The Spring 2015 Raleigh Classic Car Auction is Coming!
June 19-20, 2015
Ideally, these rare brands instantly get your attention with a feature that is now largely forgotten: the hood ornament. Few brands today embody their ethos in three-dimensional form. Even Rolls-Royce, who has one of the most iconic ornaments ever, allows its ornament to retract under the hood when parked, the better to deter thieves.
To celebrate the best of these, we chose the seven coolest-looking hood ornaments we could find on the Internet, and believe us, there were a lot to look at. The best part of this list, however, is that you can add to it. If you’ve seen something cooler in your travels, find us a picture and description of the car.
We will admit that quite a few of these came from well-known automakers. While it would be nice if the little guys made the more interesting stuff, it didn’t shake out that way this time around. Here then are our seven favorite classic car hood ornaments.
7. The Bugatti Type 41 Royale Elephant
6. The Minerva Roman deity of wisdom
Photo: Jill Reger
5. The Pierce Arrow
4. The Pontiac Chieftain
3. The Armstrong Siddeley Rocket Sphinx
Photo: Armstrong Siddeley
2. The 1929 Willys Knight 66A Varsity
1. 1930 Chrysler Imperial 8
Before you brush us off because your new smartphone “takes pretty good pictures” let us stop you right there.
1. Use a real camera
Smartphones and point-and-shoot cameras are fine for documenting repairs, but taking high-quality photos? Not so much. You need a single lens reflex (SLR) camera, either old-school analog shooting on rolls of film, or digital (DSLR) like most people are doing.
These cameras look like what newspaper photographers and professionals use. Their ability to change lenses, focus points and shutter speed puts them in a class above your phone.
2. Get it clean
No-brainer, right? Dust rarely improves how a classic photographs. However, if you’re in the process of restoration, don’t be afraid to highlight any rust spots or worn leather; it will make a good contrast when restoration is complete. Plus, it shows character, like when people take artistic photos of abandoned buildings and whatnot.
Use our guides to restoring and detailing your classic to get you on your way.
3. Set your own hours
Every photography tip sheet will tell you to do your photography during the “golden hours” of right after sunrise and before sunset. There’s something about newly emerging light washing over surfaces that looks fantastic.
Try to avoid shooting under direct sunlight such as high noon. The harsh sunbeams cause lots of reflections and are not flattering. Either move your vehicle to a shaded area, create shade with a series of canopies, or just shoot during a cloudy day.
4. Polarize thyself
If your camera uses rolls of film, a polarizer fits on the front of a camera’s lens. If you have a digital camera, it has a digital option for this. Polarizing lets you strain harsh reflections in your shot. When photographing a classic car, this is essential. All that chrome, glass, and polished paint create shiny surfaces which gets in the way of a good shot.
5. Focus on details
Especially if you’re shooting at a car show, focusing on details is a good way to make sure all the people milling about your subject don’t detract from your photo. Get in close on a hood ornament, emblem, stitching, dial, word, or anything else.
Many people want to get the whole car in the photo, so they stand about 50 feet away (we’re exaggerating) and snap away. Embrace nearness and find minutia that anyone else wouldn’t see.
6. Simple backgrounds
When your car is the focus, the background must be carefully, intentionally neutral. Just sitting in your garage won’t do. Head out to an open field, abandoned tarmac, industrial loading dock, airplane hangar, pier at the waterfront, sheer cliff, or anything else that creates a uniform, patterned background.
7. Shoot at night
This one is fun, and proves why you need an SLR camera. Find a spot at night that is completely dark—no streetlights, business lights, house lights, moon light or any other light. Set your shutter speed to 30 seconds or some large amount of time. This means that instead of opening and closing quickly like normal, the shutter will stay open for a long time.
Press the button, then go around with a flashlight and paint your car with the light, being careful not to get in the shot yourself. You can be creative as you like and use all sorts of weird angles. The camera will catch all of that light play and when the time is up, it will create a single image.
Now get out there
These seven tips should be plenty for you to get some awesome shots that will be the envy of your friends and wonder to your online followers. Don’t settle for lame point-and-shoot camera shots. Put the effort into showing off everything that’s special about your vehicle. Since you went through all the trouble to get it looking good, why not let people see it as it really is?
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But what name? How do you name something? Sometimes naming is easy. You got your family a dog in July so you name her that. Other times, finding the right name for something is elusive. You try on a couple and they just don’t stick. When it comes to your classic car, how do you name it?
