While perusing my daily subscription to Bring A Trailer, I came upon this Bizzarrini being sold by a guy in Nice. Aside from the very distinctive styling of the front end, the yellow headlights hauntingly and menacingly stared at me.
Remember those yellow headlights from old movies? What happened to them? What was the story behind them?
The yellow headlights were introduced in France in 1936. Ever the military strategists, yellow lights were required of vehicles in France so that they could be distinguished from white-lit German invaders. Of course, during the war, the yellow lights just made the shooting and blowing up easier for the Nazis.
The French kept the yellow headlights after the war. The official reason was that the yellow lights gave off less glare, which was sort of true but only when it was foggy. The unofficial, and real, reason was that it represented stubborn, quirky Frenchness.
Alas, with the EU and full economic integration, cars registered in France no longer were required to have yellow headlights in 1993. No word yet on when Strasbourg is going to phase out the beret.