Saturday, February 2, 2013
What do hidden headlights have to do with Groundhog's Day?
In an effort to cover all the major holidays with a car-related story—Christmas, Thanksgiving, Groundhog’s Day—I’m once again stretching the bounds of logic to bring you a story about the history of hidden headlights.
So, since you came for history—here you go. Most people credit the 1936 Cord 810 as the first car with hidden headlights. I know I’ve seen cars even older than that with them, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what they were. So the Cord gets the nod.
Harley Earl’s 1938 Buick Y-Job one-off concept car takes credit for the second car with eyelids. To say this styling cue was a sensation is an understatement. It was like the Cabbage Patch Kids craze and Tickle Me Elmo all rolled up in one.
Also, styling isn’t the only thing designers have to think about anymore. They don’t just have to worry about protecting the occupants in the event of a collision. They also need to design the car so that it will do less damage to a pedestrian if they’re struck. Carmakers have to comply with different safety regulations all over the world, and things like hood ornaments that look like rockets, bombsights, and yes, even pop-up headlights, do not fit into the recipe.
The slideshow below contains all sorts of cars from car shows around town with hidden headlights. Or click this link for a better version of the slideshow. Happy Groundhog’s Day, and enjoy that early spring!