What do you get for the car enthusiast who already has everything (yourself included)? It can be hard to find automotive memorabilia that’s not: 1) a car, 2) expensive, or 3) tacky. RM Sotheby’s, though, is hosting a week-long auction to sell off a collection of old automobile mascots and hood ornaments. It’s a great place to get your hands on some cool—and unique—pieces of history.
The Mascots of Motoring Distinction auction only runs until October 21, 2020, with certain lots closing at staggered times on the 21st, so this isn’t exactly something you’ll want to wait on. There are 50 lots selling mascot items from as far back as 1915 and as recently as 1956.
Back in the day, every car needed a mascot, in part because there were far more auto manufacturers in the United States than there are now—as in, upwards of 1,500 car makers making 3,000 different cars. A lot of those automakers consolidated their efforts, teaming up or buying one another out. Others went out of business after the Great Depression or the World Wars.
The best way to distinguish cars at the time was the automobile mascot, which started out as a radiator cap in the early 20th century. These were little works of art that usually tied into some aspect of the car itself or a larger goal of the automaker. You’ve probably seen lots of birds or stylized wings (which represent swift flight) and graceful-looking ladies or goddesses (which represent beauty and manufacturing elegance).
Then, there are the Willys mascots, one of which is a knight to represent the charge into battle. As we head into the 1930s, there are a lot of abstract art deco shapes that are ultimately designed to look fast.
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The RM Sotheby’s auction is worth scrolling through, if only to peek around at the selection and check out an abbreviated version of automotive styling language.
Right now, many of the items still have relatively low bids and low expected final selling prices. The highest expected price is $900, but most things fall into the $300-400 range.
There’s a lot of great stuff. Part of me wants to splurge on the horrifying Kewpie doll mascot, but there’s also a great Dodge Ram from from 1932 and a gorgeous bronze Loup from 1935.
With the NHL season over, much of professional hockey has entered a dead period where workers around the team have nothing to do. This includes the team mascots, but a couple of Hurricanes fans have found a way to incorporate the Carolina mascot into their lives.
Stormy, the mascot Ice Hog for the Hurricanes, made a special guest appearance at one big fan’s wedding. According to the post of the video surprise, the wife of the groom-to-be decided to try and play a prank on her soon-to-be husband. He waited, with his eyes closed for the first look and wedding dress reveal for on their special day. Upon the groom’s turning around he did not see his beautiful bride, but instead saw Stormy, which, based on his reaction, seemed like just as special of a moment. The two shared a passionate embrace and took photos together.
In follow-up photos of the event, it turns out that the mascot hung around for a bit to have a good time. What a cool mascot!
Stormy has been with the franchise since its move to North Carolina in 1997. According to the bio page on the NHL’s website, one of Stormy’s hobbies includes “pulling pranks” so of all the teams the groom could have been a fan of, he chose the team with the mascot that was perfect for this sort of job.