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.
Step 1: 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