Top 10 Car Hood Ornament | 10 Famous Car Emblems

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Various Hood Ornaments Used by Car Makers And their Meanings

Hood Ornaments has a ling history to tell, the hood ornaments also called as the radiator cap, or car mascot has been crafted model which symbolizes a car company like a badge. Luxury brands have used to put this kind of logo on the car nearly since the evolution of the vehicles. The companies used this to bring good luck.

Hood ornaments were popular in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. The ornaments were part of the hood till the Regulations introduced in the United States in the year 1968 and in the European Union, since 1974. Some manufactures like Roll Royce come with the solution over this with a retractable ornament that goes inside the hood after the impact.

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Brands like Rolls Royce and Bently still used this kind of hood ornaments which are made or fitted according to the current norms and standards. And brands like Mercedes are also famous for their logos on hood. In this article, we will see the brief history of the hood ornaments and their meanings.

1. Rolls Royce :- Sprit of Ecstasy

Rolls-Royce-The-spirt-of-ecstasy

The ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ is the official hood ornament of Rolls Royce cars. The logo or ornament is evolved much more now but it can be still seen on the Rolls Royce Cars hood. The Spirit of Ecstasy was designed by Charles Robinson Sykes. Which symbolized the secret love between the model of the mascot, Eleanor Velasco Thornton, and the Lord of Beaulieu. It is in the form of a woman leaning forwards with her arms outstretched behind and above her. Billowing cloth runs from her arms to her back, resembling wings.

The Spirit of Ecstasy is also called Eleanor, Silver Lady, or Flying Lady. It is one of the most recognizable ornaments in the world. Rolls Royce has been using the spirit of ecstasy on the hood from the early 1900s and it has been changed only 2 times until now.

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2. Bentley :- Flying B

Bentley-hood-ornament

Bentley is a British luxury car marker and they are also famous for their hood ornament the capital letter B having wings which was used on their cars until the last century. The first version of the logo was designed by F. Gordon Crosby which was in use in the 1920s.  After that, the smaller version of the dual-wing Flying B mascot appeared on Bentleys until the 1970s. But the company has to remove it from the hood due to pedestrian safety legislation.

In 2006 the Bently Flying B made the return, thanks to the mechanism that made it fully retractable. The logo was then offered on the models like Azure, Arnage and Brooklands, and is still available today on the Mulsanne. The logo or the ornament represents the B which means Bentley and the wings represent the speed of the Bentley cars.

2. Lincoln :- Gun Sight

Lincoln-hood-ornament

Lincoln also use this emblem as a logo and used it as an ornament on their several cars in their early days. The Lincoln logo has many theories behind it. Some say that the logo is a star, while others stick to the theory that the sign is made in form of a Compass. But the main feature of the logo is the fact that it represents simplicity and is recognizable among luxury lovers.

The logo in the form of a compass shows the hands directed to every part of the world. Which represents the eagerness of the company to conquer the worldwide market. The idea of the logo was to reflect something bright, luxurious, and prestigious and that’s the reason Lincoln is mostly associated with elegance, comfort, and power.

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4. Mercedes Benz :- Three Pointed Star

Mercedes-hood-ornament

Undoubtedly the 3-stars in Mercedes logo is more recognizable than that of any other ornament and it was seen until now on the Mercedes cars. The story behind the logo goes to the Technical Director of Deutz, Gottlieb Daimler. He drew this badge on a postcard, which he mailed to his wife as far back as 1872, And wrote one day this image would become the symbol of a car giant. Mercedes’s three-pointed star encircled into an orbit represents Gottlieb Daimler’s aims for universal motorization: on land, water, and in the air.

5. Buick Goddess

Buick-hood-ornament

The Buick’s famous goddess logo was first seen on the early 1930’s Buicks cars. The famous cars from the Buick Riviera and Model 40 were also carried by the same logo. The logo represents the provocative dancer, Isadora Duncan. The logo shows the dancer entirely nude but having a blowing scarf. The story behind it is the dancer was killed in an accident in 1927 when her scarf got stuck in the rear axel and strangled her to death.

6. Jaguar :- Leaper

pontiac-hood-ornament-1

The luxury carmaker which is now owned by Indian Auto Giant Tata Motors is also among the few that use the hood ornament. The logo has a Jaguar which is a sleek silver jaguar cat in mid-leap with a snarl on its face from hood also knows as ‘Leaper’. The ornament was originally produced as an additional accessory.

The hood ornament was first introduced in 1945 and its style remains unchanged until the 2000s. But the ornament was revoked in 1968 because of federal law.

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7. Dodge :- Ram

Dodge-hood-ornament

Dodge started using ‘Ram’ as a hood ornament from 1933 until the 1950s. The hood ornament was first seen on the Dodge trucks starting in 1933. The logo was used to symbolize strength in their rugged build. In 1981 Dodge decided to revive their old mascot and the Ram was added back to the hood of Dodge’s first generation of RAM trucks.  

8. Pontiac :- Cheif Pontiac

Pontiac-hood-ornament

We can clearly say that the most impressive hood ornament among these all is the Pontiac’s, Cheif Pontiac. The company has used the Native American’s head complete with full headdress in the 1930s as a hood ornament. Later the Cheif Pontiac was replaced by a jet plane with the head of Chief Pontiac by the 1950s. The Ornament represents the jets and bomber planes in that era and also cultural steryotypes of native Americans.

Pontiac Hood
Pontiac hood ornamanet after 1950s

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9. Ford :- Greyhound

Ford-Greyhound

The story of this logo ways back to the 1920s when Henry Ford purchased Lincoln during its bankruptcy. After that Ford’s son Edsel wanted to give his own influence in cars. So he created a design that was inspired by a canine(Dog) to put it on the hood of the cars. Lincoln car used this as hood ornament until the 1930s when they switched to another kind of ornaments.

After Lincoln drafted the Greyhound ornament Ford picked it up to use on the Model 48 and DeLuxe Fordor until 1936. Although Ford left this ornament in dust afterward. But we can say that Dodge and Jaguar have created the same animal ornaments in the coming years.

10. Packard :- Goddess Of Speed

Packard-Goddess-Of-Speed

Packard is also among the famous autobile manufactures to use hood ornaments to give the car that extra ordinary look. The American luxury car maker manufactures cars between 1899 to 1958 with the touch of uniqueness to their car with ornaments.

Packard used the ‘Goddess of Speed’ as well as the ‘Pelican’ emblem on the hoods of their cars. The ornamanet was designed as a woman with her outstretched arms containing a tyre and a stylised pelican, respectively.

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