Click on the photo for a high res gallery of aviation inspired hood ornaments
Once upon a time, car designers just drew up whatever looked good to their eye, and added all kinds of ornamentation. Thoughts of what might occur to a pedestrian who was unfortunate enough to find themselves in the path of a moving vehicle never entered their minds. One of the inevitable features of any car design was a hood ornament. Jaguars had leaping cats, Rolls-Royce had the "Spirit of Ecstasy" and there were many others.
The years following World War II ushered in what became known as the Jet-Age. The rear fenders of cars began to sprout fins modeled after aircraft rudders, while the leading edge of the hood often featured something that looked like it just popped out of a Flash Gordon serial. While perusing the collection at the General Motors Heritage Center the other day, I noticed that several adjacent cars were all adorned with futuristic looking aviation inspired trim. Enjoy a bygone era.