“The radiator mascot is one of the most distinctive parts of the early automobile.
It represents the identity, heart and soul of a vehicle.“

Matthias Dressler


This bilingual book presents the most artistic and outstanding car mascots adopted by international automotive brands between 1909 and 1939.

They are iconic masterpieces that once adorned thousands upon thousands of vehicles, and still have the power to inspire car enthusiasts and art lovers alike.

Over 100 of these fascinating sculptures are brilliantly showcased here, flanked by rare, historical pictures of the respective vintage cars. Such a unique collection is more than reminiscences of a nearly forgotten era – it is a tribute to car mascots as works of art.

Matthias Dressler Hood Ornaments Radiator Car Mascots Book


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 private museum houses a collection of over 300 pre-war automotive historical objects, complemented by a unique library. His extensive expert knowledge is appreciated by collectors and friends of classic car enthusiasts as wells as internationally renowned auction houses such as Bonhams and Dorotheum.


“Radiator Mascots of the Classic Car Era 1909-1939” is a valuable contribution that gives the car mascot its rightful place as an object d’art – a significant cultural aspect of the transportation history. Matthias Dressler brings an marque-specific point of view of how we can understand, value and remember radiator mascots in order to pass this knowledge to future generations.
“Radiator Mascots of the Classic Car Era 1909-1939” combines exquisite photographs with rare background information, exciting anecdotes about the origin of each mascot, as well as vintage images of the respective cars and archival advertisements – a truly unique approach.
All texts of this notable coffee-table book are bilingual, in German and English. Hardcover 28 cm x 28 cm (11” x 11”), 403 pages. Limited edition of 250 copies only.


Our shared passion for automobiles and art is a universal language that connects classic car enthusiasts around the world. At the same time, owning authentic objects of automotive history can be just as much fun as owning a vehicle. In any case, the rarest brands often only have artifacts left. 

Matthias Dressler offers with his blog a new resource on the fascinating world of early hood ornaments. The focus is on the mascots of the various car manufacturers in the period up to 1939.


I honestly didn’t know what to expect when you told me how heavy the book was. I expected something similar to other mascot books I’ve seen that are essentially pictures of mascots assembled on a page with small captions. I was so totally blown away by this book, you have no idea! This book gives the reader PERSPECTIVE on the car and the mascot, with details about the artist and the social times. This book has no competition.

Roy Pasini
RROC life member and mascot collector from USA

Schon das Format und die Gestaltung beeindrucken. Da ist offenkundig sehr viel Liebe zum Detail und Recherche-Arbeit eingeflossen, wenn Sie mir diese Bemerkung gestatten.
Was mir ausgezeichnet gefällt ist, dass es nicht wie ein “Katalog” gestaltet ist, sondern sehr über die Bilder wirkt und “Geschichten” und spannende Hintergründe erzählt. Darüber entfaltet es für mich auch seine Wirkung.

Ralf Altman
Classic car enthusiast from Germany

I just received Matthias Dressler’s book. It is simply impressive!!! Voluminous (400 pages) but superbly bound with stunning photos and illustrations. I highly recommend it to all amateurs and enthusiasts. And thank you to those who recommended it to me.

Alex Tomei
Mascot collector from Corsica


(…) a monumental effort and a work of art. I just browsed quickly and it will take several hours to review and thoroughly enjoy. You did a something very worthwhile and almost historic

Howard Kellman
Mascot collector from USA