is a public web resource for anyone interested in automobilia and automotive history. It builds on the foundation of the Matthias Dressler Collection — a private collection of over 300 pre-war automotive historical objects from the pre 1939 era, complemented by an unique library and digital archive.

The Mission is dedicated to deepening the understanding and appreciation of prewar hood ornaments (also known as car mascots) as a significant cultural aspect of automotive history. It is guided by the following principles:

  • Acquiring and preserving materials of rich content in multiple formats that reveal and clarify the automotive history of hood ornaments.
  • Fostering an environment of inquiry and access to nurture research.
  • Using technological advances to communicate history in exciting and engaging ways that resonate with the public.

Library and Archive

In keeping with Mr. Dressler’s vision of preserving automotive ornamentation as both art objects and brand symbols that reflect 20th century marketing philosophies of the car manufacturers, strives to become a leading resource for pre-war mascots, literature, photographs and related objects.

The Website is a constantly growing web resource with the goal of displaying the hood ornaments of the world’s automakers in alphabetical order. Some of these early hood ornaments have redefined the aesthetic standards of brand marketing in automotive advertising. Some have the style of the works of great sculptors. And some were so significant that they even exist today.

The starting point for this web resource is the Dressler Collection, that contains many authentic objects to learn from and compare, complemented by an extensive library of books, magazines, advertisements, auction catalogs, patent drawings, articles and photos that help dating and describing the objects.

The digital catalog is currently being realized in the form of a blog. It summarizes the physical description of the object and the research, including the stories associated with the mascot. Signatures, foundry stamps, special details, versions and other markings are noted in the description. 

“The automotive mascot is an Objet d’Art.

– James R. Colwill, renowned Canadian collector and author of several books on car mascots

The Mascot Collection

The Matthias Dressler Collection – a distinct collection of more than 300 mascots, emblems and radiators manufactured between 1909 and 1939 – was thoughtfully curated for rarity and historical significance. Nearly every object is in new old stock (NOS) or untouched beautiful patinated condition according to exacting historical standards.

The allure of a 1926-28 McFarlan Atlas mascot continues to attract collectors, historians and automotive connoisseurs from around the world to behold one of the cornerstones of the collection.

Visitors with advance reservation are granted up close and unfettered access to these legendary marvels of automotive history including a 1910 Dixi Crowned Wheel, the collection’s oldest mascot. Only polished glass panes of the mirrored vitrines prevent visitors from standing nose to nose with a 1930 Cadillac Trumpet Tooter or La Renommee, an original 1920s design by Emile Peynot for Ballot cars.

But you don’t have to travel to Germany right away. These remarkable vestiges of automobile history can also still be seen at museums and classic car meets across the world, exemplifying these mascots’ uncommon combination of artistic form and function.

Matthias Dressler

“The main purpose of this website is to provide a platform to publish and discuss interesting aspects covering the subject of car mascots, with a focus on unpublished information. Because more than 100 years after the appearance of the first car mascots there is still a lot to discover.”

Matthias Dressler has been a car enthusiast since his early childhood. He currently lives in Cologne, the city where Nikolaus Otto invented the Otto engine and August Horch built his first car. While he works professionally as an engineer, he likes to devote his free time to automobiles and automobilia. Over the years, his interest in classic vehicles has taken him all over the world. His extensive expert knowledge on early hood ornaments and emblems is appreciated by collectors and friends of classic car enthusiasts as wells as internationally renowned auction houses such as Bonhams and Dorotheum. His publication can also be found in the Deutsches Museum in Munich, the world’s largest museum for science and technology, which attracts around 1.5 million visitors a year.