The ideas that we’ve seen over the years when it comes to the worst car designs have been vast and many. We’ve had designers that were well respected that tried to build something that never caught on or others that have had ideas that we swear came after drawing on a napkin after a night of partying. Regardless of where some of the worst ideas have come from, there have been some that were just awful and have made it difficult for us to understand and want to know what prompted some of the worst designs we’ve ever seen. It’s the design of the headlights on these specific few cars that make us cringe and have us searching for answers as to why they were crafted in the first place.
A Brief History in Pop Up Headlights
In the middle of the 1980s sports car designs began to include a feature that became one that most of us admired at first. This new feature was the hideaway headlights, also called pop up headlights. The idea behind having this feature included on a car was that the car could offer a smooth and finished appearance during the day while at night the headlights could come up from where they were hidden to be useful and offer a bit more of an interesting quality to the car that what we had in the past. At the time, this was one of the most admired and cool features that you could see on a sports car.
Unfortunately the pop up headlights were eventually killed off but if you’re someone who owned a car that had this feature you might have uttered the phrase, “Thank God.” These pop up headlights were considered unsafe, expensive, complicated, bad for fuel economy and unreliable. We’ve all seen the cars on the road that had this feature that ended up having one headlight working right and one that didn’t. This meant the car had to ride around with both always open or one always open in a way that made the car look like it was winking.
Taking it to the Next Level with the Tracer TXC
While this feature was deleted after twenty years, Aston Martin car designer William Towns had an even more dramatic idea for how to show off the headlights of a car with the concept of the Tracer TXC for MG. This concept car was to be a roadster that had a lego look to it with its sharp lines and shape, but when you look at the car it’s hard to know where the headlights are positioned and how they might show themselves when it’s time to drive at night.
In the Tracer TXC the four square headlights that were built into the car were hidden behind a large square plastic hood that would drop down when the lights were turned on. This was certainly a dramatic idea and allowed the car to have a look that was uninterrupted during the day while driving, but it was more of a thought than anything that could be put into practice. Using this system would eat up almost all the trunk space in the car and make it nearly impossible for you to carry any gear with you in this little car.
Missing the Mark
Thankfully, this feature was never brought to the marketplace and even thought the thought was that there might be a production run of 3,000 cars per year, this tiny roadster didn’t end up being made. The MG did eventually make its way to the market when the MG F came out ten years after this concept. Unfortunately by this time, Towns had passed away, but the roadster that did come to the market was offered without hide-away headlights, which made much more sense in a little car that had to offer some space that we could make use of on the road.