We absolutely love muscle cars for their straight lines and sharp edges, their unique, charismatic looks. Their designs practically beg to highlight the best features with custom parts, accessories, paint jobs and sometimes headlights. You would be surprised how a small change like that can instantly transform the entire look. There are so many more interesting things to do with your headlights than just looking for the correct size of headlight bulbs for retrofits. Here are the TOP-4 best modifications people add to their muscle cars.
Hidden Headlights Trend
The idea of concealing headlights was first introduced in 1936 when cars started to be mass-produced with a brand new design in mind. The reasoning behind this revolutionary look was a boost to aerodynamics when the headlights are folded almost seamlessly and create a smooth surface. Some cars had their lights shaped like eyes in their open position. They seemingly just popped out of the car, hence the other common name for this mod, pop-up headlights. This trend didn’t last long because of new, more strict safety regulations.
If you are not a fan of the fairly unusual car looks with headlights that just stick out of the car hood, there is a much more elegant way to hide those headlights. And coincidentally, it is also more compatible with muscle cars because of how their grilles are built. Dodge Charger is the most iconic example of how fierce muscle cars can look with concealed headlights. Instead of popping out upwards, these headlights rotate to elegantly appear once you need some extra light. Blink at the wrong time, and you will miss the moment when a piece of grille suddenly reveals a bright headlight.
However, we can still enjoy this very special design on customized or restored classic muscle cars up to this day. Depending on the other stylistic choices, a pair of concealed headlights will make your muscle car look either more vintage and classy or futuristic and quirky. And regardless of the concept, this mod will win your car even more fascinated glances from the crowd.
Unfortunately, as enticing as this mod can be, this is hardly achievable on just any muscle car. Concealed headlights require a lot of space, clever wiring and moving parts to make them work. Adding pop-up lights to a car that was not meant to have them is an arduous challenge even for a seasoned professional, not to mention the total expenses.
Vivid Halo Headlights
The complete opposite of hidden headlights is a trend to make them draw as much attention as possible. And installing halo headlights on a muscle car will do exactly that, accentuating the fiercely piercing gaze of your vehicle. Also, opting for a brighter lighting alternative for your vintage car will improve its visibility on the road and make it safer. Some stock and retrofit headlight bulbs do not offer enough light by modern standards or most people’s preferences. So upgrading them with LED halo accessories or replacing an entire headlight assembly can be a good solution that offers both utility and style.
With so many diverse options on the market, you can create any look you want. White halo headlights are good for DRL, and some models allow you to switch between bright white light and an amber indicator mode. These smart headlights can replace some obsolete models in classic cars to significantly increase visibility in the daytime. There are also more fun options like RGB and color halos out there, and though they look absolutely stunning on custom muscle cars, they are disappointingly illegal in most cases. So take your time and do the research before you buy. Make sure the halo headlights you chose are street legal, certified, and come from a verified manufacturer.
This mod is much simpler than our first pick. The majority of these halo headlights don’t require any adjustments, but if your car is not ready for the upgrade, use conversion kits or look for qualified assistance.
LED Headlight Conversion
If you live in a region where bad weather is more frequent than sunny days, or if you often drive after dark, you might notice that your car’s headlights are just not bright enough. If that rings true to you then you have probably considered switching your old headlights with something more potent. All things considered, headlights are not just default accessories. They are a safety feature.
“LED headlights are a rising trend now. They last the longest and thus save money in the long run”, thinks Ben Collins, the content editor of the LightningLab project.
LEDs are bright and efficient. And they last a lifetime if they are installed correctly. The only two issues with this upgrade are excessive brightness and compatibility. Pick bright LED headlight bulbs but not blinding-bright to the other drivers. And also, study the compatibility with your specific make, model and trim level before you install those LEDs.
Bright HID Bulbs for Muscle Cars
Muscle cars look amazing just the way they are, so if you just want a little more light output than the stock options, then some classic looking HID bulbs will do the trick. With this conversion, you can get a variety of light colors and stick with a halogen-like yellowish hue or choose something more akin to white. HIDs are very bright, and though they are less efficient than LEDs and have a shorter lifespan, they also have their own benefits, like higher burning temperature that prevents freezing.
The installation process may be a little tricky. They require a high-intensity power supply to light up, and that makes them vulnerable to power spikes, so you will need a good ballast and a sufficient power level from the battery, as well as some reliable wiring.
Aside from that, the HID headlight bulbs are the most popular among US drivers for a good reason. They are cheaper than LEDs and are quite durable.
To wrap this up, follow your heart when it comes to muscle car mods but always plan with a cool head and good research. This will save your budget and help you avoid different pitfalls along the way.
Written by Charles Farrell