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Remember Front Light Bars?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2018

Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, one of the interesting trends that started to develop from certain automakers was the front light bar. Do you remember this? The most obvious "front light bar" car was the late 1980s and early 1990s Mercury Sable, but other models had them too -- including the Mercury Villager, the Pontiac Grand Prix and a few others. It was a mini-"trend" that quickly went out of fashion.

Naturally, this trend was a bad idea in the 1990s, and it never really looked good. All the cars that had this feature also had halogen lighting, which meant instead of two lights you had up front that could burn out, you now had four or five. And, of course, they did burn out, which gave incoming Mercury Sable models the appearance of a smiling hockey player who had a few teeth knocked out.

I bring up these light bars now largely because I actually wonder if they'll come back. In the days of LED lighting, light bars are a lot more attractive -- and rear light bars have returned with a vengeance, now becoming one of the most popular styling trends in the automotive industry.

And, indeed, some futuristic cars have also showed off front light bars in concepts, though none have made it to production ... yet. I wouldn't be surprised if it happens soon. So this is a warning to be on the lookout for the front light bar, the scourge of mediocre 1990s cars, potentially returning to the roads. Fortunately, with modern LEDs, now it won't look like a car driving around with a few missing front teeth.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Remember Front Light Bars? - Autotrader