Identifying Hood Ornaments
This all started when I was at a flea market and one of the vendors had a box of old hood ornaments for sale. She was not a car person and was glad to get rid of them for a fair price. Next came the 3 month task of identifying each of the unknown hood ornaments which resulted in the beginning of this website.
I've come across several other very excellent websites that list hood ornaments and mascots:
NOTE: The information contained within these webpages may not be correct. It is correct to the best of my knowledge and may require updating. These pages are updated haphazardly at best. If you are aware of any mistakes, please email me at
I came across the book Brightworks - Classic American Car Ornamentation (ISBN 0-8118-2663-5) by Ken Steacy at the local bookstore. I started to collect automobile scripts which lead to collecting other chrome pieces, here's a webpage talking about this new found hobby of collecting brightworks.
Hood Ornaments and Emblems listed by Make
If you look at a Mercedes parts such as its hood ornament, you will note a circle containing a three pointed star within. Named after the daughter of the company's founder, Emil Jellinek, Mercedes cars have this symbol because Jellinek intended his motor designs to be used on air, land, and water. Hood ornaments were styled usually after the most powerful or modern technology of the times, a theme, or in the case of BMW, in order to incorporate the company name. This can give a clue as to which period the hood ornament dates to. For example:
Here's a breakdown of automotive manufacturers and the general themes that they followed:
Buick hood ornaments were characterized by
Chevrolet hood ornaments are characterized by:
Chrysler hood ornaments are characterized by:
Desoto hood ornaments are characterized by:
Dodge is usually represented by a Ram's head of some sort. Gem manufacturers a series of hood ornaments with Rams and JC Whitney sells a modern emblem also. Chrysler hood ornaments are characterized by:
There are some Ford Mustang hood ornaments manufactured by Gem that look pretty original. JC Whitney sells aftermarket Ford logo emblems also. Ford hood ornaments are characterized by:
Gem manufactures aftermarket hood ornaments that are available from auto distributers such as JC Whitney. They are available either chrome or gold-plated, with or without illuminated eyes and also some in a large and small size. Quite a few are easily mistaken for period pieces from original automobile manufacturers.
GMC hood ornaments are characterized by having the GMC letters present.
Hudson hood ornaments are characterized by:
Kaiser hood ornaments are characterized by
Lincoln hood ornaments are characterized by a stylized 4 point star
Mercury is characterized by the mythical winged messenger Mercury. He has wings on his hat and feet. Canadian version is called the Monarch.
Nash hood ornaments are characterized by
Oldsmobile hood ornaments are characterized by
Packard hood ornaments are characterized by
Note: There are several GEM swans which resemble Packard ornaments. The swan's head is upright but still looking down. May be chrome or gold.
Plymouth hood ornaments are characterized by
Pontiac hood ornaments are typcially characterized by a running Indian brave or just his face on stylized later models. The native is Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa Indian tribe (from the Great Lakes area of the US), hence the name of the auto company (info courtesy of Chris S).
Studebaker hood ornaments are characterized by:
Tucker was manufactured for one year only: 1948 and made only one hood ornament. You may never see it again so here it is
Willys hood ornaments are characterized by a knight
Hood Ornaments Reference books
There is an excellent book called "U.S. HOOD ORNAMENTS AND MORE...." by Lynn Huntsburger. Over 200 pages of hood ornaments, emblems and more! Paperback. Over 900 items pictured. Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Crossley, Desoto, Dodge, Essex, Ford, General Motors Corporation. Graham, Hudson, Kaiser, Lincoln, Mack, Mercury, Nash, Oldsmobile, Packard, Plymouth, Pontiac, Rolls Royce, Studebaker, and more!
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Copyright Jan 2013
Hot Rod High