We have five approaches that will hopefully help you out. You can choose the one that makes the most sense to you, or cobble a few together to produce the perfect name. Or maybe they’ll inspire you to think of a method all your own. Whatever you decide, we hope you’ll have a richer experience by naming your vintage automobile.
1. Simple, like Apple
This consumer electronics company had a penchant for “i” words, e.g. iMac, iPod, iPhone, etc. However, they have recently switched to something a bit more literal and descriptive, e.g. ApplePay, Apple Watch, etc. Therefore, take something squarely on the nose of your car. If it’s rusty, call it Rusty. If it growls, call it The Growler. You want to think like a 4-year-old. Is it a red car? Call it Red Car.
2. Use a prefix, like a comic book hero/villain
Names can lead to personalities, and personhood can be conveyed through Mr., Mrs., Miss. and Ms. Combined with some of other rules, you can get things like Mr. Glass, Monsieur Villefont, Senator Clinkle, Darius Von Moot, Countess Fire, and other various and sundry combinations. This one, as Don Draper would say, is delicate. But potent.
As Knight Rider showed us, acronyms can be fun. (Acronyms with wordplay can be even more: Dan Aykronym). Thus the Knight Industries Three Thousand became KITT for short. It’s pithy, to the point, has some meaning to it, and if your car’s name is already unwieldy, can get to the core. Like a beet lemongrass reduction, all that flavor can be distilled into something far more effective than its longer form.
4. Use the Internet
Is your brain all wore out from trying to create something out of the void? A quick Googling of “how to name things” got us to Pun Generator and Uber Suggest within seconds. That’s because the Internet is good at crunching data. Take any random word (Butterscotch, Darla, Socialism) and get back dozens of variations. How do you think “Comcast” was made?
5. Like a scientist
These geeky little spooks with their pocket protectors and clicky pens have made terrifically unique names for everything in existence. Hence a hedgehog is really an Erinaceinae, a daffodil is really a Narcissus and Rick James is really Dave Chappelle. National Geographic has a 6-point process for how scientists name things, and you might find something helpful to yourself in there, particularly if you know different technical aspects about your car.
Naming your classic vehicle is a rare and wonderful opportunity. We’re almost envious. Let us know on Facebook or Twitter what you named yours and why. If you like this article, please share with someone who would appreciate it, too.
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Does your work travel schedule have you landing in NY on Tuesday, stopping by Chicago on Wednesday, and circling back through St. Louis on Thursday only to end up at a meeting in Seattle by Friday morning? Avoid travel whiplash and maybe even relax (a little) on your next trip by following these business travel tips from the experts at Business Insider.
Pre-pack a Travel Bag
If you travel often, save all the time you spend packing toiletries into TSA-approved mini containers by keeping a travel bag packed at all times. Packing will be a breeze when you can just grab your bag and go.
Pack Comfort Clothes
You may think you don’t want a pair of tennis shoes and sweatpants, but pack them anyway. This is something that you will not regret, and you’ll be patting yourself on the back when you get home from a stressful day of meetings and just want to walk around outside in a shoe without a heel or polished toe.
Stop, Fold, and Roll
Everyone has their own approach to maximizing space while packing. A great way to maximize space for clothes is to fold shirts and pants neatly and then roll remaining clothes to fill in the corners of your bag.
Skip Bag Check
If you’re headed out on a shorter trip, try to pack lightly enough to fit everything you need into carry-on bags. This will save you time during departure and arrival, and you’ll also avoid any potential lost bag stress.
Buy Checkpoint-Friendly Bags
Consider investing in a carry-on bag that is specifically designed so you can keep laptops and other electronics in your bag when you go through security checkpoints. It may only save a couple minutes, but you’ll be thankful that you won’t have to pack and unpack your bags while you put your shoes back on and try to find your belt.
Take an In-Flight Breather
Though it may be tempting to squeeze in that last bit of work during your plane ride, consider using that time to disconnect and unwind. Whether you prefer to read, watch a movie, or just take a nap, down time before a stressful, high-energy business situation may do you more good than you realize.
Cash in on Pre-Check and Frequent Flyer Programs
Most airlines offer some sort of frequent traveler program that gives you access to more amenities, shorter wait times, and overall less inconveniences. Sign up for pre-check whenever you have the option, and security checkpoints will be a breeze. If you consistently travel with one airline, it may pay off to check into their rewards programs as well.
Keep important documents at hand
Stack your passport, ID, and any other important documents together and keep them together as much as possible, especially at the airport. You may think you will remember that you stuck your passport into your back pocket, and that your ID is in that one pocket in your other jacket, but you probably won't. Keeping everything in the same place will save you a major headache later.