Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Favorite Taillights

This week, I learned that the Maserati 4200/Coupe sold States-side was preceded by the 3200, which had beautiful "boomerang" taillights. They complemented the rest of the car perfectly. However, when the model was cleaned up for the American market, the boomerangs were scrapped and replaced with dull, mundane taillights because they did not meet federal standards for nighttime visibility. As I've said before, federal regulations have uglified many cars in the past.

The boomerang lights led me to ask, what are my favorite taillight designs? I've always been fascinated with the tall, vertical lights of the Toyota Carina.

Another favorite belongs on the back of the early 1970s Nissan Skyline GT-R. The circular lamps with reverse and turn signal lenses within the red lenses are iconic. Though it has evolved over the decades, its easily recognizable design still graces the current GT-R.

Another cool design belongs to the old 1965 to 1971 Ford Thunderbirds. Its sequential lights were a disaster reliability-wise but looked futuristic. Alas, the sequential lights were eventually banned by the feds as they required all turn signals to operate in unison. I'm all for a nanny state on a plethora of issues, but some of the car "safety" regs are just ludicrous.


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