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Thread: Install pop-up headlights on my Ferrari Daytona?

  1. #1

    Install pop-up headlights on my Ferrari Daytona?

    I need to do something with my headlights. These are the headlights on my Daytona replica now:

    On early Daytonas, four fixed headlamps were set behind a full-width plexiglass nose section,
    but the US market didn't approve of that, so it soon gave way to a more universally acceptable
    pop-up headlight system.

    So my car now looks similar to these early real Daytonas with clear plexiglass nose sections:

    The problem with clear plexiglass is that it scratches easily, and every flaw is readily apparent.
    It also shows the adjustment screws, every bit of dirt, and imperfections in the headlight surround.
    Some authentic Daytonas address that issue with textured/patterned/scored plexi that looks like this:

    The big question is whether I should convert to the pop-up headlight system as shown below.
    The disadvantages as I see it are the extra weight, and of course the additional expense.
    I like the look of the pop-up lights, and it solves the cosmetic problems of plexiglass:

    I am assuming that pop-up lights from a real Ferrari Daytona would be made of unobtanium.
    Corvette lights depending on the year must have rather different angles and dimensions:

    This job would be beyond my capabilities, so I would need to farm it out. Would a capable body shop
    be able to add Corvette pop-up headlights, and how many hours could it reasonably take them?
    What do you think a reasonable price might be for them to charge me including painting to match?

    What additional weight do you think it might add? Should that even be a factor to consider?

    Overall - does anyone think it's worth doing the pop-up conversion, or is the plexiglass look better?

  2. #2

    Re: Install pop-up headlights on my Ferrari Daytona?

    So what's cooler? :-\ Plexiglass? or Pop-ups?

    If everyone agrees that the plexiglass look is still cool, I'll stay with plexi and avoid the
    expense, hassle and Murphie's Rule. Then just need to decide if I should stay with clear
    or try for a scored/textured/lined/smoked plexiglass look.

    I could simply replace the plexiglass myself. I ordered a replacement from Rowley, but it doesn't fit.
    I guess my kit was not originally made by Rowley, but do not know where else to look for a replacement.

    So I thought I would buy a sheet of scored/textured plexiglass or lexan, use the old piece of plexi as
    a pattern, cut out the new piece and try to do it myself. Should I even consider smoked plexi?
    Is that something I could hope to find locally, or are there sources out there I should know about?

    What I don't want to do is botch the job so it ends up looking like this replica:

    Thanks in advance for any help and/or advice you can offer guys! I value your opinion!

  3. #3

    Re: Install pop-up headlights on my Ferrari Daytona?

    Pop-up looks soooooooo much better. It gives it an up to date look, but then again, there are those who may differ. Bottom line, it's a matter of taste and willingness $$$$$. If I had the cash handy to do it, and wanted it done, I wouldn't even think about it...just go for it!
    Kindest Regrads,

  4. #4

    Re: Install pop-up headlights on my Ferrari Daytona?

    Thanks Chamaco. I tend to agree, but have no idea what the cost might be. This is what I have to work with:

    Not a pretty sight. I'm afraid that if I do it myself and reuse the same trim, it will end up looking much the same.

  5. #5

    Re: Install pop-up headlights on my Ferrari Daytona?

    I know this must seem like "small time" to most of you guys, but I value your opinions! After all, what makes a car is in "the details".

  6. #6

    Re: Install pop-up headlights on my Ferrari Daytona?

    I would not use plexiglass. I use Lexan or polycarbonate. It is a bit more expensive, but it is a lot easier to work and it is much more scratch resistant. Personally, I like the look of the fixed head lights. One of the guys at the NCKCC show used plexiglass on his Daytona. On the back of the piece of plastic, he used a razor blade and straight edge to put the vertical lines into the plastic. He then would take the plastic off once a year and buff out most of the scratches. I have to admit, it did look nice and did not stand out as "off".

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Upstate NY

    Re: Install pop-up headlights on my Ferrari Daytona?

    If I was to take a look at your replica for the first time, the only immediate out-of-place thing I would notice would be your headlight covers!!

    I know very little about the Daytona cars but I know what they should look like and to me your headlight section looks WRONG and out of place!....That's my opinion. Either use all clear cover or pop-up lights but get rid of the this semi-circle look on the plexi...It's totally wrong and it sticks out like a sore thumb.

    So asked for opinions and you've got mine....Don't be too stressed out, your replica looks fine to me otherwise, it just the front section looks gimmicky and distracts from the overall look of the Daytona.

    If this was my replica I would definitely opt for the clear headlight look....That's what most people (including myself) identify the Daytonas with and that would be my choice....Whether it's hard plastic, plexi so something else you have to use I don't know enough about it....In my opinion your Daytona would look correct with CLEAR headlight covers.

    Good luck - VK
    Life is too short to be driving Hondas!

  8. #8

    Re: Install pop-up headlights on my Ferrari Daytona?

    Plus the plastic cover will be a lot easier to install vs pop ups.

  9. #9

    Re: Install pop-up headlights on my Ferrari Daytona?

    Thanks Brastic and VK goyal99. I really appreciate your advice and opinions.

    Thanks for the razor blade tip too. Does he etch the inside or the outside of the plastic? If he etches the inside, does that affect the blackout paint? If he etches the outside, it wouldn't affect the paint.

    I'll look into the plexiglass alternatives you mentioned first. I also agree with the nix on the oval blackout pattern. It's good to hear someone else say it too! If it's clear plastic that I stay with, I'm thinking that I should change the oval shapes to retangular, as suggested.

    I'm thinking that I should paint the inside of the enclosures flat black to cover the aluminum bottom and red sides of each enclosure. That way you'll see only the round headlights inside each rectangular enclosure. Sound good?

    The question then is if I use a clear plastic with the verticle etchings, what will the center look like between the headlights. Should it cover a red body color, a black body color, or should I actually paint the reverse side of the plastic either red or black? I think most of the real Daytonas have black painted on the back of the plastic, but I'm not sure.

    Also my Ferrari emblem seems to be considerably recessed. I want to find some way to bring it out so the surface is flush with the plastic.

    So if I don't do the pop-ups, you're suggesting that it would ideally look best as in this picture of the real deal...

    Naturally my plastic cover won't fit as nicely if I use the existing metal frames, but oh well!

    Thanks again guys! Any more ideas and suggestions are much appreciated!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Upstate NY

    Re: Install pop-up headlights on my Ferrari Daytona?

    Here's my personal preferences on your questions:

    I would paint the inside side panels of the headlights BLACK (not red) and that way the round headlights would show off more through the clear covers. Also get rid of the silver (aluminum) base plate inside the headlight enclosure.

    I would also suggest a way if possible to mount the clear plastic/plexi covers without the screws showing through the plastic...Is it possible to use velcro strips on the inside?? not sure if it's the best method for mounting the covers but it would look much better if the covers are mounted flush with the body and without any screws...

    Does it have to be one long clear cover on the front?? In other words, can you make clear covers in 3 sections - 2 sections for the headlight covers and one longer section for the middle one?? I would think this way with 3 sections you should be able to replace them in case of an accident or polish them often for an better look.

    As for the Ferrari emblem I think you can install a thicker rubber basket behind it and raise it more...

    That's all for now - VK

    Life is too short to be driving Hondas!

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