19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces

We saw many gorgeous cars at this year's Concorso d'Eleganza, the most prestigious automotive competition in the world. Of course, it's the cars themselves that took center stage, but I always find the hood ornaments and badges interesting, as well. The sheer level of detail and craft makes them tiny pieces of art, worthy of recognition. The following photo roundup showcases some of the most elegant ornaments, shot against the backdrop of the grandiose Villa d'Este and Villa Erba on the beautiful banks of Lake Como, Italy.

A unique little Art Deco sculpture: this scandalously nude woman was placed onto the hood as the personal mascot for a century-old Rolls Royce, well before today's official winged figurine .

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


The winged hood ornament for a 1930 Isotta-Fraschini 8A, which is very similar to the Packard mascot.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


The streamlined crane of a 1929 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet de Ville.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


The ferocious badge of a 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


The well-known flag of the 1978 Lancia Sibilo Bertone Coupé.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


Of course, a flying B for Bentley.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


And a mid-century logotype for a 1954 Siata 208S Spider.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


Elegant typography for the 1956 Jaguar XKSS Spider.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


1957 Porsche 356A Speedster, with its familiar seal.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


A warning sign: 1965 AC Cars Cobra 289.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


A trident in burning chrome (from Maserati).

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


The 1963 Lamborghini 350 GTV Coupé is signed by its creator in chrome.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


Two in one: the hood ornament ornament on the 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Zagato also functions as a thermometer.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


Probably the most-recognizable hood ornament of all: the "Spirit of Ecstasy," also known as The Flying Lady, who sits atop the Rolls Royce, of course.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


Another Bentley B ornament, but with alternate wing orientation.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


1958 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible, with an unusual concave seal.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


The blocky, Bauhaus-esque ornament of a pre-War German rigour, from a Wanderer (made by Auto Union).

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


The strange logotype for the most amazing Lamborghini ever produced.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


The Corvette's streamlined, visually aggressive badge.

19 Hood Ornaments That Turn Luxury Cars into Masterpieces


Photos: Attila Nagy

What is your favorite hood ornament or car badge? Show us in the comments!