Home » Too Much Pop: Cold Start

Too Much Pop: Cold Start

Cizeta Moroder V16t Prototype Ts
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I believe that you can have too much of a good thing, and automobiles seem to prove out these beliefs on a regular bases. A cool exhaust note that sets your heart racing as you cruise down Woodward Avenue in Detroit might not move you to ecstasy if you try to drive a car with this sound for ten hours to the east coast. The fact that I’m constantly asking my coworkers “WHAT? WHAT?” is almost certainly indicative that I overdid it with the trunk-of-funk in my 220,000 mile Lincoln Town Car years ago.

Even one of my favorite 1980s staples can be overused or misused. “Say yes to pop-ups” is my mantra when it comes to headlamps, but when you go beyond a pair of these things, I start to question the logic. Did anyone even try that?

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Well, of course they did! The 80s was the cocaine-fueled Miami Vice era, and no car summed up the times better than the Cizeta-Moroder V16T. If there was ever a car that appeared to be the result of putting “1980s, cocaine, supercar, Italian” into some AI application, this is it.

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This outrageous sixteen-cylinder supercar was the brainchild of now-deceased former Lamborghini engineer and mechanic Claudio Zampoli. After establishing his own supercar repair business in California, he occasionally even serviced the much-abused vehicles of rock stars. If you want to see what Claudio looked and sounded like in the eighties, he’s “the mechanic” that appears as a consultant to Mr. Cabo Wabo in the first few minutes of the silly video below:

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Screenshot (1372)

Giorgio Moroder was a Grammy-winning synthesizer whiz that owned a Countach which Zampoli serviced, and Moroder ended up providing Zampoli’s supercar fantasies with financial backing – at least until the two parted ways when Claudio rejected Moroder’s idea of using fiberglass bodies and BMW power to make the cars more producible and less over the top.

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Cizeta Moroder V16t Prototype Photo Credit Patrick Ernzen Rm Sothebys 100822299 H
RM Sothebys

Possibly the most outrageous feature of the Cizeta’s Marcello Gandini-penned shape was the dual pairs of pop-up headlamps, the ultimate statement of excess for excess’ sake. What’s worse is that I’m not sure how these things might even work in terms of illumination.

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Look at the views below. The upper set of lights are essentially blasting illumination onto the backs for the raised lower set of lights, throwing glare back at the driver and likely creating odd shadows and light patterns. I’d love to test one out, but with only around fourteen produced that would be a tough task to accomplish.

Cizeta Moroder V16t Prototype Photo Credit Patrick Ernzen Rm Sothebys 100822290 H

Screenshot (1353)

This is a pop-up too far. Note that Marcello Gandini did not include this detail on his rather similar-looking Lamborghini Diablo that was released around the same time; it had just one pair of good ol’ horizontal retractable lights (later famously replaced with exposed, fixed-position Nissan Z32 300ZX units).

Screenshot (1371)
Bring A Trailer

Two-tier pop-ups is an absurd idea. Pure 1980s excess. Moroder made the soundtrack for the film Scarface, and this overabundance of retractable lights is the automotive equivalent of the scene near the end of that movie where Al Pacino has a pile of cocaine on his desk bigger than Peter Brady’s volcano model that sprayed lava on all of the popular girls. Is it any surprise that Cizeta motorcars went the same way as Tony Montana?

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Shinynugget
Shinynugget
2 months ago

Any car with a 2x V8 engine needs 2x pop up headlights!

Goblin
Goblin
2 months ago

My name is Giovanni Giorgio, but everybody calls me…

Barry Allen
Barry Allen
2 months ago
Reply to  Goblin

It started with a click

KennyB
KennyB
2 months ago
Reply to  Barry Allen

Why don’t I use a synthesizer which is the sound of the future?

Cerberus
Cerberus
2 months ago

IIRC, this was more Gandini’s original proposal for the Diablo, which was modified by Tom Gale.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
2 months ago

Oh Sammy, keep it on the track and off the streets you glorious buffoon in your sleeveless, hotdog themed racing suit.

Vee
Vee
2 months ago

What’s funny is the Cizeta V16T was originally supposed to be the Diablo, and the dual popups are one of three reasons why it was passed on. The other two being the proposed and costly V16 in place of the V12 Lamborghini was already using, and the pain in the ass of fitting that V16 somewhere that didn’t ruin the car’s handling. The side profiles of both cars are nearly identical with that very distinctive window droop that slams into a dead stop on the contour of the front wheel arch anchoring the very very short nose and “You Must Be This Tall To Ride” indignant windshield.

If the V16T wasn’t some one-off and was the actual Diablo I wonder how it would have fared in pop culture and automotive enthusiast circles? Then again if the V16T actually went into production as the Diablo I’m pretty sure Lamborghini wouldn’t exist right now because Chrysler would have bailed the moment they saw the manufacturing costs during the ’89 recession.

Freddy Bartholomew
Freddy Bartholomew
2 months ago

I liked the pop-ups on my ’86 MR2 with wing. They did not fail during the 17 years I owned the car (in northern CA). But that was then…

Church
Church
2 months ago

That last paragraph sums it up perfect. Excellent writing.

