A regular feature here at the Daily Driver Project are the “Design Detail” posts, where we focus on a specific element of a vehicle or set of vehicles that we find particularly fascinating.  Remember, we’re those people… you know, the ones whose dinner conversations can consist solely of beautifully designed fenders and exquisitely executed tail lights.  Sometimes it’s those little details that really make that car something special.  We swoon over that stuff, and if you’re reading this, our guess is that you do too.

We’re gearing up to bring you the next installments of our visit to the Automobile Drivng Museum – there was SO much to see!  We fell in love down every aisle and around every corner.  What’s incredible about so many of these beauties are the many little details that make them special.  We love a well-designed hood ornament, and the Automobile Driving Museum’s collection does not disappoint.

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Once a functional item, the hood ornament was relegated to a simple yet elegant status symbol by the 1940s.  Some automakers used nature as inspiration, others, such as Studebaker, looked to Greek mythology for inspiration. Studebaker’s favorite?  Goddess Atalanta, who was known for being light of foot.  Wise choice, Studebaker.  It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a speedy Greek goddess guiding you while you drive.

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Not to be outdone by the goddesses, a variety of birds found a perch on several hoods, from detailed swans to more modern birds in flight.

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In between each icon of mythology or representation of nature, we found even more modern designs that were just as stunning…

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This stunner included a glass element that made it stand out from its steel counterparts:

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At the curb that Sunday, this vintage vixen patiently awaited anxious museum goers and beckoned them to join her for a ride around town…

1941-Plymouth

This 1941 Plymouth’s hood ornament paid homage to our American heritage… notice the three ships sailing on the open sea:

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Next time you happen to be in the presence of an awesome automobile, take the time to focus on these little things.  Design details like these, whether they’re functional, beautiful, or both, are what help cars like these stand the test of time.  Whether they’re right there on the hood, begging to be noticed, or tucked into an inconspicuous side spot, these design details make all the difference.

 

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