Hooniverse Asks- What's The Best Hood Ornament?

They originally served a vital function, acting as cap, and sometimes sight glass for your car’s radiator- important in an age before ethyl glycol became a common cooling system additive. But as cars evolved less of a need to blow off steam, and radiators shrunk back behind expressive grilles, so too did the hood-mounted mascots become less functional and more decorative, and over the years they have taken on many shapes and emulations. Surely there must be one out there that you especially covet?

Stutz carried Ra, a deco Egyptian mascot, Cadillacs carried their shield, and almost all the American car makers in the mid-20th century used the hood as a canvas for jet-age sculptures. The hoods of the Rocket Olds provided the backdrop for its namesake, set in gleaming chrome, while the Chevy Shoebox’s hood evolved a pair of nose-gun sights making it as imposing as any warbird. Foreign makes have not ben immune to artistic hood accouterment either, and the angry Viking that fronted the Rover 100 is one of the most expressive. Rolls Royce has the Spirit of Ecstasy® leading the search for Grey Poupon. Mercedes, of course, has long announced their arrival via a stand-up three-pointed star above a chrome radiator shell, while competitor BMW has refused to set their emblem free, forcing it instead to lie prostrate on the hoods of their cars. So, looking back – or looking out in the driveway – is it the rectangular gunsight of the Lincoln Continental, or the kneeling archer fronting the legendary Pierce Arrow that gives you the warm squishies inside? Or, are you a fan of the fabulous fifties hood candy? whatever it is, what’s your favorite hood ornament. And remember, Tawny Kitaen doesn’t count. Image sources: [cartype.com, northstargallery.com]

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