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2011/17/3 Car mascot, Packard 'Goddess of Speed', metal / glass, designed by John D Wilson, Grosse Pointe, Michigan, United States of America, 1938, for the Packard Motor Car Co, Detroit, Michigan, United States of America, 1941, owned by William Diskon, Diskon & Molyneux Ltd, Bexley, New South Wale. Click to enlarge.

Packard 'Goddess of Speed' car bonnet mascot

Designed
This bonnet mascot or hood decoration, named 'Goddess of Speed', was fitted to some models made by the American car company, Packard, between 1939 and 1942. Individual company bonnet mascots were added to cars to make the vehicles easier to recognise as well as for decoration and were in popular use from the 1910s to the 1950s.

This Packard mascot features a kneeling woman in chrome with a glass wing and arms outstretched holding a car wheel. It is colloquially known in America as the 'donut …

Summary

Object No.

2011/17/3

Object Statement

Car mascot, Packard 'Goddess of Speed', metal / glass, designed by John D Wilson, Grosse Pointe, Michigan, United States of America, 1938, for the Packard Motor Car Co, Detroit, Michigan, United States of America, 1941, owned by William Diskon, Diskon & Molyneux Ltd, Bexley, New South Wales, Australia, 1941-1947

Physical Description

Car bonnet ornament which features the sculpture of a woman kneeling on her right knee, with her left leg outstretched behind her. The figure is leaning forward with both arms extended in front. In her hand she holds a small car wheel and tyre. Her long hair and loosely fitting clothes steam behind her and a single glass stylised wing, attached to her hair and back, stretches out behind her. The figure is mounted on a sweeping elongated base, both of which are cast chrome-plated zinc.

Marks

Two circular stamps on underside, including one with the letters 'S M'.

Dimensions

Height

113 mm

Width

84 mm

Production

Notes

The Packard company was established by brothers James and William Packard in Warren, Ohio, United States of America, in 1890 to make electric bells and dynamos. Their first car was made in 1899 and the Ohio Automobile Co was created the following year to manufacture automobiles. This later became the Packard Motor Car Co in Detroit, Michigan, under Henry Joy, and by the 1920s their cars were the undisputed leaders in style and appointment in the US until 1939.

From 1926 until 1950 Packard decorated their car bonnets with two different mascots, a cormorant and the winged 'Goddess of Speed', holding a car wheel in her outstretched arms. There were a number of different versions of these mascots in different poses. This version of the Goddess of Speed was designed by John D Wilson of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, USA, who filed his work with the US Patents Office in 1938 and had it assigned to the Packard Motor Car Co in 1939. It was used on some models of Packard cars between 1939 and 1942. The last Packard was made in America in 1958.

History

Notes

This Packard car bonnet mascot was in the family of William Diskon (1888-1947), a motor body designer. Diskon formed his own motor body building company, Diskon & Molyneux Ltd, in Bexley, New South Wales, from about 1932 until during the Second World War, probably 1941. Diskon & Molyneux made hand-made Packard bodies for imported Packard chassis. The mascot was then handed down the family. It appears never to have been used on a car.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Mary Tugnett, 2011

Acquisition Date

18 March 2011

Cite this Object

Harvard

Packard 'Goddess of Speed' car bonnet mascot 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 8 December 2021, <https://ma.as/415023>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/415023 |title=Packard 'Goddess of Speed' car bonnet mascot |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=8 December 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}