Awesome Car Hood Ornaments, Part Two

Link - article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams

Chromed Streamlined Sculptures Designed to Inspire Motorists

There were just too many fascinating car hood ornaments for us to fit into our first article on this topic, so we simply had to take another look at these unique works of art. Ornaments were installed on the exposed radiator caps of cars in the early days of the motor vehicle and were still seen on hoods even when radiator caps ceased to be used. Here are some car hood ornaments from the past and present at Dark Roasted Blend.

(left: 1930 Packard 734 Speedster hood ornament; right: 1932 Auburn 12-160 Speedster; images credit: Jill Reger)

This beautiful golden bird decorates a 1912 Ford Model T Touring Car:

(image credit: Nick Young)

Here’s a radiator mascot from a 1927 Franklin Limousine (left). This figure on a 1928 Cadillac Town Sedan (right image) looks like it stepped straight out of the pages of Alice in Wonderland:

(images credit: T. W. Collins, Randy von Liski)

Here’s a nicely crafted flying quail radiator cap ornament on a 1930 Ford (left). And this one’s from a 1949 Ford Monarch (right):

(image credit: Randy von Liski, Sylvain Racicot)

These long-drawn faces were featured on Pontiac models from 1937:

(image credit: Librarianguish)

This ornament is on a 1953 Pontiac Chieftain:

(image credit: Stephen Brown)

Very 1950s Space Age chrome rocket hood ornament (and a badge) on the Oldsmobile Model 88, beautifully streamlined:

(image credit: William D. Hopkins)

This is also very intriguing 1958 Nash Metropolitan hood ornament which resembles a pilot riding on top of a chrome surf board:

(top image credit: William D. Hopkins, bottom images via)

There’s certainly been no shortage of animal-inspired decorations adorning the hoods of cars. Here we see a couple of horse and rider ornaments:

(images credit: FreakingNews, wilfy)

And more birds:

(images credit: Sandra Peppler /Pixel Pepp)

And then there’s this rather bizarre horned figure (seen on a Nash car):

(image credit: Steve King Photography)

Here we have a few inspired by human heads. The one on the left has another Native American design. Right image: this one appears to be a pilot or some other kind of aviator:

(images credit: Patti Pitzer, Rob Gale)

While this ornament seems to have been modeled on a man’s head from an old eighteenth century statue:

(image credit: Jeff Hanni)

Mythological creatures have also appeared many times as hood ornaments.

Photographer Jill Reger has plenty of enticing hood ornament images in her collection (see here). Here is the mythical creature on the 1929 Gardner Series 120 Eight-in-Line Roadster (left) and a winged figure on 1938 Cadillac V-16 convertible (on the right):

(images credit: Jill Reger)

On the left image below there is a really graceful Indian Maiden figure - and a beautiful Hispano-Suiza stork on the right:

(images credit: Jill Reger)

Fantasy, horror or even the paranormal have also served as the themes for ornaments for cars. How about these?... Gargoyles! -

(images credit: Jill Reger)

This is certainly a little strange:

(image credit: Jaime Carter)

And this one could be a ghost or a zombie or something else entirely:

(image credit: Monica Smoot)

This hood ornament certainly seem very pleased with himself (left)... and the skull ornament on the right is pretty cool, as well:

(images credit: Ken Morris Jr., Sandro Menzel)

This skull is very wisely wearing a sombrero in what appears to be very bright sunshine:

(image credit: Cherie Benoit)

How about this for creativity? A skeleton wearing what could almost be a bishop’s hat, holding a mug of frothing beer (left):

(images credit: William D. Hopkins)

And finally, if you don’t have a hood ornament on your vehicle like the ones featured in this article, why not just make your own? -

(image credit: Amy Stermer)

Article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 'swan' next to the 'graceful Indian Maiden' is not a swan but a stork. The symbol of legendary car manufacturer Hispano-Suiza.

During the early days of motoring (and aviation) they were the best thing that money could buy and it was often said that the only reason to buy a Rolls-Royce (which tended to reuse HS parts) was if you couldn't afford the real thing.

The brand has a fascinating history of bankrupcies and rebirths and nowdays is mostly used as a showcase for concept designs (Google images is your friend.)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

- and a beautiful swan on the right.

This car hood ornament bird has long legs, so i think it´s not a swan. It might be a crane or some cranelike bird.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is worth mentioning when talking about car hood ornaments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fNTli9bvRM

Blogger Unknown said...

The skeleton with the bishop hat and a mug of beer was formerly a tap handle for Rouge Brewery's Dead Guy Ale. Which is, for the record, delicious. http://rogue.com/beers/dead-guy-ale.php

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Sphinx with the jet engines is from an Armstrong Siddeley Star Sapphire - 1950s British limo. The Sphinx was to show how quiet the car was and the jet engines were added because Armstrong Siddeley also made them - the Sapphire engine was in several early 50s planes and was made in the USA as the J65 - going in things like the Thunderstreak.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the one labeled

"And this one could be a ghost or a zombie or something else entirely:"

Looks like Cher

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Indian" motif and long face ornament represent Chief Pontiac, of the Pontiac Indian tribe.

Anonymous Lyndon said...

Those were the days :)

Now all we have are flat boring badges... Except of course the Spirit of Ecstasy...


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