17 Vintage Cars With PopUp Headlights

The automobile industry has seen several vehicle designs come and go over the years. Regardless of the time of year, there are always a handful of automobiles that are guaranteed to be ranked on top. Few features strike out, like the pop-up headlights, even though many of them are distinctive and intriguing.

We have prepared a list of automobiles that include pop-up headlights. The All-Sparky 1980s Pontiac Fiero and other unique models are among the historical treasures that can be purchased secondhand. Despite their age, fans still find them to be a desired option because of their timeless design.

17. Toyota MR2

Source: motortrend

From 1984 to 1989, the Toyota MR2 served as the first mid-engine Japanese production vehicle. This cutting-edge sports car is a true gem. Finding a good-condition, driveable MR2 Mk I may take some time and effort, but the search is worthwhile. A well-kept 1987 model, according to Hagerty, might cost roughly $12,000.

Alternatively, for roughly $5,500, you can locate project samples that require a lot of work; however, be prepared for additional expenditures. The Toyota MR2 is a well-known choice for auto enthusiasts thanks to its striking appearance and powerful performance.

16. Porsche 924

Source: collectingcars

The Porsche 924 is a legendary German sports car that is frequently overlooked. It was manufactured from 1976 to 1988. It has the distinction of being among the first Porsches to feature pop-up headlights as a replacement for the 914.

With a price of about $7,500 for a well-kept 1981 model, it offers Porsche lovers who don’t want a Boxster a cheap substitute. Don’t miss this chance to feel the pleasure of driving the Porsche 924, which is something that everyone should do at least once. The Porsche 924 is valued at around $7,500 and in good condition.

15. Honda Prelude

Source: evo

The Honda Prelude (1987–1991) stands apart from its predecessors because of its pop-up headlights, which give it a streamlined design. A 1991 Prelude Si with a 2.1-liter inline-4 engine producing 140 horsepower may be purchased for just under $15,000, according to Hagerty.

Thanks to its classy appearance and reasonable performance, the Honda Prelude offers a compelling alternative for those seeking a trustworthy sports coupe that is both affordable and adorned with trademark pop-up headlights.

14. Opel GT

Source: silodrome

The 1968-1973 Opel GT is a must-have for fans of pop-up headlights. It is distinctive due to its adorable revolving pop-out headlights. They swivel into position after being manually manipulated by a lever rather than springing into position.

These left-hand drive European vehicles continue to keep their value, according to Hagerty, with a 2022 Opel GT costing about $11,000 in good condition. Due to its unique design and well-deserved appeal, the Opel GT is still a popular choice for anyone seeking a classic car with flair.

13. Ferrari Testarossa

Source: sportscardigest

Pop-up headlights were a feature on every single Ferrari that was in production in the 1980s. Fantastic. The Testarossa had the second-best-looking set. The car’s 180 mph top speed was provided by a 4.9-liter flat-12 engine that was located behind the driver.

With the headlights on, that top speed may have been a few miles per hour slower. As the 512TR succeeded it in 1991, the core design persisted. The pop-ups were swapped out with traditional, much less aesthetically pleasing components when that car underwent a makeover and was called the 512M in 1994.

12. Nissan 300ZX

Source: autoevolution

Popular sports cars like the 1983–1989 Nissan 300ZX are renowned for their explosive performance. Driving enthusiasts admire its variety, although it may not be as powerful as high-end supercars. It may soon be challenging to get a cheap, well-preserved 300ZX Z31 because it is quickly turning into a highly sought-after classic.

However, many are available for less than $10,000, making it a desirable choice for those on a low budget who want an intense driving experience.

11. Lotus Elan

Source: classicsworld

The Lotus Élan is a dependable 1.6-liter turbocharged Isuzu engine that can provide up to 160 horsepower in a 1960s sports car with pop-up headlights. Some Élans have covered more than 750,000 kilometers with care.

Elans can be found for under $14,000 with little diligence, but well-kept examples often sell for around $20,000. This time-tested classic appeals to enthusiasts on a low budget because it combines performance, longevity, and style.

10. Mazda MX5

Source: forum.miata

In 1989, the MX-5 made its debut and quickly became popular. It was affordable, safe, and enjoyable to drive. It quickly rose to the top of the 1980s Japanese performance car reliability list. Over 400,000 Mazda MX-5 Miatas were produced between 1989 and 1997, with the elegance of the hidden headlights serving as the car’s main selling factor.

Mid- to late-1990s Miatas are currently selling for roughly $10,000. With great caution, check for rust in troublesome spots. Furthermore, there is a large aftermarket following, so these tiny roadsters ought to last a very long time.

9. Volvo 480

Source: not2grand

The Volvo 480 was the brand’s first front-wheel drive vehicle, and it was made from 1986 to 1995. It was initially disregarded but later gained a reputation for durability and toughness. The Volvo 480 is distinguished by its pop-up headlights, which also give the car a compelling appearance.

The Volvo 480 is currently affordable, and despite their rarity, well-maintained examples may be found for less than $7,000.

8. Ford Probe

Source: pcarmarket

The Ford Probe, a joint venture between Ford and Mazda, came very close to replacing the Mustang in its initial incarnation. Amazingly placed pop-up headlights and a smooth 2.5-liter Mazda KL V6 engine were characteristics of the car.

Related: Are Mazda Cars Reliable? Examining the Evidence

Despite not being produced since 1997, the Probe is still a reliable daily driver. Finding accessible models can be challenging because they are rare. With hard searching, one can find Probe models for less than $10,000, although obtaining those in excellent condition will require extra care.

