Now that we’ve determined which JNC had the coolest pop-up headlights let’s focus, like Sir Mix-A-Lot, on rears. Back in the day automakers were largely confined to sealed beam headlights, but out back designers had free reign to design insect, jet or spacecraft-inspired shapes. Some even tried to hide them altogether.
Which JNC had the coolest taillights?
What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Which JNC had the coolest pop-up headlights?”
This week had plenty of great responses, and we were torn between The Black CRX‘s love for pop-ups’ presence on the humble third-gen Accord, RonRonThePizzaGuy‘s ode to the Nissan S12, Mazdax605‘s memory of his possessed FB RX-7, and Cedu‘s simple but effective reasoning for the AE86. However, we have never seen a dissertation about a single car part like the one Byron Chiu composed about the Z31’s headlights.
As the owner of an 84 300ZX 2+2 Turbo, I testify that the 84-86 Z31 pop-up headlight assemblies were the coolest for these reasons:
1. The Z31’s headlight assembly’s 4 moving sections (which in itself, also makes z31 pop-up headlights one of the most intricate) make a parallelogram. This allows the headlamps to always illuminate forward. Typical, more basic pop-up assemblies make light “roll out” onto the road, which is a slight hazard.
2. Fog lamps were fitted into the 84-86 headlight assembly, separate from the low/high-beam lamp. Furthermore, besides the Piazza/Impulse or HB Cosmo, I have yet to know of a JNC with compound pop-up headlights.
3. Surrounding bodywork contributes to the cool-factor of pop-up lights. All Z31’s had recessions on the nose in front of the headlights (less so for 87-89). This resulted in the “sleepy-eye” look, which I see as a neat 80’s take on S-body Z car’s recessed headlights. Other JNC’s who switched to completely hidden pop-up headlights essentially sacrifice this nostalgic styling touch.
The recessions in the nose for the “sleepy-eye look” are also great surfaces to mount snacks, your tablet, or your small tools. They are also safety provisions so one can still illuminate some road ahead if the headlights cannot pop-up. Various kinds of headlight covers (clear, smoked, oooohhh body-matched!), including headlight louvers, can also be fitted to them. A Z31 with headlight covers, looking head-on, will look like a Ferrari F40–lights up or down! Because of the nose recessions, Z31’s also had the factory option for headlight washers.
4. Non-USDM 84-86 Z31’s had 1-piece headlights instead of compound–regional diversity!
5. Z-cars are life and the Z31 is the only Z-car with pop-up headlights.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!