A hood ornament, also known as a radiator cap, motor mascot, or vehicle mascot, specifically create model that, like a logo, represents a car business and position on the front center section of the hood. It has use as an ornament on vehicles almost since its beginnings.

Concerning the Origin

According to the author of A History of Cars, a sun-crested falcon put atop Egyptian king Tutankhamun’s chariot was the first “hood decoration.” In the early days, radiator caps were located outside of the hood and on top of the grille, and they also functioned as an indication of the temperature of the engine’s coolant fluid.

In 1912, the Boyce MotoMeter Company was granted a patent for a radiator cap that had a visible thermometer and a sensor that detected the heat of the water vapor rather than the heat of the water itself. Because many early engines did not have water pumps, a circulation system based on the “thermo-syphon” concept, such as the Ford Model T, became a valuable indicator for the driver.

Legal Constraints Apply To Hood Ornaments.

Some governments have imposed restrictions on the installation of decorations on the front of cars. Decorative patterns projected on the hood may enhance the danger of pedestrian harm in the event of an accident.

Fixed stand-up hood decorations and spinning wheel protrusions prohibite in the United States, beginning with the 1968 model year cars. Later variants, such as the 1974 AMC Ambassador and the 1986 Jeep Wagoneer, had flexibly placed (spring-loaded) stand-up hood decorations designed to fold without breaking on impact.

Hood Ornament Branding

Many automakers want their logo to place on the hoods of their vehicles, and Boyce Motormeter accommodated them with corporate logos or mascots and various organizations that need bespoke cap badges to identify their members.

Before 1929, hundreds of automobile manufacturers, which meant many consumers for their personalized emblems. During the mid-1920s, the firm had over 300 such clients for automobile, truck, tractor, boat, aircraft, and motorcycle manufacturers. In 1927, had 1,800 workers in six countries: the United States, England, Canada, Australia, France, and Germany.

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Hood Ornaments’ Significance In Terms Of Design

The radiator cap elevate to the status of an art form, serving to personalize the vehicle and reflect a company’s concept of the automobile.

Materials Used In Production

Hood ornaments are often made of brass, zinc, or bronze and coated in chrome. They plate in silver or nickel during the years when chromium plate was scarce. Other materials, such as plastic, bakelite, or tinted glass, also use in some cases. Plexiglas use to create the 1950 Ford Custom DeLuxe ornament. Others included a light bulb for nighttime lighting. Pontiac used the illuminated Indian-head hood ornament until 1955 when it replace with the flying V design.

Collectibility Of Hood Ornaments

Some hood ornaments appeal to people other than automobile owners, such as the red-white-and-blue golden lion crests found on the hoods of 1950 Fords and used by youngsters to decorate their hats, belts, or bicycles. The corporation resolved the issue by providing a free miniature crest to all children who received letters seeking one.


Hood ornaments may have begun as functional additions to autos, but they swiftly evolved into a means of displaying brand prestige to the point where they posed a physical hazard. Because safety rules and thievery have all but eliminated the hood ornament from modern car production, the most excellent location to discover these magnificent ornaments now is in antique car museums.

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Review What is a Hood Ornament? And its legal Ramifications.

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