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14
Oct

Ornamental Expressions

There was a time in my life when I found myself mesmerized by the character of cars–those elements of design and style that set them apart from across a crowded parking lot; like heaven itself was smiling on them.  Those old enough to remember Johnny Carson will recall the signature three-dimensional pendant the domestic manufacturers would adorn their flagship products with.  Standing upright and proud, they were an example of how companies used to take pride in their product.  “Yes.  We built this.”

In the heyday of American automobile manufacturing each company seemed to have its own identity.  They took pride in their work and strived for perfection in all that they did.  Some of the great ones were world-class.  Not “world-class” as used in one of today’s marketing department press releases, but truly, honestly World-Class.  It could be argued that the best of America’s heartland offered design and quality that was above that of even the European coach-builders.  Companies like Peerless Motor nearly were, if not for the existence of Packard and Pierce-Arrow.  And, like the Christmas tree that isn’t complete until the delicate angel is placed on top, these pieces of rolling jewelry were still unfinished without that symbol of elegance and grace:  the hood ornament. Read more »

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