7. Pontiac Fiero

Source: carthrottle

The inexpensive mid-engine sports car known as the Pontiac Fiero, which was built from 1983 to 1988, filled a niche in the automotive industry. More than 370,000 units were produced in just five years, despite the product’s poor reputation for dependability and safety.

The lightweight reinforced composite plastic shell of the Fiero had the advantage of being corrosion resistant. At present, well-kept V6-powered Fieros can be found for as low as $13,000, making them a popular option for fans seeking a unique and affordable sports car.

6. Mazda RX7

Source: topgear

A wonderful sports automobile that has enthralled auto enthusiasts for ages is the Mazda RX-7. It automatically distinguishes out because of its sleek and distinctive design. The RX-7’s famed rotary engine is what sets it apart from other sports cars of the era and contributes to its distinctiveness. Over the years, it has grown to be a highly cherished classic that collectors all around the world adore.

Due to its recognizable pop-up headlights and affordable price range of under $10,000, the Mazda RX-7 is the best choice for people looking for a stylish and high-performance sports vehicle.

5. SAAB Sonett III

Source: classicmotorsports

The Sonett III was given a floor-mounted shifter to make it more American-friendly, and the air conditioning was an add-on that the dealer could install. The Sonett III’s pop-up headlights, which are particularly distinctive in that they are manually activated by a lever, are one of its coolest features.

The Ford Taurus V4 engine, which was used in the Sonett III from 1970 to 1974, produces roughly 65 horsepower. A beautiful 1971 SAAB Sonett III will cost any collector only about $10,000. Not bad at all for one of the most fascinating European automobiles of its day.

4. Chevrolet Corvette

Source: hotcars

The fourth-generation Corvette made its début in 1983 and was available as a targa-top (coupe) or convertible. The C4 Corvette surprisingly kept the pop-up headlights that were initially introduced on the C2 Corvette.

The fourth generation Corvette is the most reasonably priced Corvette model with pop-up headlights, even though the second and third generations also had them. This is because the second and third generations’ cult-like popularity nowadays makes them rather pricey. Used examples often cost around $9,000.

3. Subaru XT6

Source: carthrottle

From the late 1950s on, Subaru was a brand that stood on its own because the Japanese carmaker ignored other popular design trends and stuck to its own path. When Subaru unveiled the XT in 1985, that stylistic strategy shifted. It had pop-up headlights and a wedge-shaped body, just like other 1980s sports cars.

Subaru went over and beyond to create the most aerodynamic vehicle ever with the XT. You can purchase secondhand examples of the XT for less than $5,000, even though it initially cost over $8,000 when it was new. This is because it is currently incredibly underappreciated.

2. Lamborghini Countach

Source: hotcars

When the Countach debuted in 1974, it was a magnificent wedge-shaped rocket, and its rakish front appearance was made possible by a set of pop-up headlights. The headlamp design remained the same over the whole of the lengthy 16-year manufacturing cycle, even though the shape became more aggressive with time and included arches and wings.

The Diablo persisted with the pop-up motif before giving in to the 1999 SV, which had performed better in terms of sales. The Urraco and Islero, two lesser-known Lamborghinis, also had pop-up exhaust systems, but the beautiful Miura had exposed ones that rose out of the hood like those on a Porsche 928.

1. BMW M1

Source: wallha

The BMW M1 has a complicated past, and ultimately, only 453 examples were made. That didn’t, however, stop it from developing a cult-like following among gearheads. The M1 was originally intended to be a joint project between Lamborghini and BMW, but in the end, former Lamborghini staff worked with BMW to construct the vehicle.

The pop-up headlights are thought to have been influenced by Lambos at the time because they weren’t available on any other BMW models until the 8-Series debuted many years later.


The vehicles on the aforementioned list all have pop-up headlights. But what is it about pop-up headlights that still make people who drive cars weak in the knees? I assume that after reading the article, you have figured it out. Sadly, road-legal cars will never again have pop-up headlights as a feature. On the used market, there are many cool models, though.


Why are pop-up headlights illegal?

It’s important to remember that pop-up headlights are not illegal; it’s just challenging to build lights that adhere to the new regulations.

What was the last car with pop-up headlights?

In 2004, with the termination of manufacturing of the Chevrolet Corvette (C5) and Lotus Esprit, pop-up headlamps were last seen on a mass-produced automobile.

Why do people like pop-up headlights?

Pop-up lights gained popularity because people thought they were hip and because of the period. Gimmicks were fashionable in the 1980s. Although they still exist somewhat now, innovations like pop-up lights at the time were novel to people. Furthermore, there was a strong impression that these lights would take over as the norm.

Will pop-up headlights come back?

These days, LED lighting and adaptive headlights have entirely changed the function of headlights, making them safer than ever. Because of this, pop-up headlights are probably never going to be popular again.

What was the first car to have pop-up headlights?

According to Jay Leno’s Garage, the Cord 810 was not only the first automobile with pop-up headlights but also the first American automobile with independent front suspension. Sadly, the Cord 810 with its ground-breaking pop-up headlights wasn’t around for very long.

What is the most famous car with pop-up headlights?

Pop-up headlights were formerly the most noticeable aspect of iconic sports cars like the Mazda MX-5, Ferrari Testarossa, and Porsche 944, even though they are no longer used on automobiles.

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