The Meanings Behind All The Hood Ornament Designs Of Your favourite Cars

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Bentley winged hood ornament

A lot of cars have some interesting body designs that make them stand out but few people know that there are hidden meanings behind the hood ornaments. From the classic design of the Rolls Royce to the elegance of the Jaguar, the hood designs of these cars make them uniquely different from the regular.

If you’ve ever wondered the history and meaning behind the fine hood ornaments designs you have seen, here are five o the most recognizable that you should know.

Bugatti — Dancing Elephant

Bugatti dancing elephant hood ornament
The prancing dancing Elephant ornament design of the bugatti is a representation of the powerful vibe that the Italian luxury manufacturer had in mind when Ettore Bugatti commissioned his brother Rembrandt to do the design.

He was an artist renowned for his bronze sculptures of wildlife and he embodied this in the design of their cars by crafting an elephant hood ornaments almost a hundred years ago. Elephants have however since disappeared from Bugatti’s bonnets and they have been replaced by far more conservative badges.

Jaguar — Leaping Cat

Jaguar keeping cat hood ornament
This hood ornament is another that embodied wildlife. It encompasses the grace and speed of the luxury British carmaker, to make some of the most enjoyable designs on their cars.

It’s ornament design is yet another marque that has fallen out of favour with regulators of cars, despite the fact that it remains popular with a lot of people especially the underworld. This perhaps explains why the Leaper is no longer a standard feature on factory models but can be purchased as a car accessory.

Rolls-Royce — Spirit of Ecstasy

Rolls-royce spirit of ecstacy
The hood ornament of the Rolls-Royce is known as the spirit of Ecstasy and it is perhaps one of the most recognised luxury car symbols in the world. The Hood Ornament features a woman leaning forward into the wing, with her arms outstretched to resemble wings.

This classic bonnet ornament was commissioned in 1910 to convey “the spirit of the Rolls-Royce, namely, speed with silence, absence of vibration, the mysterious harnessing of great energy and a beautiful living organism of superb grace.” there you have it.

Bentley — Winged B

Bentley winged hood ornament
If you’re a car maker and you’re thinking of competing with the luxurious Rolls-Royce, then you have to get a hood ornament that matches. The Winged B delivers a good package in a simple design that has largely remained the same since it appeared on the British automobile scene in the 1920s.

It was removed in the ‘70s for safety concerns and returned in 2006. It however faced safety issues again in 2010, when 1500 vehicles were recalled over fears the retractable marque could impale pedestrians in an accident. The design looks good, but…

Mercedes-Benz — Tri Star

Mercedes Benz TriStar hood ornament
The Mercedes Benz is one of the most modern car branding marketing triumph. The Tri Star has been a registered trademark since 1909 and the simple linear design is a representation of the best of German engineering.
It features three points that embodies the Mercedes’s ambition of “universal motorisation”, which is to succeed “on land, on water, and in the air.”




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