The first of four fascinating volumes presenting automotive mascots that serve a purpose beyond ornamentation. Artistically photographed and with expert narrative, the presentation is both informative and entertaining. 91 mascots are shown, most in life size. 10 French, 11 English, 64 American and 6 of other countries trace a chronology of design from 1900 to 1923. Many mascots do not appear in any other reference book.
Once upon a time, before all cars began to resemble each other, every model had distinguishing marks that made it stand out. A "smiling" grille or a pointed nose shouted a car's make to all it passed by; similarly, the aviation-inspired fins of the 1950s and the stealth, sharklike back ends of the first Sting Rays made a lasting impression on the minds of drivers they left in the proverbial dust. These features announced for what and for whom a particular vehicle was designed. Now, they are mostly gone--except here, where the infinite variety of imaginatively styled grilles and tails of yesteryear return in a plethora of photos by top photographers. They range from beautiful and elegant to obnoxious and even bizarre...but they are always something amazing to see.Among the top showpieces: the dazzling chrome grin of the 1955 De Soto; the unmistakable front end of the 1958 Edsel; the flamboyant fins of the 1960 Cadillac Eldorado; and the unique engine-containing rear end of a vintage 1950 Beetle.