• Aug 3rd 2009 at 4:41PM
  • Add
1924 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe deVille hood ornament – Click above for high-res image gallery

Once upon a time, one of the distinguishing features of all virtually automobiles – especially premium models – were their various forms of hood ornamentation. Those high-end models often had custom coachbuilt bodies, meaning that they rarely looked alike. The ornamentation not only showed the way down the road for captains of industry, it also helped bystanders distinguish a Duesenberg from a Cadillac or a Hispano-Suiza. Eventually, most mainstream cars also carried some sort of sculpture up front as well. Some of these design flourishes became truly iconic like the Rolls-Royce "Spirit of Ecstasy", Bentley's "Flying B", the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star, and, of course, Jaguar's leaper.

In recent decades, however, the combination of cost reduction, attention to aerodynamics and safety concerns have seen the elimination of most hood ornaments. A few remain on modern automobiles, but by and large, the best place to enjoy the artistry inherent in grille-mounted statuary are at events like the Meadowbrook Hall Concours. Enjoy our high-res gallery.

Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Max Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2015 Toyota Highlander
    MSRP: $29,765 - $44,140
    2015 Honda Accord
    MSRP: $22,105 - $33,630
    2015 Toyota Corolla
    MSRP: $16,950 - $22,955
    2015 Mazda Mazda3
    MSRP: $16,945 - $25,545
    2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    MSRP: $29,995 - $64,895
    Share This Photo X