Take a drive down memory lane

By Product Expert | Posted in Jaguar News on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 at 2:32 pm
Profile of Jaguar SS going down street

Whatever happened to the hood ornament?

Do you remember when vehicles going down the street were decorated with hood ornaments? The Jaguar had the distinguished Leaper. Whatever happened to the hood ornament? Keep reading as we jump into the history of the hood ornament and why they were discontinued!

Jaguar MK X going down the streetHistory of the hood ornament

In order to understand the history of the hood ornament, we have to go back to the very beginning of vehicles being made. When you see a vehicle going down the street, usually it strikes you as being sleek and smooth. This was not always the case! Vehicles that were originally right off of the assembly line in the early 1920s and 1930s actually had the radiator caps on the front end of the hood. Now, this did not really make for a good first impression. As a result, manufacturers began putting items on top of these radiator caps to make them look prettier. This introduced the hood ornament.

Read More: Jaguar Brings Back Authentic E-Type Toolkit After 50 Year Absence

What were some of the more popular hood ornaments?

Different manufacturers used different hood ornaments. For example, Bugatti used a dancing elephant and Bentley used a flying B. But one of the most iconic hood ornaments was the Jaguar Leaper.

2020 Jaguar F-TYPE Checkered Flag Limited Edition Features and Specs

Three Jaguar MK II going down the streetWhy were the hood ornaments discontinued?

There were a few reasons that hood ornaments are no longer made. One of the biggest reasons was that the radiator cap was moved to under the hood. There really was no actual need for them anymore. In addition, tastes changed, and people were not liking the hood ornament as much, and questions about drag and fuel economy began to arise. Not to mention, many hood ornaments were actually stolen because they became a fashion statement!

Finally, Europe began implementing new pedestrian safety standards. It was thought that if a person were to be hit by a vehicle, it would be a good idea to eliminate the hood ornament so that the individual did not sustain as serious of injuries. Nowadays, you can still catch a glimpse of the past by checking out the emblem that is on the front of Jaguar vehicles.

Read More: What Is the History of the Jaguar Brand and Vehicles?