JKcycletramp
JKcycletramp
2 months ago

I want one set to be high beams and one set to be low beams, with a synchronized mechanical movement when switched.

Mike B
Mike B
2 months ago

I’m most struck by the fact that the interior actually looks nice. Most of the 80s/early 90’s supercars had such homebuilt looking interiors.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
2 months ago

I don’t get the love for pop-ups. Lots of unnecessary weight right up in the nose of the car. An extra complexity that can and will break. They had their place, and I’m glad they’re gone.

That being said, they really worked for this era of car design, provided you’re not strictly because-racecaring your car. The 944 looks better than the 968, for example. I yanked out my pop-ups to race before I decided to do some night racing and get it road-legal, but they’re a pretty integral part of that wedge shape. If you’re designing cocaine in vehicle form, form-over-function complexity is a feature, not a bug. This car’s two-tiered lights are silly, excessive and perfect.

Last edited 2 months ago by Stef Schrader
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
2 months ago

If ChatGPT snorted a fat rail and then you asked it do draw an 80s supercar, this is pretty much what you’d get.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
2 months ago

The double pop ups might be the most distinctive part of the design(the yuge vents might be too) but the craziest part of the whole car is definitely the twin Lamborghini v8s back to back and outputting power from between them.

Angel "the Cobra" Martin
Angel "the Cobra" Martin
2 months ago

“the silly video below”…HOW DARE YOU.

AssMatt
AssMatt
2 months ago

I’ve always hated this song, but I can’t help but be won over by Sammy’s yellow kneepads. Very practical for stage-sliding.

Last edited 2 months ago by AssMatt
Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
2 months ago

I wonder how they would have looked if they had been staggered?

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
2 months ago

Pop-ups got a brand new bag …

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
2 months ago

Counterpoint: the double pop-ups in the Cizeta-Moroder are awesome, and all it takes to realise just how awesome they are is looking at a Diablo with the pop-ups, well, up. I mean, just look at the image linked in the article. That is no improvement over this magnificent setup.

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

So much awesomeness going on in that ad. I’m assuming that drivetrain came from a Renault Dauphine/Ondine, but I love that it ended up powering that deathtrap.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
2 months ago

I grew up on the Oregon coast in more or less the middle of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area so I remember seeing similarly deathtrappy homemade dune buggies based on air-cooled VWs and occasionally Corvairs back in the 1970s but never a Renault. I find it to be admirable.

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

I must say the almost complete lack of regulation on what you can do with a car – or bits of cars – is one of the things I envy the most about the USA. I am generally for regulation, but when it comes to car modding it’s almost draconian here in the EU. Where I’m from, drivetrain swaps for anything other than factory-spec aren’t even legal, nevermind trying to get a homemade buggy road-legal.

Toecutter
Toecutter
2 months ago

If there was ever a car that appeared to be the result of putting “1980s, cocaine, supercar, Italian” into some AI application, this is it.

I tried that, and it generated the following:

https://

imgur.com/cWBVUCi

imgur.com/Rr0VA32

imgur.com/xrkBZCw

The question is, would Dr. Rockso approve?

youtube.com/watch?v=dbJABjVH-0k

youtube.com/watch?v=lUh2EYX-RPE

Last edited 2 months ago by Toecutter
StillNotATony
StillNotATony
2 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

I DO C-C-C-COCAAAAAINE!!

TriangleRAD
TriangleRAD
2 months ago

When I host ’80s/’90s car shows, we have a marked “Popup Zone” where all the popup headlight cars are encouraged to park together. Guess what car is on the sign?

Last edited 2 months ago by TriangleRAD
Jbavi
Jbavi
2 months ago

I had the Cizetas from Pizza Hut the other day, they were a little too bready but dipped in sauce, they were edible, 6/10

Last edited 2 months ago by Jbavi
StillNotATony
StillNotATony
2 months ago

Yo dawg!! I heard you like pop-up headlights, so we put pop-ups on yo pop-ups!

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago

Pedestrian safety laws hate this one weird trick!

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
2 months ago

Why stop at 4? Why not cover the entire car in pop-up headlights?

10001010
10001010
2 months ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

My first thought was “I wonder how it’d look with 3 pairs…”

Uncle Cholmondeley
Uncle Cholmondeley
2 months ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

A fifth pop-up, right in the middle!

Instagr.am/JakobKsGarage
Instagr.am/JakobKsGarage
2 months ago

Yes. With the engine engine in the centre/back and that quite wide empty front (probably has some cooling and a brake servo down there) they could just have put them side by side! Would also have looked cool.

VanGuy
VanGuy
2 months ago

Exactly. The newer Ford Super Duty’s have four headlights; it’s not inconceivable..

Instagr.am/JakobKsGarage
Instagr.am/JakobKsGarage
2 months ago

And I see it doesn’t even have the characteristic Citroën CX s2 side mirrors: Then I don’t count it as a real supercar 😉

Instagr.am/JakobKsGarage
Instagr.am/JakobKsGarage
2 months ago

Oh, but it DOES have the Fiat Ritmo / Renault Twingo / Citroën SM asymmetric vent in one side of the hood, above the popups. How very european! 😀

Drew
Drew
2 months ago

For the Community movie, this is exactly what Magnitude needs to drive. Pop pop!

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