Quick Question: Why Are There No Trunk Ornaments?

Modern automotive design and pedestrian safety regulations have all but eliminated hood ornaments, because as a culture we’ve decided when a car runs into us, we don’t want a chrome jaguar shoved up our hee-whoms. However history judges us on this decision only time will tell, but it did make me realize one important question: why were there never trunk ornaments?


Now, when I’m talking about a hypothetical trunk ornament, I’m thinking of a rear counterpart to the iconic, stand-up hood ornament. Trunk lids would often have ornate badges, usually surrounding the lock area, and while these are unquestionably automotive jewelry, no car that I’m aware of ever had a stand-up trunk ornament.

It’s not like the sorts of cars that had gaudy, spring-loaded, upright hood ornaments were overly concerned with keeping everything subtle; these were cars of the tailfin era, after all. So why did no automaker just take that next, tiny step and slap a big-ass ornament on the trunk lid, to announce to all the poor bastards behind the car how much better their lives could be if only they had a Cadillac or Imperial or whatever?

I welcome your theories involving Freemasonry and, possibly, photographic evidence that I am wrong, and trunk ornaments do, in fact, exist. Have at it.

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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)