- Hood ornament
A hood/bonnet ornament or car mascot is a specially crafted model of something which symbolizes a car company like a badge, located on the front center portion of the hood.
Examples of hood ornaments include:
* Archer on
* Crest and
jaguaron Jaguar cars
Lion rampanton Peugeotcars
* Ram's head on
Dodgecars and trucks
Spirit of Ecstasyon Rolls-Royce Motorscars
* Trishields on
* Three-pointed star surrounded by a circle on
Mercedes-Benzcars and trucksAdditionally, many vehicle models such as Buick's Regal or Chrysler's Cordoba had their own emblem and accompanying hood ornament.
In the early years automobiles had their
radiatorcaps outside of the hood and on top of the grille. The hood ornament was born as a way of decorating the cap. Hood ornaments (or car mascots as they are known in the UK) were popular in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s with many automakers fitting them to their vehicles. Moreover, a healthy business was created in the supply of accessory mascots available to anyone who wanted to add a hood ornament or car mascot to their automobile. Most companies like Desmo and Smiths are now out of business with only Louis Lejeunein England surviving.
Hood ornaments are usually cast in
brass, zinc, or bronzeand finished in a chrome plated finish. In the years when chrome plate was unavailable, they were plated in either silveror nickel. Some also incorporated other materials, such as plastic, while others incorporated a light bulb for illumination at night.
There is now a strong collectors market for hood ornaments and car mascots. Sculptors such as Bazin, Paillet, Sykes, Renevey, and Lejeune all created finely detailed sculptures in miniature.
The best-known glass mascots were made by
René Lalique[ [http://www.finesse-fine-art.com/Lalique/lalart.htm Wraight, Tony. "René Lalique pre-war Car Mascots article" undated article] , retrieved on April 18 2008.] in France, but other sellers or producers of glass mascots include Sabino in France, Red Ashay in England, and Persons Majestic in the U.S. The latter two had their products made in Czechoslovakia. The Lalique company, like Louis Lejeune, is one of the few survivors from this era of motoring.
Few current vehicles have hood ornaments, partly because they have fallen out of style and partly because they pose a risk for injuries in collisions with pedestrians (although this hazard has been largely mitigated by mounting modern hood ornaments to springs so that they will fold down if struck by a pedestrian).
Hood ornaments still remain quite common on many models of luxury cars and are a target for vandals and thieves.
last = Colwill
first = James R.
title = The Automotive Mascot A Design in Motion Volume I The Early Years
publisher = Artanana Publishing
date = 2004
isbn = 978-0973886603
last = Wagner
first = Rob Leicester
title = Hood Ornaments
publisher = Metro Books
date = 2001
isbn = 978-1586630904
last = Blake
first = Robert
title = Hood Ornaments AACA "The Rummage Box"
url = [http://www.stant.com/brochure.cfm?brochure=3045&location_id=119
last = Cooper
first = Dan
title = Hood ornaments and automotive mascots: An introduction
url = [www.suite101.com/article.cfm/vintage_classic_cars/106457]
last = Rothenberg
first = Al
title = Classics: Man and Mascots
url = http://www.thecarconnection.com/Enthusiasts/Classics_Corner/Classics_Man_and_Mascots.S215.A3778.html
* [http://www.lepoix.de/html/reference/hood_ornament_mascot/hood_ornament_mascot_1933_1960_index.htm Hood ornaments and mascots from 1933 until 1960] an online reference with more than 500 hood ornaments from U.S. automakers. Retrieved on
April 18 2008.
* [http://northstargallery.com/cars/cargalflyingladies.htm "Flying Ladies" The Art of the Automobile Hood Ornaments and Car Mascots.] Retrieved on
April 18 2008.
* [http://www.artonwheels.com.ar.html "ArtOnWheels" Collector´s source for Car Mascots, Dashboard Badges & Fine Automobilia Collectibles.] Retrieved on
October 09 2008.
* [http://www.motor-klick.de/Kuehler/kuehler1.html Pictures of hood ornaments]
* [http://www.kaschka.com Huey Kaschka] Producer of individual hood ornaments
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