Finding this rare surviving set of aftermarket headlight covers on a Volvo is another “CC-Effect” example, as I was just thinking about them the other day, when I wrote my 1983 T-Bird Turbo Coupe CC. They were popular in the early-mid eighties, as the sleek aero look was already common in Europe, but stupid federal codes kept them off US cars. I haven’t seen any in ages, and these look like they need a good scrubbing. No wonder most have been tossed.
It just drove me nuts how the sleek new ’83 aero-Bird looked with those pathetic exposed lights. Headlight covers were outlawed in 1968, when a number of cars lost their beautiful and tapered headlights, including the Jag XK-E, Fiat 850 Spider, VW Beetle, Porsche 911, and a whole lot of other cars, almost all European.
I found some clear plastic covers (no lines on mine) in an ad in the back of one of the buff books, and ordered a set asap. They attached to little velcro tabs that had adhesive. Seemed a bit iffy, but then the wind is always pushing against them. I thought they made a big difference looks-wise, and probably imagined them making a perceptible difference in its aerodynamics. Kind’a like how your car runs better after washing it.
Coincidentally, it was Ford that petitioned the Feds in 1981 to toss that rule overboard. Undoubtedly, Ford wanted to make the most of their big push into the aero-look. The feds relented in 1983, too late for the ’83-’84 T-Bird. But the 1984 Lincoln Mark VII was the first car in the US to take advantage of the new rules, and it ushered in the aero-headlight era. Not a minute too soon.