ever we go.

Dave404
Detailer

Two that are less common but look just as good are the late '60s Chevy Caprice and early '70s Plymouth Sport Fury.

patgarity
Intermediate Driver

I get that the article is about headlights that are stationary and have moving covers but I still have to remind the Miata owners that their cars are admitted copies of the incredible styling of the Lotus Elan. IF the article was about movable headlights I would be reminded of my days with an Elan in the garage and my girlfriends OhPile parked out front. Poorly repaired crash damage resulted in the headlights on that piece of €#£#! left in the up position. My poor Elan had about 4 tubes of silicone smeared on the front frame crossmember that Chapman used for the vacuum tank. WOT at night saw those headlights rotating back to the park position. Still the most exhilarating car I ever drove on the street. Better than the Ferraris, Thunderbolts and street legal Can Am cars. But going through the Jack  in the Box drive thru in a Mc Claren is something I’ll never forget.....

Okey78
Intermediate Driver

The Iso Lele was perhaps the best-executed of the partially-hidden headlights.  A true forgotten Italian classic.

VerlinRichins
New Driver

C3 Corvettes 180 degree flip.  The best!

Bokeoyaji
Intermediate Driver

I don't think they forgot many of the others that are being mentioned in the comments.  After all, the title does say, "Our 10 favorite..."

psroger
Passenger

Candidate for most unsuccessful popups Lotus Elan.  Engine produced barely enough vacuum to operate the lights.  One of our customers was so frustrated with the lights not coming up (as he left the tavern) that he bashed in the covers.  Very expensive fix even back in the 60's. 

espo70
Intermediate Driver

What? No third gen Trans Am? That was THE pop up headlight car of the 80s!

smakowski
New Driver
Mike_E_V
Detailer

Hidden lamps came on the Pantera as well. Only problem was how goofy they looked open. Kinda like an overgrown Miata.

83ragtop50
Intermediate Driver

I think that the Charger has a tough look and stance. 

PSuomela
Pit Crew

The 1936 “Coffinhood” CORD was the FIRST to produce hidden headlights (pop-up though, not fixed).

cdkrek
Intermediate Driver

So many people adding moveable headlights to the list.  This list is for fixed headlights with doors that hide them...

Dusted
New Driver

People. It's stationary headlights that are revealed when a panel opens up to reveal them.

I think almost every American automotive manufacturer had several cars on the market late 60's early 70's with hidden headlamps. Wagons, verts, big cars, small cars. It didn't matter. It was cool then and they're still cool now. Aside from the posted cars, the 67 Grand Prix, 70 Chrysler 300, and the 70 Plymouth Sport Fury are some of my faves. 

DaveS
Passenger

These are great until they break,  and they will. Bad solenoids, or in the case of my 2000 'Vette an expensive  "computer," of which there were two, one for each headlight. Never again if I can avoid it!

jc340
Intermediate Driver

I like the 928's lay down lights.

Pbgray
Pit Crew

Agree with the Opel GT comments!  The Opel GT flip-headlights represent innovative mechanical genius without troublesome vacuum actuated or tricky electro-mechanical nonsense, not to mention expensive to repair on other makes.  I just completed replacement of my second headlight motor for my C-5 Corvette!  No wonder GM dropped folding headlights on the C-6 and beyond!

Caddieron
New Driver

IMG_3191.jpgIMG_3188.jpgIMG_3187.jpgIMG_3190.jpg

 

My '68 Cadillac Eldorado..........

reisssj
Passenger

This list is just not serious without any of the generations of Hidden Headlight Corvettes. 

bemrfst
Intermediate Driver

The best looking car of all time.Ferrari 356 GTB/4 Daytona had them. Also all Mazda RX7s. I had one of each Mazda..  Wish I had a Daytona..

bemrfst
Intermediate Driver

OK, yea, they are pop-up but all hidden lights are COOL!

 

67GrandPrix
Navigator

I may be partial, but my '67 Grand Prix has awesome hideaway headlights!

TrumpWins2020
Navigator

I agree, 67 Grand Prix
impala409
Pit Crew

HEY!!! Where's the C4 Vettes?

Dumb_Guy
Passenger

In addition to the '67-68 Cougars, you should also list the '69-70 Cougars.

ClassicCarBill
New Driver

You forgot the Cord? That was probably the first...in the 30s

Vanman
Pit Crew

What about the 1937 Cord? They were crank up but still hidden.

cwaziecougar
Passenger

So happy that the Cougars are finally getting the attention they deserve! I can agree with all others on the list especially the 68 Charger. Had two before my beautiful Patience (1968 Mercury Cougar) rotisserie restored to factory original.