Where Have All The Hoodies Gone?
You younger guys may think we're talking about sweatshirts - but nope, today's car design conversation is all about hood ornaments, or hoodies for short. Back in the day, the quality of a car was often judged by it's crowning glory, a.k.a the hood ornament. Probably the most famous of hood ornaments is Rolls Royce's "Spirit of Ecstasy" shown above. The hood ornament is just as beautiful, sexy, and intriguing as the name and car itself. Initially, the radiator caps proved a shoe-in spot to place this signature art work. As hoods changed, ornaments rearranged themselves to be more aerodynamic and mounted flat against the car's sheet metal. So what happened to these finely crafted masterpieces adorning the radiator caps and hoods of old? We've heard a few different reasons why car companies moved away from hoodies, from them being too ostentatious to sheer laziness of the design department. What we think probably has the most to do with it however is cost. A well carved and chromed hood ornament costs a lot of money to make. As car companies who say "damn the expenses" generally don't weather the recessionary storms, this adornment was very well seen as an out-dated and unnecessary expense in the grand scheme of things. Or maybe hood ornaments received their final death toll when the Beastie Boys made it hip to don the Benz emblem on a gold chain. Suddenly, once-proud noses around the globe were turning up empty and manufacturers such as Mercedes began to take a lot of flak from their well-heeled customers. Cost and Beastie Boys be damned, we love hoodies and are happy to take notice when perusing automotive museums and car shows. Here are some favorites... let us know which one's your top pick in the comment section below.