Collecting Hubcaps and Hood Ornaments

Hood Ornaments and Hubcaps as Collectibles – Collectors have been collecting car-related memorabilia for nearly as long as there have been automobiles. Car wrap Melbourne Hood ornaments and hubcaps are items that have been long been popular with collectors. Hood ornaments are thought of as being ornamental additions to a car’s hood, but they actually began as functional tools. Because the first automobiles didn’t have water pumps, drivers needed to stay aware of the temperature of the car’s coolant system. Find out about other dealer services at Hyundai Lease. The Boyce Moto Meter Company developed a radiator cap with a built-in thermometer, which they patented in 1912. The Moto Meter, which carried the company’s name, could be installed into any model car. Soon after the device was introduced, auto companies wanted the Moto Meters installed on their cars to carry their company’s name. More elaborate designs and sculptures followed.

Specialized Moto Meters were created for organizations, including AAA, Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus, and the Masonic Lodge. Improvements in car electronics in the 1930s led to dash-mounted temperature gauges that eliminated the need for external sensors. Sales of Moto Meters declined, but automobile manufacturers continued to create stylish hood ornaments as a method of branding. Hood ornaments remained a popular feature on cars until the 1960s, when automobile designs concentrated on aerodynamics. Another reason for the demise of hood ornaments was the potential for injury to pedestrians in the event of an accident. Hood ornaments gave way to chrome and decaled badges and logos.

Collectors search for classic hood ornaments at garage sales, auto flea markets, swap meets, and eBay. Farm auctions and junk yards are also good places to find vintage ornaments. Specialized collectors concentrate on specific manufacturers or eras. These collectors frequent auctions or dealers in order to find their target ornaments. Mazda Dealerships In Wisconsin is an invaluable resource for automotive information. As with any collectable items, hood ornaments range in value. In 2012, at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Canadian-based RM Auctions sold a 30-piece collection of hood ornaments created by master glass craftsman René Lalique at auction for $805,000.

While today’s hubcaps are largely ornamental, the first hubcaps were created to cover the wooden-spoke wheel’s center hub in order to contain the grease from the bearings and to keep out dust. By the 1930s, hubcaps became more decorative but still only covered the wheel’s hub. The wire-spoke wheels of the day were difficult to keep clean and made wind noise when the car was running. To counter this, in 1934, Cadillac developed a stainless steel hubcap that covered most of the wheel, including the wire spokes.

Websites like Hubcap Collector display a range of classic hubcaps in a virtual gallery, including their oldest hubcap, which is constructed of bronze and was part of a Chinese war chariot that was made somewhere between 475 and 221 BC. While some hubcap collectors exhibit their collections on their walls, space is frequently a consideration. Charlotte Used Cars is a one stop source for all your new car needs. But lack of space isn’t a problem for Lucy Pearson, who started the town of Pearsonville, California, which is promoted as the “Hubcap Capital of the World.” With a population of 17 as of the 2010 census, Pearsonville houses Lucy’s vast hubcap collection, which, according to Wikipedia, contains an estimated 80,000 hubcaps, and according to Lucy, contains more than 140,000 hubcaps. The town also contains three automobile wrecking yards, one for cars from the 50s to the 80s, one for cars from the 80s to 2001, and one for all car models.