I’ve made my opinion known on hood and rear deck decoration-I’m against it. I’m staunch proponent of nosing and decking.
But looking over some of the photos I took in the past, in this case the Kodachromes that I shot at the Father’s Day show at the Sully Plantation in Chantilly, Virginia in 1979, I feel that I would probably be willing to make certain exceptions.
Such as nearly naked women holding wheels and tires. Sexy.
Or chrome birds. But this thing just wouldn’t look right on the hood of my Subaru.
In the early ‘40s, classical iconography was giving way to Streamline Moderne as on this Buick.
There were numerous Packard Cormorant variations and this is probably one of the more elegant ones.
To hell with chrome birds. I’ll take a flying naked lady any day.
But one of the most elegant Streamline Modern hood ornaments was that of the late ‘30s, early ‘40s Lincoln Continentals and Zephyrs. It looks deceptively simple, from a manufacturing standpoint, but it probably cost as much if not more to make as the chrome birds and naked ladies found on Packards and Cadillacs.
Bespoke cars of the ‘20s and early ‘30s were built in very limited quanties. But still, how would you differentiate your Packard, Pierce Arrow, Minerva, or Hispano-Suiza from the other rabble in Beverly Hills, the Million Dollar Mile in Chicago, Palm Beach, or Wall Street in NYC? Lalique of Paris would have been more than happy to have created a crystal ornament for you. Recently a Lalique crystal fox sold for over $200,000 big ones.