Thursday Twister: Opera Lights

Welcome back to another edition of DT’s weekly quiz show, the Thursday Twister <APPLAUSE>.  In the world of useless car design elements, few were as shameless as the opera window. But, the opera window was at least useful to let in some sun for rear passengers, the opera light on the other hand, was totally worthless. Let’s find all the cars equipped with opera lights from the factory.

photo from

The opera light was a small dimly lit accent bulb attached the B or C pillar of a brougham styled American car from the 70s/80s, typically mounted in a chrome bezel.  Early versions were 12V DC, but later changed to 110V AC versions that included nearby transformers, because if you are going to put a small accent light on the outside of a luxury car, it may as well be as complicated, prone to failure, and difficult to replace as possible. Don’t confuse these with dome lights, they were on the outside of malaise-mobiles and were marketed as bringing the style/luxury/sophistication of opera lighting on the road with you…

I’ve spent some time a few years ago scouring local junkyards for functioning opera lights and I can tell you that (A) they are abundant in junkyards, (B) most are not functioning, (C) they are difficult to remove without breaking something.  The truth is, the world is a better place without opera lights in any car…but that isn’t important, today you are going to help compile a list of all new cars sold with the funky fluorescent 70s abomination.

Photo from Murilee Martin jalopnik article used with his permission.

 Contest rules are as follows: 

1. Only one car per comment (be sure to hit the refresh button on your
browser before you post in case someone else has posted since you loaded
the page).  Do not nest the replies, just reply to the main post — if
you reply to someone elses comment it should be in reference to his
comment and not a new submission.

2. You can post again, but only after someone else posts another car.

3. The contest will end at Sunday, April 5th, 4pm PST.

4. One submission per generation of each make/model.

5. Each car must be a running/driving car (no clay model prototypes) and
at least two must have been built of that particular car (no one-offs). 

6. No anonymous submissions — pick a name with the Name/URL dropdown.

Ready…set…opera lights!