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Bryan
Hagerty Employee

These 5 cars had quad headlights before they were in vogue

There’s no question that the 1950s were the decade of flamboyant style. Aviation initially influenced fins, sprouting into something inspired by the space race. Yet among rear fenders, curved windshields, and hardtops, there was one external design feature in particular that impacted automotive styling: Headlights.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com:

https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/5-cars-had-quad-headlights-before-in-vogue/

19 REPLIES 19
69rambler
Passenger

Very interesting to go ahead with quad head lighting when the automotive regulations did not approve but a very good look for the future.

mtbearded1
New Driver

If anyone wants to give me one, I'll take any of these cars, but my personal favorites are the Nash and the Mercury.  For my taste, the Caddy is just too much, and as much as I love Desotos, I love Nash/AMC and Mercury more.  (I've owned four Mercurys over the past fifty years, and one Ambassador.)

auto-mark
Pit Crew

1957 Lincoln:  It started the staggered look (with the 7" on top and 5.25" on the bottom) before it became a thing with tires & wheels.  And it's probably the first and last car that had that, in the USA.  60's Jags and 70s BMWs did similar things, albeit horizontally.   

Shocker
Passenger

GM built a double headlight 58 Corvette in late 57, and created a classic, now highly collectible, but a sometimes unliked, flashy example.  I own one in Australia and would not swap her for any other car.

vintnerrl
Passenger

Desoto and Cadillac.

vintnerrl
Passenger

Desoto and Cadillac

Dave404
Detailer

I like the Cadillac. BTW, I miss the quad headlight days because now, so many people drive around blinding everyone with their plastic high beam housings and its sometimes hard to tell if they really are on and if you should flash them. With the quad lights, it was always obvious.

Spyder
New Driver

Yeah, I would like to see the automatic dimmer come back. Now is the time that we need it because there seems to be so many ID 10 T's on the road now.

bhankinsonn
Intermediate Driver

Both the Cadillac and Chrysler offerings seem to have done it with more finesse to the total look of the car

BobA
Pit Crew

Cadillac.

farna
Detailer

For 58 AMC hedged their bet -- early 58 Ramblers (made in late 57) had single headlights, all other big cars (Ambassador, Rambler 6 and Rambler V-8... little American was dual headlights only) had quads. As far as I can determine base Rambler 6 and V-8 models had two headlights, others had quads. There were still a few states that hadn't authorized quads when production started in late 57, and models sent to those states had duals only. Not many were made, or they were upgraded by dealers or owners later, as they are few and far between now. I've only seen one in person, a base model Rambler 6.

Diego
Detailer

Then or now, it wasn't unusual for base models to lack some features of higher-line models. Studebaker was another brand that did that at the time with the Scotsman and, later, the Lark.

MrJ
Passenger

Desoto, it was also the fastest of the bunch, ran circles around the fat caddy

squirrel
Passenger

I have been a Ford nut all my life but the '57 Cadillac has always been one of my favorites. 

Mike_E_V
Detailer

Sadly only the Eldorado Brougham, which we all know was much smaller than a Deville and had an Italian influence was the only model from Cadillac in 57 which came with the four lamp arrangement. The rest of the Caddy line up received four lamps beginning in 1958.

warrene
Intermediate Driver

I noted that "Christine" has four also, shows up well in the movie, that '58 Plymouth was one bad bad car ......

Mike_E_V
Detailer

By 58 all states had approved of quad lights and Plymouth did have four 5" round lamps beginning in 1958.

WorthFlorida
Pit Crew

By 1958 just about every car had the quad headlights, even the Chevrolet Corvair up to around the early 80's when halengin lamps in molded headlight started to become the standard. Only the small cars like the Maverick, the Nova, Valiant, Duster stayed with the 7" seal beams,  probably to keep the cost down for these low price point models. 

Mike_E_V
Detailer

All 48 states had not approved of the 4 lamp arrangement by the time the 57 models came out and many manufacturers who had 4 lamp designs had to make last minute changes. Plymouth was ready with four lamps but arrived with two headlamps and two smaller fog lights. The Lincoln in the article picture does not have 4 headlamps. Only two are headlamps. The other two are smaller units like fog or driving lights similar to the Plymouth. Most 57 Mercs had single headlamps. I don't know if the two lamp versions were late production after all 48 states voted for approval or are only on upper scale trim levels. As a kid in the third grade where nothing mattered more than the new cars coming out in September. one of my first pre-built model car requests (dealer promotional units) was of the 57 Plymouth and only because of the 4 headlamps. Big disappointment to discover all 4 weren't actually headlamps, even on the model by AMT.