4 of the Best Cars With Hidden Headlights: An Overview for Students in Auto Body Repair Courses
March 28, 2018
As the 20th century progressed, engineers and designers made use of more advanced body designs to “hide” headlights within the body of the vehicle, which could then be revealed at the driver’s command. Starting with the 1936 Cord 810, hidden headlights became a popular feature that added to the visual impact of consumer vehicles, while also reducing drag and fuel consumption. While US and EU safety laws governing front-end components have now largely pushed hidden headlamps out of production, during their heyday, many striking models with this design element were turning heads all over the world.
Take a look at some of the best examples of cars with hidden headlights.
The Chevrolet Corvette: A Well-Known Car to Grads of Auto Body Repair Courses
Think ‘hidden headlights’ and it’s likely that the Chevy Corvette will be one of the first cars that spring to mind. The iconic sports car was long-committed to the hidden-headlights concept, having first featured them on its second generation Corvette C2 in 1962.
This vehicle, also known as the Sting Ray, was the epitome of 1960s chic, with the smooth, dagger-like profile of the car being kept intact by incorporating the switch-activated headlights into the hood. Even today, the lights are so well incorporated that spotting the outline of where they are located can take a few moments. The final version to feature hidden lights, the C5, marked the end of an era.
Opel GT First Generation: The Famous Car That Took a Different Approach
With the success of the Chevy Corvette, many European producers were paying close attention to its stylistic features. German auto producer Opel soon issued a two-seater that grads of auto body repair courses will recognize as having similar design aspects to the Corvette—speedy, sporty, with a low profile, and featuring hidden headlights.
The GT made a major change in the light reveal though, with a manual lever alongside the central console rotating the lights. This gave the Opel GT an extra flourish, and was a twist that many loved.
This European sports car turned convention on its head. See it for yourself in this short clip:
The Toyota AE86: A Superstar That Many Associate with Drag Racing
The distinctive 1983 AE86, produced as a lightweight, speedy hatchback, quickly developed a reputation on the emerging “drifting” scene due to its considerable torque. The dramatic effect of hidden headlights on this vehicle were immortalized in popular culture thanks to the Initial D manga series, in which characters use the car to stunning effect. The combination of hidden headlights and drag legacy makes mint models very sought after today. It’s a car that many professionals with refinishing prep training love to see.
Lamborghini Countach: An 80s Icon That Used Hidden Headlights to Stunning Effect
The Lamborghini Countach is one of those cars that defines a period. It was conceptualized by forward-thinking Italian design house Bertone, and took the slick profile of previous sports cars, but refined them to an even more pointed design commonly referred to as a the Italian wedge.
Complete with scissor doors and a highly futuristic looking body that hugged the road, the extremely horizontal outline of the Countach made its hidden headlights even more impressive when they emerged.
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