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The Hood Ornaments of Pebble Beach

Posted on 2017-08-30

Remember the late-1980s/early-1990s fad started by rappers, such as the Beastie Boys, wearing Volkswagen and Mercedes hood ornaments?

The origin of hood ornaments date back to a time long before even the first automobile was introduced in the 1800s. In an article on Inside Hook, Efe Uygar was quoted as saying, “The mascot that was first to be known was a sun-crested falcon (to bring good luck) mounted on Egyptian pharaoh King Tutankhamun’s (aka Tut’s) chariot.”

The article continues, “But despite their ornamental origins, the first automotive mascots had far more practical means.”

The use? The first hood ornaments on cars (not chariots) were used to gage the temperature of the engine coolant since they often rested atop radiator caps.

Today, there is a strong market for rare hood ornaments that make them extremely collectible. After a quick search on ebay, a Lalique Car Mascot Cinq Cheveaux Amethyst Hood Ornament had an opening price of $34,999. There were several others going for more than $5,000.

Walking amongst the cars in the field at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance it’s hard to miss the variety of hood ornaments — standard and collectible. They were each unique and beautiful with their own stories.

Check out the hood ornaments spotted during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegeance.

1929 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Harrison Sport Touring
1930 Bentley Speed Six Gurney Nutting Sports Saloon
1930 Cadillac 452 Fleetwood Sport Phaeton
1933 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom Le Baron Sedan

1935 Chrysler CW Imperial Custom Airflow LeBaron Limousine
1930 Cord L-29 Brougham
1909 De Dion-Bouton BV Type de Course
1930 Delage D8C Chapron Cabriolet
1934 Delage D8 S Fernandez et Darrin Cabriolet
1947 Delahaye 135 MS Figoni & Falaschi Cabriolet
1931 Dusenberg J Murphy Convertible Coupe
1931 Hispano-Suiza J12 Saoutchik Transformable Grande Luxe
1928 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Castagna Commodore
1929 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Cesare Sala Coupe de Ville
1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A SS Castagna Special Sports Torpedo
1935 Lagonda M45 Rapide Tourer
1905 Leon Bollee 40–50 HP Rothschild & Fils Roi des Belgos
1932 Marmon Sixteen LeBaron Sedan
1927 Mercedes-Benz 630K Thomas Harrington Drophead Coupe
1915 Packard 2–38 Six Runabout
1929 Packard 645 Deluxe Eight Dietrich Runabout
1932 Packard 904 Deluxe Dietrich Sport Phaeton
1934 Packard 1107 Twelve Coupe Roadster
1935 Packard 1207 Twelve Brewster Limousine
1937 Packard 120 Eight Darrin Convertible Victoria
1940 Packard 1807 Custom Super Eight Rollson Sport Sedan
1934 Pierce-Arrow 840A Deluxe Eight Coupe
1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Barker Torpedo
1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Freestone & Webb Sedanca de Ville
1938 SS Cars SS 100 Graber Coupe
1928 Stearns-Knight H 8–90 Phillips Cabriolet
1932 Studebaker President Series 91 Convertible Series
1910 Thomas Flyer Model K 6–70 Flyabout
1924 Voisin C 4S Sport Tourisme
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