When Cord unveiled its 810 at the 1935 New York Auto Show, complete with pop-up headlights, it caused a sensation.
Nobody had ever created anything like it but it would be another 30 years before the technology would become more widely adopted. By the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s pop-up headlights had become mainstream, with companies as diverse as Lotus, Ferrari, Triumph and Porsche all embracing the design.
By 2004 the last cars with pop-up lights were made: the Lotus Esprit V8 and Corvette C5. Pedestrian safety regulations on both sides of the Atlantic killed them off and they weren’t great for aerodynamics either. Here we revisit 25 of the greatest car designs to feature concealed headlights; most pop up but there are a few variations on the theme. We’ve restricted ourselves to one car per manufacturer to mix things up a bit: