by Don Desmett, Museum Executive Director
Previous articles by Carol Vogt
The CCCA Museum Mascot Collection
Now Available on Museum Website
The CCCA Museum’s extraordinary collection of nearly 700 mascots has been individually photographed and is now available for viewing on our website here . This collection was generously donated in 1996 and 1998 by CCCA charter member, Marvin Tamaroff.
It was an Englishman who first thought of a mascot for his vehicle. On the dash of his 1896 four-cylinder Daimler, Lord Montagu of Beaulier placed a bronze statuette of St. Christopher, patron saint of travelers. The mascot idea quickly caught fire. By the turn of the century, examples could be purchased in fine jewelry shops and a few accessory stores. Motorcar owners did not necessarily ascribe to the mascot selected for them by the manufacturer for their vehicles. Often they preferred one of their own which more specifically reflected their taste, their lifestyle – or their station. The earliest dated American mascot design was a small gnome-like fellow called “Gobbo, God of Good Luck” whose likeness was copyrighted by L. V. Aronson in March 1909. According to William C. Williams, in Motoring Mascots of the World, Aronson was also responsible for the graceful diving girl “Speed Nymph,” which hit the marketplace in 1910. (Examples of both are in the Museum’s collection).
Eventually, mascots were located on the caps of the exposed radiator in the very front of cars. Some were “official” manufacturer mascots, for instance the “Flying Lady” for Rolls Royce, while others added personal distinction. All types of figures, animals, and symbols were attached to owner’s radiator caps. Once radiators were enclosed under the hood of a car, the radiator cap adornments became hood ornaments (mascots) on the front of cars. Among today’s production cars the traditional mascot survives only on the likes of Rolls-Royce, Mercedes and Brooks Stevens’ Excalibur.
The Museum’s collection includes rare, mostly European, priceless works of art, many of which are one-of-a-kind, dating back to the earliest days of motoring. Many were commissioned and are signed works by sculptors Aubert, Renevey, Eastbough, Monier and Bazin. There are beautiful women with flowing tresses along with various birds and animals depicting speed and graceful movement. Other animals and mythological characters that display strength and mystery are also exhibited. Customized designs include cats, dogs, elephants, women, men, children and World War soldiers as well as airplanes, yachts, cars, golf balls, wheels, globes, and auto emblems.
All Club Magazines and Bulletins Since 1952 are Now Online
Would you like to search Club magazines and bulletins for information on a specific car, coachbuilder, technical information or other topics? If you have all the printed CCCA magazines and bulletins you could look through every magazine table of contents or every page of a bulletin. But that could take hours or even days to find what you are looking for! What if you don’t have these publications?
Use the CCCA Museum’s website instead. You can now search our CCCA National Magazine Database where there are over 750 issues of CCCA bulletins and magazines online. We provided the ability to search by keyword, specific category, or by publication issue. To begin, I recommend clicking on the specific category that may contain information you are looking for. Categories include:
- Feature Articles on Specific Makes
- Historic Articles by Manufacturer or Make
- Historic Articles by Designer
- Historic Articles by Coachbuilder
- Historic Articles by Region
- Historic Articles, Other
- Biographical Articles
- Technical Articles by Make
- Technical Articles by Component
- Technical Articles, Other
After clicking on the category, you will see the list of articles written over the years. To organize the list by year, make, or title of the article, click on the heading of one of those columns. Scroll down the list until you find information you are looking for, then click on the article to see a digital copy of the magazine or bulletin page. If you know the exact issue you want to look at, scroll down below the categories to find it. If you prefer, you may click on “Search By Keyword”. Then type as few words as possible; for example 1930 Packard. The result will include every article written for a 1930 and for a Packard.
A Facebook follower commented “this database is a great and welcome resource!”. Access the database here.