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Car mascots (or hood ornaments) used to be installed on the exposed radiator caps of cars and even when radiator caps disappeared, hood ornaments were still used. These objects were often intricate works of art and today are highly prized by collectors. In the thirties and forties, many of the ornaments depicted flying ladies.

Also in the forties, manufactures used planes as designs for ornaments, with jet planes becoming more common in the fifties. By the sixties, hood ornaments began to appear less and less on mainstream cars and eventually came to symbolize only luxury vehicles. We still see company logos on all models of cars today of course, but here’s a look at just a small selection of hood ornaments from days gone by.

Flying ladies were a favorite with Packard:


(image via)

This is the exquisite ornament from the 1931 Packard Eight:


(image via)

The Delahaye flying Venus design dates from 1947:


(image credit: Steve Correy, via)

The golden winged woman is from a Cadillac Sixty Special Fleetwood:


(image credit: Automotive Stock Images)

Another Cadillac beauty, slightly tinged by rust:


(image credit: Paul Malon)

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