Take Off #14530

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The Story

Trolling for images through a very old junkyard, I came across this rather interesting Oldsmobile hood ornament. It’s in the distinctive futuristic shape of a chrome silver jet which was trendy back in the mid-century day. The chrome is pocked but still shiny after years outside and stands out well against the very faded and rusty aquamarine blue. Naturally, I was easily attracted to this old car chrome and the color of the leaves and hood. I walked right over to take a careful shot of it in that sea of rusty old cars under a forest canopy.

Having a decorative hood ornament was kind of a hallmark on cars from the 1950s. Many vehicles from that time had them in different themes. It appears to be taking off with the thick pile of leaves and pine needles trailing behind like a cloud of smoke from a takeoff. But these days, this silver jet lies landlocked and blocked from the skies in a junkyard lying under the ever-growing trees that have become a forest. For many decades, the tall pines have dropped their needles along with leaves from the deciduous trees. Of course, over time that organic material decomposes and becomes dirt underneath. Many cars here have metal roofs and hoods rotting through after being in constant contact with that always damp earth.

My reasonable guess is the car is likely an Oldsmobile 88 from the mid-1950s. I’m not that familiar with them. Another good guess I’ve heard is a 1955 Rocket 88. However, an old car enthusiast told me Oldsmobile hood ornaments kept with the jet theme for a stretch through the fifties. They changed it slightly from year to year, but he couldn’t call the exact year of this one. Nevertheless, this image stands as an interesting throwback to a different automotive day. It still retains beauty in the design and style, particularly when time has aged it so well.

Update: the best visual evidence I’ve been able to find indicates this is a 1954 Olds, which is the same car as in the link below. That car is missing this silver jet.

If you enjoy junk cars as I do, you might like to see one the Oldsmobile neighbors to this one in the image I Hear Banjos #14225. You will also see some of the old woods growing up through this old junkyard too.

Image and text © Andrew Dierks

 

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