David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/1/11 6:53 p.m.

Thinking about my own sports car design tonight. I think you might have to start with the headlights. They're the eyes to the soul, right? Today we have a lot more options than the standard 7-inch round lights, including something from the O.E. Elise? Flip-ups? Something custom? What are you guys thinking? (Don't give it all away, of course.)

stuart in mn
stuart in mn SuperDork
3/1/11 7:01 p.m.

I personally think all cars should have round headlights. They can be disappearing, but that's it....all these modern cars with headlights that look like Dame Edna's eyeglasses bug me.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/1/11 7:03 p.m.

You know, I see both sides--standard rounds vs. something else. Then there are the ones that kind of blur the two, like the new MINI and 997 Porsche.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
3/1/11 7:04 p.m.

Why not use the Subaru WRX headlights (the slantly ones)? (If we are talking about the contest.)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/1/11 7:12 p.m.

If going WRX, why not the bugeye lights? Those might look cool in some swoopy bodywork. (And yeah, talking about the design competition.)

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
3/1/11 7:48 p.m.

If I am building a car from scratch I would look at my design and match "character"

I have recently seen a design for an eco-aero design that used Pontiac Sunfire headlamps. Sure as hell looked better than what GM put around them.

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
3/2/11 10:20 a.m.

I always liked the lights on the sunfire. The whole nose was not bad.. it was just let down by the rest of the car

Steve Chryssos
Steve Chryssos Associate Publisher
3/2/11 10:44 a.m.

Our friends at Hella make some spectacular headlight module kits. They're entirely self-contained including housings, lenses and even adjusters. I have some 90mm and 50mm halogens planned for my car. Not coincidentally, these same modules find their way onto many of the world's supercars. Saves companies from having to develop their own solutions. And the tight packaging can free up the design process.

http://www.hella.com/MicroSite/soe/EN/railway/highlights/90mm-module-headlight.html

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
3/2/11 11:15 a.m.

they are also used on buses and motorhomes.. Excellant lights. I have a set of 90mm in storage right now

Justen
Justen New Reader
3/2/11 12:50 p.m.

I was hoping to use the headlights from the donor car, even if we don't use the housing, at least use the internals from it to keep cost down.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper SuperDork
3/2/11 1:07 p.m.

I just want a headlight that actually throws light at night that I can use. Most of them don't.

I don't need to see the owl flying overhead, I don't need to burn a hole in the pavement 10 feet in front of my bumper. I want the area I'm about to drive into lit up instead.

nderwater
nderwater HalfDork
3/2/11 1:14 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: I always liked the lights on the sunfire. The whole nose was not bad.. it was just let down by the rest of the car

Go figure. From the time it was first launched, I thought the nose on the Sunfire was one of the ugliest snouts fitted to any small car in recent memory.

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
3/2/11 1:26 p.m.

Z32 300zx lights?

carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
3/2/11 1:42 p.m.

I too think headlight modules from some sort of factory donor, preferably Xenon, are the simplest choice.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury SuperDork
3/2/11 2:05 p.m.

I always liked squarish lights that blended into or were extensions of the grill like AE86s and challengers

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
3/2/11 2:28 p.m.
foxtrapper wrote: I just want a headlight that actually throws light at night that I can use. Most of them don't. I don't need to see the owl flying overhead, I don't need to burn a hole in the pavement 10 feet in front of my bumper. I want the area I'm about to drive into lit up instead.

That's US lighting laws for you. Most street and highway signs are not lit up, so our headlights are mandated to throw a certain amount of light upwards to illuminate them.

Right now I am dealing with the terrible lights my Classic 900 has. I had forgotten how bad lights can be after running Euro projector lights on my BMW with HIDs.

dculberson
dculberson Reader
3/2/11 3:53 p.m.
racinginc215 wrote: Not sure what factory five has to have certified for safety etc but flip up lights were done away with because of ECE standards against protuberances on cars and pedestrian safety. That's the reason the Vette and the Esprit were the last cars to use flip up's in 04. it's been 7 years and nobody yet has tried to build a compliant flip up light.

I bet Factory Five isn't too concerned with meeting European standards. But that's just a guess! ;-)

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
3/9/11 11:45 a.m.

The neat thing about using cheap GM lamps is they often have VERY simple mounts... like say the Sunfire (again, the Embolado based design car will use a variant of this lamp) Yes kids, three simple bolt and you have the adjusters and everything already built in.

I would be using the tacky aftermarket ones to differentiate from the pedestrian GM units but either could be optioned:

z31maniac
z31maniac SuperDork
3/9/11 12:51 p.m.

06-08 350Z HIDs, I think they look great and they threw out the most light by far........stock vs stock of any vehicle I've owned.

Tom Heath
Tom Heath Web Manager
3/9/11 12:56 p.m.

I was VERY happy with the lights on my 04 WRX. I like the lights on my 03 WRX pretty well too, for that matter.

dean1484
dean1484 SuperDork
3/9/11 5:16 p.m.

I upgraded the headlights in my 924s with the "Ecode" (there is no ecode label on them) units that Flying Miata was / is selling and they are the best headlights I have ever had. I am using standard 9003? bulbs.

If you upgrade the bulbs and the wiring these thigns would be outrageous! Best $70 +/- I have ever spent!

Spitsix
Spitsix Reader
3/9/11 5:23 p.m.

XKE Series 1 glass covered

Stavros
Stavros New Reader
3/9/11 5:29 p.m.

I think you have to look at the body shape and headlights together when designing. When I initially started thinking of designs I wanted to reuse the bugeye or hawkeye lights, to save costs. However if you design a body to use those lights you would have to match the angle and positioning that they were originally designed for. One might think that a simple round headlight would work anywhere, but it does infact constrains your design.

For example if you look at the new 997 and the old bugeye headlights, to a layman they are both round/ovalish lights. But from a profile view the 997 has much more aerodynamic slant whereas the wrx is much flatter vertically.

If you can design something taking those factors into account when reusing exist lights thats great! However the designs I am more in favor of are the more aerodynamic ones.

amiller34
amiller34 New Reader
3/14/11 11:35 p.m.

I posted it on the other thread before finding this one... I've always thought the First Gen B9 Tribeca Headlights would be a great fit for a snub nosed roadster, I'm thinking BMW Z8 that ran into the screen door. The B9 tail lights and outer grille sections could be integrated as well.

Our Preferred Partners
tmgthxOJrHPzTbDpRWuoQr4LA1ptcDXsseUdOikCN3WcR57onJZR5NerJF6aCgL9