An embarrassment of hood ornaments
March 18, 2013 9:20 AM   Subscribe

I've come into possession of a large box of hood ornaments from late 40's- early 50's American cars. What cool/fun/funny thing can I do with them?

None of them are particularly rare or worth much. ($30-$50 on ebay). They were part of my father's hoard of old car parts, and I'd like to make something with them that's both whimsical and beautiful. All have threaded posts for mounting. Mostly "jet age" looking, this stuff. Some have curved bodies that would match up with the curve of the car's hood, so they can't be mounted on anything flat. What needs a hood ornament in this day and age?
posted by cosmicbandito to Media & Arts (24 answers total)
A bike fender? A Kitchenaid mixer? A chicken tractor?
posted by HotToddy at 9:24 AM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Are any of them curved in the right way to be mounted atop your toilet tank lid? Because that would be awesome.
posted by griphus at 9:24 AM on March 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

You should put them all on your car. If there is not enough room on the hood you can also put them on the top of the mirrors and above the windshield.
posted by steinwald at 9:24 AM on March 18, 2013 [6 favorites]

Know any kids with a big wheel bike or powerwheels "car"? They might like a giant hood ornament.

Mounting all of them on the same vehicle might be kind of awesome, too.
posted by vytae at 9:24 AM on March 18, 2013

Mounted on the wall in a little group they could look pretty cool. If you have a mantelpiece you could mount them in a little row along its edge: kind of like transforming it into a mini Chrysler building.
posted by yoink at 9:26 AM on March 18, 2013

Attach corks to them and use them in your home bar.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:26 AM on March 18, 2013 [7 favorites]

If you mount a pair of them to some sort of stand, they could make for pretty cool bookends.
posted by griphus at 9:26 AM on March 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

the curved ones can be mounted on a slightly different curve if you put an appropriately shaped piece of stuff (metal, plastic, etc) in between as an adapter, so don't let that stop you.
posted by steinwald at 9:32 AM on March 18, 2013

Coat rack!
posted by MsMolly at 9:41 AM on March 18, 2013 [7 favorites]

Second coat rack, though I like the wine bottle stopper idea. If there's a particularly robust one, perhaps drill it and find a striker to make a door knocker.
posted by a halcyon day at 10:01 AM on March 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

Attach them to fabricated mounts that can be bolted in front of the front brake arms on a bicycle, and sell them on etsy. Hipsters will eat 'em up.
posted by davejay at 10:08 AM on March 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

I like the coat rack, but it would also look good as the type of coat rack that stands on a pole near the door. Following on from that, what about a tree sculpture with a different ornament on each branch, along the lines of this or this.
posted by CathyG at 10:10 AM on March 18, 2013

Hang them on the wall as a group, and put an empty frame around them (or do several groups this way). Instant art.

Or get them shadowbox framed.

Or put them inside a glass topped coffee table.

I am kind of averse to irrevocably altering them (I also cringe at craft projects that deform old LPs for plant holders or what have you) but that's me. But they were objects created for a specific purpose, and that probably at some point someone put some artistic skill into designing, and that the owner of the new car might have polished with pride. There's history there, to me. So I'd look for a way to display them that didn't damage them.
posted by emjaybee at 10:32 AM on March 18, 2013

Oh and I meant to add, if you do frame/display them, you could include little tags about their year/make if you have that information, because that's just a cool thing to know.
posted by emjaybee at 10:33 AM on March 18, 2013

What about using them as a finial on your lamps?
posted by i am a sock puppeteer at 11:36 AM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Do you have any duplicate ornaments? (matching pairs?). They could become part of the right furniture.

They'd be great for a bioshock-themed computer case-mod.
posted by anonymisc at 11:56 AM on March 18, 2013

Aren't you using them for your superhero helmet? Or at least your bike helmet?
posted by amtho at 11:56 AM on March 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Tie them together with fishing line and make a wind chime.
posted by book 'em dano at 12:22 PM on March 18, 2013

What are those things that hold curtains back from a window? Make those.
posted by orme at 12:46 PM on March 18, 2013

If you make something cool - wine stoppers? keychains? - you could easily sell on Etsy for $40-$50 a piece, minimum.
posted by amaire at 12:58 PM on March 18, 2013

Or at least your bike helmet?

As cool as that would look, do not, for the love of God, bolt a big metal grabby, catchy pointy thing to your bike helmet if you intend to keep using it as a helmet!
posted by yoink at 1:09 PM on March 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Put one on the lid of a baseball cap and wear it around.
posted by sarah_pdx at 4:30 PM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Do you do Christmas? They might make amusing Christmas ornaments, with sentimental value.
posted by oulipian at 10:15 PM on March 18, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions folks. Although these are all helpful, please bear in mind these things are pointy and weight several pounds apiece. Affixing them to bikes, helmets, or hats seems like asking for a puncture wound.
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:32 AM on March 20, 2013

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