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1987 MA71 R154 Pearl White, Blue Velour
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I took the car out to the carwash today and ended up talking to a guy at O'Reilly auto parts for a while on cars, California and life.

Driving back home I had 2 encounters. One was a guy pointing out to his kids while we were stopped in traffic to look at what was next to them. He was very excited. :)

The second was a young guy driving a Lexus SUV. I pulled up behind him at the light and he made thumbs up in the mirror and even made sure to do it out the window so I could see. :)

I drove behind him for a few miles, and then just before the turn off into my neighborhood, I pulled up next to him at the light. He was apparently driving with his mom, who seemed very happy he was so excited. He went on a bit of how much he loved the car, and then asked me to pop the headlights up (y) :D



It made his day to see them pop up. For a moment I reflected to when I was a kid seeing electric head lights and the joy it brought me. Having this young guy just request turning on the lights, in a world where they don't make them that way anymore, was a simple joy that's hard to put into words.

I took advantage of the straight away ahead and did a nice subtle fly-by past him before turning off.

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Very cool when that happens. These cars are pretty much a rare exotic at this point.

I took mine out a few days ago and while stopped at a red light in traffic, a 50-something guy in a truck stopped in the next lane over to chat about the car and give compliments through our open windows.

I've kinda expected that at some point someone will ask me to pop the headlights, but hasn't happened yet. Although there was an instance where someone in a Miata was stopped at the opposite side of an intersection and they briefly popped up their headlights, I thought to say 'hello', but I didn't catch it in time to return the gesture.
 

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1987 MA71 R154 Pearl White, Blue Velour
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's very cool. Honestly it took me off guard for him to ask. Its interesting to think that MK2 and 3s had them, but they went total in body with MK4s.

Sucks you couldn't reply fast enough with the popup hello :(

There are some really nice Miata's near me, one in my neighborhood. Now those things are like air brakes when they pop up :ROFLMAO:
 

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Ah, that's cool - thanks for the read. I always appreciate it when people allow themselves to express admiration and appreciation for having one of these old girls out motoring around. I never really thought about how the popup headlights are such a striking feature and so visual when we operate them.
 

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First time out with mine just getting gas was a positive adventure.

Great read, thanks for sharing!
 
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1987 MA71 R154 Pearl White, Blue Velour
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@IdahoDoug When I moved to CA in 97, I told my GF (now wife) that the Supra was a Japanese Corvette.

The old Stingrays with the pop up headlights are etched in my mind from when I was a kid as to what a sports car must have. Of course, awesome lens technologies now negate the need for them, but still. :D (y) ;)
 

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I dont know if some of know about this feature and have not confirmed the Supra has it. Most if you will know of a mandatory headlight feature for signaling other cars called the winkie which simply means when you pull back on the headlamp stalk it activates the high beams until you let go. A common European signal for passing, a way to signal danger, or a way to be sure a car ahead thinking of pulling out sees you. Its on every car nowadays.

From years as a product developer I recall that cars with hidden headlights are required to instantly open their lamps with this feature. Some you could pull back and instantly let go and on their own the lights would open on high beam for one second, then turn off and close while you focus on driving. Others when you pull back they open on brights and stay that way until you let go, then they shut off and close. Anyhow its a nice signal and a courtesy and lets you amuse kids in a parking lot. Next time I drive I will check which system we have.
 

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1989 Sport Roof White Pkg 7M-GTE + mods
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It made his day to see them pop up.
I was driving on the highway a few weeks ago and got a "thumbs up" out the passenger side window of a lifted 4x4 truck that went by me. When it was a couple car lengths ahead I turned on the headlights to make them pop up and both the front and rear windows of the truck opened, one to give me the "a-okay" sign and the other another "thumbs up." It never gets old.

IdahoDoug said:
Next time I drive I will check which system we have.
My '89 pops them up when I do "Flash to pass" by pulling on the stalk and then puts them back down. To be honest, I try not to do this because given the age of this car I don't need that mechanism to get any extra wear and tear. Replacing them will suck if I ever have to and nothing looks more ghetto than a car with one headlight up and one down because the motor is busted.
 

