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 .
The winged hood ornament for a 1930 Isotta-Fraschini 8A, which is very similar to the Packard mascot.
The streamlined crane of a 1929 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet de Ville.
The ferocious badge of a 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV.
The well-known flag of the 1978 Lancia Sibilo Bertone Coupé.
Of course, a flying B for Bentley.
And a mid-century logotype for a 1954 Siata 208S Spider.
Elegant typography for the 1956 Jaguar XKSS Spider.
1957 Porsche 356A Speedster, with its familiar seal.
A warning sign: 1965 AC Cars Cobra 289.
A trident in burning chrome (from Maserati).
The 1963 Lamborghini 350 GTV Coupé is signed by its creator in chrome.
Two in one: the hood ornament ornament on the 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Zagato also functions as a thermometer.
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.
Another Bentley B ornament, but with alternate wing orientation.
1958 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible, with an unusual concave seal.
The blocky, Bauhaus-esque ornament of a pre-War German rigour, from a Wanderer (made by Auto Union).
The strange logotype for the most amazing Lamborghini ever produced.
The Corvette's streamlined, visually aggressive badge.
Photos: Attila Nagy
What is your favorite hood ornament or car badge? Show us in the comments!