Quads began appearing on some 1957 model U.S. cars and were common by the following model year.
A reader reminded me in an email that some quad headlights were arranged in a slanted manner rather than being placed vertically or side-by-side, and thought that might be a good subject for a blog post. He was right, and this is that post.
I think the quad-headlight facelift of 1957 Corvettes was a design-destroying event. The side-by-side positioning seen here is the most common quad arrangement.
Let's now follow Lincoln headlights for model years 1956-1960. The 1956 Lincoln in the above photo has conventional headlights.
Lincolns were given a major -- unsuccessful -- facelift for 1957. Quad headlights were introduced, and stylists gave them a stacked arrangement.
1958 saw a complete redesign for Lincoln that resulted in a huge, unitary body. Stylists apparently decided that side-by-side and stacked quad headlights were not very creative solutions to the four-headlight problem. Their solution was to place them at an angle with the uppermost lights closest to the body's edge.
The 1959 facelift retained the angled arrangement, but include the headlights in the grille ensemble.
1960 was the last year for this Lincoln body and the front end was lightly facelifted. Redesigned 1961 Lincolns got side-by-side headlights.
Buick used slanted headlights only on its 1959 line. This design is busy, but more successful than the others shown here thanks to the chromed strip along the front of the hood that continues along the sides of the car.
Chrysler went to angled headlight for 1961 and 1962. Unlike the 1959 Buick, this design is uncluttered. But the slanted lights created some unfortunate fussiness in the form of the oddly-shaped parking lights.
1961 was the last model year for DeSotos, and few were built. The bumper, headlight positioning and parking lights are the same as that for the Chrysler in the previous photo. The overall front ensemble is an ugly mess largely due to the odd upper grille element. What a sad way for a fine brand to die.
The main front-end change from 1961 is the grille detailing, though the headlight assemblies have darker background panels. A more important change is the elimination of tail fins.
Dodge stylists got "creative" with angled headlights for the 1962 Polara model, pulling an Old Switcheroo by having the highest headlights inbound and the lower ones at body's edge.
The following year Polaras went to the conventional angle arrangement.
Thus more or less ended the American romance for slanted quad headlights.