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8 Iconic Classic Car Hood Ornaments

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Car hood ornaments offer car enthusiasts a symbolic and stylish addition to their classic cars. These ornaments have many benefits, including increasing your vehicle’s value and making your car look even more breathtaking. 

Here at Classic Auto, we’re more than just a classic car insurance company — we also love historic cars and their distinct features, like hood ornaments. Here are eight classic car hood ornaments that we absolutely love.


Willys-Overland Company produced the stunning Willys-Knight automobile from 1914 to 1933. Throughout that time, they featured different variations of a medieval knight on top of the vehicle’s hood. Perhaps the most gorgeous variation of this hood ornament is the knight seated upright with a lance in his hand. This hood ornament iteration was featured on the 1929 Willys-Knight 66A Varsity. Although the ornament definitely poses a safety hazard to others on the road, it serves as an unforgettable symbol for Willys’ antique vehicle.

Lincoln’s Four-Pointed Star

Lincoln’s four-pointed star hood ornament is a far more common ornament than Willys’ obscure knight. Some also refer to Lincoln’s four-pointed star as a “gun sight” ornament. The Lincoln Motor Company equipped many of its models with this iconic ornament, including their Town Car, Mark Series, and Lincoln Continental. 

Bugatti Dancing Elephant

Automobiles Ettore Bugatti was a car company founded in Germany in 1909. They sold stylish cars that dominated racing circuits until the company went under in 1963. One of the most note-worthy parts of Bugatti cars was their dancing elephant hood ornaments. Bugatti created this graceful ornament from a sculpture created by the Italian sculptor Rembrandt Bugatti. Rembrandt Bugatti was known for his beautiful wildlife bronze sculptures. Tragically, the talented artist died by suicide in 1916. 

Jaguar Leaper

Perhaps one of the most famous hood ornaments on our list is Jaguar Cars Limited’s leaping Jaguar ornament. While most car companies did away with their hood ornaments through the 20th century, Jaguar continued featuring this breathtaking ornament on their luxury vehicles until 2005. They got rid of the ornament to meet new pedestrian safety standards implemented by the European Union. The luxury automakers originally released this stunning ornament in 1945, the same year the company changed its name from S.S. Cars to Jaguar Cars Limited. 

Mercedes-Benz Three-Pointed Star

Unlike most of the hood ornaments on our list, motorists can still feature this iconic hood ornament on their luxurious Mercedes-Benz. Legend has it that the designer of the classic hood ornament, Gottlieb Daimler, got the idea for the ornament while writing a postcard to his wife. He drew a three-pointed star on the card and wrote that star would shine over their successful factories. Later, Gottlieb’s sons had the idea of using the star as the official logo for Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG), the original designer of the Mercedes. DMG eventually merged with Benz & Cie, becoming Daimler-Benz, and they named their automobile trademark Mercedes-Benz. 

Plymouth Flying Lady

Plymouth was a brand created by Chrysler in the 1920s, and its stunning flying lady hood ornament dates all the way back to that time. Plymouth approached the American sculptor Avard Fairbanks — who’s primarily known for creating Abraham Lincoln sculptures featured in the U.S. Supreme Court Building — to design their hood ornament. The design is actually intended to be a mermaid with eagle wings. 

Bentley Flying B

This stylish and fun design features a “B,” for Bentley Motors Limited, along with protruding wings symbolizing the car’s impressive speed. It offers a stunning three-dimensional symbol that emulates Bently’s logo. Bentley first featured the ornament on their 1919 Bentley 3-liter car. 

Rolls Royce Spirit of Ecstacy

Finally, we have the most famous hood ornament of all time: Rolls Royce’s Spirit of Ecstacy. The ornament features a woman with outstretched arms bending forward, and her gown flows behind her emulating wings. Sculptor Charles Robinson Sykes created the mascot in 1910, and he modeled the sculpture after Eleanor Velasco Thornton. Today, Rolls Royce drivers can still adorn their vehicle with this breathtaking hood ornament, and modern Rolls Royce vehicles come equipped with a retractable version of the mascot.

Get Great Insurance on Antique Cars

Regardless of whether or not your car comes with a hood ornament, you need the best insurance possible to keep it on the road for years to come. For affordable and premium insurance on classic and antique cars, look no further than Classic Auto Insurance. We offer individualized plans, including agreed-upon value, so that you can get the best insurance for your classic beauty. 

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