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I dont know if some of know about this feature and have not confirmed the Supra has it. Most if you will know of a mandatory headlight feature for signaling other cars called the winkie which simply means when you pull back on the headlamp stalk it activates the high beams until you let go. A common European signal for passing, a way to signal danger, or a way to be sure a car ahead thinking of pulling out sees you. Its on every car nowadays.

From years as a product developer I recall that cars with hidden headlights are required to instantly open their lamps with this feature. Some you could pull back and instantly let go and on their own the lights would open on high beam for one second, then turn off and close while you focus on driving. Others when you pull back they open on brights and stay that way until you let go, then they shut off and close. Anyhow its a nice signal and a courtesy and lets you amuse kids in a parking lot. Next time I drive I will check which system we have.
I know fc rx7 had that feature, a cutout where you can see the headlights flash. Would be cool if mk3 had that
 

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There are some really nice Miata's near me, one in my neighborhood. Now those things are like air brakes when they pop up :ROFLMAO:
I had my Supra for a bit over a year before I got my first Miata, an NA model. Really, really shocked me how big those headlights were compared to the rest of the car. I mean, I'm talking blocked visibility big. Amusing thing about the Miatas, and I think the FC RX7, is they had a button to pop up the headlights without turning them on. Hit the button on/off enough times and the motors go out of sync, so you can make the headlights do a little dance of sorts. All in good fun.

This thread made me realize it's been 17 years since the Corvette dropped the pop ups, and there's an entire generation of kids who weren't even born before they were phased out forever. I wasn't feeling old before, but now? I'll let ya know after I finish my Ensure.
 

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1987 MA71 R154 Pearl White, Blue Velour
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, it's amazing when you put things in time perspective. We talk about MK3s all the time, but when you remember Windows 3.1 was 1992, my 87 is a DOS machine! :unsure:
 

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Ah, popups. So my best friend had an older brother who was a car guy. One day in about 1976 he bought an Opel GT in bright orange. Looked like a miniature Corvette, complete with the hidden headlamps. Rather than pop up, they rolled sideways to open. Best of all, we discovered they were opened manually with a lever on the center console the size of an E brake lever. So we would sit in there and roll them back and forth when his brother wasn't around. Hope they didn't fail on him one day because of that.

Later, I had a Fiat X1/9 - best handling car I ever owned, even on stock P155/70-13s. It was not fast, but it was made to drive fast. All the time. Every aspiring racer should own this car and develop a dynamic feel of the interaction of chassis and road. Direct connection, no filter.

Anyhow, it had pop up headlights and was even smaller than the Miata's discussed above, so the headlamps loomed even larger. It was also a Targa like my Supra. When you popped the lights with the roof off you could feel the different air currents - which I was expecting with the Supra but I cannot actually feel a difference. The Fiat would also slow down a bit if you were going 80 near it's top speed - so large were those illuminated air brakes compared to its frontal area. Popping them up with a few inches of snow on the "hood" often led to an avalanche of snow onto the windshield, or done around town the car would often have a comical look with slabs of tilted snow and headlamps peering out.
 

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My first car was a 1974 SAAB Sonett III which had mechanical pop-up headlights. It took a pretty good tug to pull them up. The lamp on/off switch was just a plunger switch pushed by a tab on the main pull rod. That was quite a fun little car, and I sorta wish I still had it, but my like Supra way better.

Anyone with pop-up headlights learns the hard way to leave them up if there's any chance of snow or ice.
 

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1987 MA71 R154 Pearl White, Blue Velour
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
We had a 79 Dodge St. Regis when I was a kid. The front end on those was actually a pop-DOWN transparent cover. The nice covers hid the rather common 4 square light setup.

We bought the car new then, but by 1984 we were manually cranking the covers down because the motors had failed. Eventually we cranked them down and unplugged them. My dad was not a happy camper with the quality on that car.

Oh and to that point. The passenger side of the car said St. Regis, but the driver side said Newport (as in Chrysler). He joked that they couldn't even badge them correctly then.

Our white walls weren't this big, but ours was totally green inside and out. I got my first DL in that car.
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