22 April 2011

Pop-up headlamps

A trip down memory lane. Do you remember these bad boys?

SOMETHING of a novelty feature are pop-up headlamps. Whatever car they’re on. From a Honda Prelude to a Ferrari 355. They’re still a cool and timeless feature in my opinion.

I don’t know what it is to be exact that I love about pop-up headlamps. It’s difficult for me to pin point on why. I don’t think there’s a real motive or reason behind the fascination I have with pop-up headlamps.

Sports and performance cars having pop-up lamps look purposeful in my opinion. They look the part and mean business. Even with the lamps down make them look low-slung and aggressive. The novelty doesn’t wear thin with these pop-up headlamps. When the engine’s turned on, the lights pop up out of the bonnet. The beams come on. Yeah, the car’s alive, wide awake and this bad-ass is ready to set off. I can never get bored of that.

The Ferrari 308 from Magnum PI had pop-up headlights. 'Nuff said.

Whereas many people flash their car’s headlights to communicate with other drivers. Now that cars today with pop-up headlamps are a relatively rare sight. Imagine signalling to other drivers with them lamps. You must be pretty serious if the lights pop up if you do. Well, that could be the message the driver on the receiving end of it.

For example, insisting you can go through the gap on a narrow street - even if the hazard from a parked car is on your side of the road. Another is when you're on the motorway in the fast lane. The car with the pop headlights comes thrusting down in that lane. Quickly coming up behind you. You can see it in your rear view mirror and then he gets the lights flip open on his car. You know this rebel is telling you: "GET OUT OF MY FUCKING WAY!"

Sadly, cars made today don't have pop-up headlamps. Thanks to the ever stringent health safety regulations manufacturers face at this day and age. How the cars with the pop-up lamps would perform in the event of an accident; how they rate in pedestrian safety. They probably will be seen as "death traps". What a shame.

Despite the foibles pop-up headlamps have. But since when do great creations have anything to do with common sense or health and safety? Surely, they were a selling point to cars made in the generations that had them. I wouldn't be surprised if people bought a car because they had pop-up headlamps.

I know some people may talk of LED daytime running lights on Audis; or those that see round corners on Citroens. On the subject of being cool, they're smart but they're not a patch on pop-up headlights. No set of lights have that wow factor, as the ones that flip-up open from under the bonnet of the vehicle once you turn on the ignition and flick the light switch.


  1. Nice video. Thanks for the share.

  2. Thanks but this isn't my car on that video. It was on to showcase the pop-up headlamps.


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