Posted: June 6, 2016 in 60mm lens, Automobiles, Details, Old cars, Photography, Wabi Sabi

Total disclaimer here: Wabi Sabi doesn’t even remotely claim to know about cars. I drive a silver Camry and  I frequently wander around parking lots, attempting to get into random silver vehicles, wondering who left a bag from Target on my front seat or just when did I acquire a small dog?  For that matter, who is that old man and why is he frantically locking all the doors?

I’ll bet I wouldn’t have that problem if my car sported a fine work of art on the hood.

These hood ornaments are all from the late 1940’s-early 1950’s and are made from Lucite. From what I’ve read, they were designed to light up …well, maybe glow softly would be more accurate. First set: two shots of a Desoto ornament.

 Moving on: Two different Pontiac pieces. (I’ve seen them identified as from the Pontiac Silver Chief.) I seriously love the first one.

The next, taken from two different angles, is from a Chevrolet. Reality check: I’m in a junk yard in the Deep South.  It would be lovely to wash these pieces up and make them look all spiffy, but rust and weeds and trees growing up right through the middle of the cars…not to mention spider webs and bugs that I don’t even want to think about… are the order of the day.

And all that broken down crusty and rusty is exactly why I find shooting in this place to be a completely awesome experience.

Still…I do wish I could have shot a buffed up version of this red piece.

Finally, a broken-but-still-cool  Ford hood ornament:



More art and history still to come.

  1. andykidd says:

    I love all! Lucite – i checked it our, a translucent acrylic. These are perfect examples of the height of industrial design. Art deco especially the red rocket /train!!! to see the buffed up versions you’ll have to go to a vintage car show, but take photos of the people!!

    • Hi, Andy…I’m going to have to work to keep my reply under several lines…the designs really hooked me. I have quite a few more, but these are the lucite models. Locomotives and rocket ships were very big, as well as other sleek or powerful symbols. I’m tempted to,go looking for some overview/history, but I’m afraid it might all be academic (suck the joy out) or aimed at gear head/enthusiasts. I’m really most interested in how the design reflects the culture of the time.

  2. sedge808 says:

    you know how much I like these 🙂
    we don’t have them much here in Oz.

  3. Marty Gallagher says:

    These are really cool – I wish you could put them all in the trunk of your silver Camry and bring them home to GB.

  4. Lignum Draco says:

    These are great details we don’t see anymore on cars, like ceiling roses and ornate gates in old houses. Great work in finding these.

    • Agreed: graceful touches that aren’t all about efficiency or profit.
      I am surprised that these pieces haven’t been “liberated” by collectors or profit-mongers. (Oh, Wabi Sabi. What a dim view of mankind you have. 🙂 )

  5. Betsy Legg says:

    Love the hood ornaments. I would be all about making them nice and shiny too. 😅

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