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Skull hood ornament?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Brootal, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. A friend mine who's in LA at the moment found this interesting bit of automotive art. The lower jaw is spring mounted (but broken), otherwise it looks to be in really good condition.

    Anyone know the origin/history?

    [​IMG]

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  2. OLLIN
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,076

    OLLIN
    Member

    wow! that is pretty cool, and I dont usually go for "skulls".
     
  3. jetmek
    Joined: Jan 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,846

    jetmek
    Member

    looks like its from a jc whitney catalog from the 60's or 70's
     
  4. hotroddaddy
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 193

    hotroddaddy
    Member
    from jax, fla

    Boy thats nice, i need one of those, it would go great on my car.
     

  5. square nuts make it real old not..

    some red silicone for gums and tongue complete the ferosity
     
  6. Doc.
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 3,558

    Doc.
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Tha would make a cool Pez dispenser.

    Doc.
     
  7. old beet
    Joined: Sep 25, 2002
    Posts: 5,750

    old beet
    Member

    I call them "Yappys" My son has an original, but they repop them now. From the late 40s. They have a counter weight on the jaw, so it moves up and down at speed. Originals are big $,,,,,,,,,OLDBEET
     
  8. Chopper Demon
    Joined: Jan 27, 2005
    Posts: 274

    Chopper Demon
    Member

    I think Mooneyes sells one similar to it, you might want to check it out.
     
  9. SinisterCustom
    Joined: Feb 18, 2004
    Posts: 8,269

    SinisterCustom
    Member


    I thought they were older than that Beet:confused: ......I know a guy with a couple of originals, very cool for skull accesories......
     
  10. old beet
    Joined: Sep 25, 2002
    Posts: 5,750

    old beet
    Member

    Ya! They may be much older.....Way cool!............OLDBEET
     
  11. My buddy that found it collects and restores old coin-operated machines and he got it from another collector. I imagine it would be the real deal.

    Square nut or not! ;)
     
  12. k-member
    Joined: May 25, 2002
    Posts: 2,114

    k-member
    Member

    Mine is an original mascot from, I was told the late 20's, called "Gabby" as she has the scarf and moving jaw, looks just like the one pictured. SuperBell on here know's all about them.
     
  13. man-a-fre
    Joined: Apr 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,311

    man-a-fre
    Member

    early western auto accesory.
     
  14. superbell
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 349

    superbell
    Member

    Brootal, my man K-member is right it is a female radiator mascot with a scarf and it is American made from the early 1930's, they may have been offered later in other markets. Some like yours were nickle plated but most were not. Most of the originals I have seen had a red and a green glass glob eye (I assume for the port and starboard effect), yours appears to be missing the counter weight that Beet mentioned. The counter weight was on the jaw for the purpose of making the mouth open and close at speed which happened at about 35 to 40 with the help of the wind hence the name "GABBY". Originals sell when you can find them for about $300.00 and up, there are repops around some good and some not so good.
     
  15. Skull, scarf, flapping jaw...that's my Aunt Millie RIP.
     
  16. k-member
    Joined: May 25, 2002
    Posts: 2,114

    k-member
    Member

    Here's a few pics of mine on my A coupe, with new lower jaw courtesy of Superbell Rick.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. I knew I'd seen it somewhere before. :)

    Thanks for the info Superbell. My buddy paid a LOT less than $300 for it, so if it is an original, he'll be stoked. He's pretty handy too, so he might be able to fix it up.

    Do you have any pics of the actual counterweight mechanism and how it goes together?
     
  18. k-member
    Joined: May 25, 2002
    Posts: 2,114

    k-member
    Member

    I cotter pinned my lower jaw on as I lost my original jaw after being hit by a semi truck leaving Bonneville in 98. I will try and take it apart and show a pic later.
     
  19. wayne57
    Joined: Jun 16, 2010
    Posts: 18

    wayne57
    Member

    anyone know who makes repos of this skull?

    thanks

    wayne
     
  20. mart3406
    Joined: May 31, 2009
    Posts: 3,055

    mart3406
    Member
    from Canada

    It'd be the perfect hood ornament for
    a hearse! :eek::eek::eek::D

    Mart3406
    ============================
     
  21. I want one for mine...
     

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  22. fleetside66
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,659

    fleetside66
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Here's the deal on these mascots. I did some research, since I got one (missing the lower jaw). They were made by the Franklin Die Cast Co., Inc. out of Chicago in the 1920's/1930's. Mr. Franklin is considered the father of die casting in America. He also founded the Franklin Automobile Co. This particular model is called the "Floating Spirit" & is listed as Item # 129 in the catalog. They are repoped & sold by Moon for about $100. By the way, Moon refused my request to buy a jaw (only). If anyone has any leads for a jaw, let me know.
     
    Stogy likes this.
  23. prideofgumbo
    Joined: Apr 24, 2009
    Posts: 1

    prideofgumbo
    Member

    Here's an ad for them, and a few others, from a 1939 Smith Johnson Novelty catalog. Cool to finally find out something about these and what they actually look like. I swiped the ad art years ago for some band tees.

    $1.25. Nice. Fairly pricey compared to the others, which are all just a quarter.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. fleetside66
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,659

    fleetside66
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Here's a shot of the page on the original Franklin Die Cast catalog. My guess is that the 1939 novelty catalog was a latter repop deal. Interesting stuff. The caption with this pics states "Skull, produced in the 1920's & 1930's. An American mascot made from pot metal & has a working jaw. Some had illuminated eyes. An unusual mascot & shown here against a page taken from the manufacturer's Franklin's catalog."

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    Stogy likes this.
  25. Here's another example on my '27 T sedan!

    [​IMG]
     
    Stogy likes this.
  26. Just bringing this back to the top.

    My friend who has this ornament now has the ability to weld die cast, and as the counterweight is missing on this one, he needs to see what it looks like so he can recreate it.

    Someone posted a pic earlier showing the whole mechanism, but it's been deleted, so if whoever posted it is reading this, can you upload the pics again, please?
     

    Attached Files:

    Stogy likes this.
  27. k-member
    Joined: May 25, 2002
    Posts: 2,114

    k-member
    Member

    Still have mine and will be up to see her tomorrow, and will perform the surgery, remove the jaw and take a pic for you if someone doesn't beat me to it.
     
    Stogy likes this.
  28. k-member
    Joined: May 25, 2002
    Posts: 2,114

    k-member
    Member

    Sorry, a day or two late (Owning a business seams like I have less time) but, here she is.
     

    Attached Files:

    Stogy likes this.
  29. k-member
    Joined: May 25, 2002
    Posts: 2,114

    k-member
    Member

    And straight on it looks like the monkey in "the Hangover 2"
     

    Attached Files:

    Stogy likes this.
  30. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,117

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm not into skulls in the least and think that they are a bit tacky normally but that is cooler than all get out.
     

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