Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tip toppers in the time of big boppers...

In the days before bumper stickers, One would show his appreciation for a brand, or specific interest on his/her auto or moto via a Plate topper. These were usually made of a tin/aluminum sheet metal, or casted and were themed in a variety of topics. The early or perhaps the first toppers known also as "pectens" were made by Shell gas company in the early 1930's and were in the shape of a pecten hence the nickname given to early plate toppers. This trend caught on for other oil and petroleum based firms to advert their brand on as many vehicles as possible, so naturally competition, creativity, and imagery to attract the attention of a passer by became the name of the game. These little accessories along with radiator badges were ways of expressing individuality, places traveled, brand support, and sometimes even adorning the company that insured the vehicle,or AAA membership. Looking back now they are like souvenirs from a specific time period in the american auto/moto industry and landscape, and to me they accent a vehicle with way more charm and class then todays vinyl bumper stickers that only make vehicles look trashy!