Instructables

Hack Your Hood Ornament

Make a unique hood ornament out of a recycled trophy!

I did a similar mod on a friend's old Chevy truck several years ago, so when I came out one morning to find that someone had broken the hood ornament off the front of my stationwagon, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Instead of the standard hood ornament, I've installed a chromed angel off of a thrift-store trophy. It's cheap, easy, makes me smile, and gets noticed everywhere. I once had a park ranger in Utah ask me for bolt-cutters so that she could steal it. I figure that counts as a compliment.
 
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Step 1: What you need

Picture of What you need
Check the hood ornament fitting on your car. On mine (1985 Crown Victoria), the hood ornament sits in a base that's bolted in front of the hood and fastens by means of a wire threaded through a spring. The spring gives the ornament a little wiggle room and serves as a break-point when the ornament is struck. If your hood ornament is removeable, has a base with a ~1/2" center hole, and uses this kind of spring attachment, you're in luck.

Go out and get yourself a new hood ornament! What you're looking for is the figure from the top of an old trophy -- a winged-lady-with-torch, a bowler, a diver, a soccer player, whatever. You want a metal figure, not plastic, and one with a base slightly larger than the fitting of your hood ornament and a base-screw long enough to extend through the base & the hood of your car.

What you need:
- car with an appropriate hood ornament fitting
- metal figure from a trophy, with a base larger than your hood ornament fitting and a ~1/4" base screw long enough to extend through the fitting and the hood of the car
- good strong ~1/6" diam. wire
- very stiff spring, ~1" long, either from the original hood ornament apparatus or scrounged up elsewhere
- silicone adhesive
- chrome spraypaint
- adjustable wrench, small pliers, wire snips
lloydrmc2 years ago
Yours is cooler, and certainly much cheaper: http://www.jcwhitney.com/hood-ornaments/p2006504.jcwx?skuId=159173&filterid=u0j1
Probably stupider than the "no hiding in refrigerators" law, the "no fuzzy dice in car" law has gotten so many people i know pulled over!



but really, you can get pulled over for having fuzzy dice in your car (even though the dice's sole purpous was for cars!)
Actually (know this an old comment and maybe no one will see it) the reason they have that law is because anything hanging from the mirror can distract the driver or get in his/her line of sight and can cause the driver to crash
Mr Criver6 years ago
This is so awesome! Love the car too. The fuzzy dice did add to the value of it straight away I bet! Too bad these rides are quite rare here in Europe (not to mention the fact that our gas prices would take the fun out of driving one the moment you had to fill it up) but I would *so* be into doing this! Great instructable. Do you think I could just drill a hole in the hood of my Miata and do something fun with it? A huge ornament on a teeny tiny car, that would be kickass...
and you think you have the pricey gas...
Yeeeessss. Where do u come from?
This is the best idea ever awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
mje6 years ago
Love it. We used to do this to our junky cars in the 70s.
smokehill mje6 years ago
I had a rusty old Subaru once that was missing whatever hood ornament it came from. I picked up a little brass Buddha at some cheapie import store and bolted him there. Seemed appropriate, but a lot of the politically-correct weenies howled that it was racist, so I had to start claiming I was converting to Buddhism, and this was equivalent to their plastic Jesus statues.
sev17 smokehill4 years ago
holy crap thats hilaruos. i know what im doing with my first car
reno_dakota (author)  mje6 years ago
thanks!
Cool! Simple and cheap! The way I like it! Very Good!
reno_dakota (author)  Unclejack8576 years ago
Thanks! It's been on there for a year and a half now, too. Could use another coat of paint, but other than that it looks great.
HumanHacker6 years ago
I think we'll see a new trend in hood ornaments coming back. They are all gone on new cars! I have seen little motion sensors in the hood ornament bases that are set to the car alarm. That would be the only thing I'd worry about, theft. I'd like to put fake jewels on the hood but theyd be gone in a day. Cool instructable
reno_dakota (author)  HumanHacker6 years ago
Yeah, I'd love to see more cars with custom hood ornaments, or even production cars with slick ones like the antique Volvos or many of the other models from the 20s-40s. One nice thing about using a $0.75 trophy for the hood ornament is that if it does get ripped off, it's cheap and fairly easy to replace.
We probably won't see many real hood ornament coming back. I believe, at least in the U.S., that the govt has pretty much forbidden any protruding object that might make injuries to a pedestrian worse -- same with pointy tail fins. The nanny state won't be happy until we're all driving lumpy little nerf cars that all look alike. Wait ... that's what we already have ! Never mind.
(removed by author or community request)
reno_dakota (author)  monkspaceman6 years ago
Thanks! I've gotten more and more into old cars and artcars since aquiring this one, and hood ornaments are one of the simpler mods to do. One of these days maybe I'll get my hands on one of the big Jaguar hood-ornaments or a classic old Volvo one...that might be a bit more work and expense than a trophy-figure, but they're just gorgeous.
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