Hood Ornament and Latch-release
In the 1930s Cadillac had used a goddess hood ornament, but the '30s goddess was a full-figured gal in that she was depicted from head to toes. Post-war production updated the lady to a head with horizontal flowing hair or arm/wings - there was no body throughout the rest of her run into 1956. I have been able to acquire an immediate post-war example used from 1946 through '48. This initial design doubled as a hood release.
When I had the display completed and took it into the Senior Center Woodshop to show it off, the first thing Tom said was, "Where's the light?" Which I immediately realized was indeed needed. It has taken me longer to design and install LED lighting than it took to build the stand. Plus I had to add another board to the bottom (plinth) to give room for the light switch.
About a year ago I had obtained a similar Pontiac Chief hood ornament/release. I had mounted it onto a solid block of mesquite with the latch mechanism running down through a slot in the wood block. Pontiac and Cadillac both being divisions of General Motors it is not surprising that this hood-release design was shared. Pontiac's design was much lighter in weight.
And finally the two side-by-side.
Buick is probably my favorite car brand. My dad’s first (new) car was a 1941 Buick. I am certain that I rode home from the hospital in it. A decade later he replaced it with a 1951 Buick Special hardtop. I learned to drive in that car and passed my Oregon drivers test in it. No doubt the most recognized Buck symbol is the “gunsight” hood ornament that was used on the 1946 to 1954 models. The focus of my collection is on pre-1960 hood ornaments of any make, but I particularly focus on Buick. I have now acquired examples of all of these post-war years. They are shown, year by year, under my Automotive tab, but below is a group photo of what I have at this time.
Some of the examples I have been able to obtain were incomplete, typically lacking the ring that surrounds the “torpedo” or “spear” center. I have enjoyed reproducing the ring in hardwood. I have also been able to acquire some early hood ornaments and radiator caps, one that was produced when my dad was still in high school. I will still seek those rare early ones and I am yet lacking an example from 1956, but I persist.
I am still trying new show venues to find those that provide the most effective exposure for my works.