Final Resting Place

On a recent return trip to Old Car City USA (, I focused on emblems attached to the rusting vehicles. Many brands (Desoto, Hudson, Kaiser-Frazer) and models (Rambler, Toronado, Javelin) are all but forgotten. But, in some cases, the years of erosion have been kinder to the badges than the rusting hulks to which they are attached.

For example, this striking chrome and plastic representation of Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto adorned the hood of some DeSoto cars produced in the 1950s by a Division of Chrysler.

Jet planes and rockets were a popular motif, particularly of Oldsmobile models.

The airships shared space with the Olds “ringed globe.”

The Mack bulldog is a mainstay symbol of that company’s trucks, of which this is an ancient ancestor.

Streamlined deco figures and gods rode atop the hoods, as well.

Pontiac was famous for its Indian head figures. The first one below is a favorite of photographers visiting Old Car City but below it are variations found throughout the site.

An old Dodge “ram” symbol.

Time and the elements take their toll and what once was “deluxe” or “imperial” is less so now.

This Buick “Super”grill ornament proudly proclaims the car’s release year of 1956.

Plymouth ornaments often represented stylized sailing ships.

This last example undoubtedly is an aftermarket add-on rather than an official manufacturer’s accessory. When originally sold, the figure leans on a sort of shelf or wing. It’s missing here but the slots where it fit to the figure remain.