Jet Fighter Hood Ornament Designed By Lucian Ring

I have noticed many reproductions lately based upon the above hood ornament. The jet fighter ornament pictured is part of my own collection, and it is an original. The manufacturer was Univex and a patent was granted on the design of this hood ornament in 1948:

Mine has some other markings on the wing, and I was once told that the inventor, Lucian Ring, put his initials on the ornament in a similar fashion to pin-up artist George Petty whose name appears on the wing of the flying goddess hood ornament he designed for Nash. To be perfectly honest, however, I can clearly see the “L” but I’m not certain it is followed by an “R”.

I am also not too clear on who Lucian Ring was, exactly, I found a short obituary from 1957 that stated he had died at the too-young age of 55 . He lived in Detroit for most of his adult life and was a die cast engineer. There were a number of other patents related to die cast equipment granted to him in the 1940s and 1950s, but the jet fighter was the only hood ornament. It was an aftermarket ornament that could be purchased from vendors like the one in this 1949 advertisement for Economy Auto Stores:

It was advertised as fitting a 1946 Ford and could be purchased for the low, low, low price of $2.49:

An original, like mine, is marked with the manufacturer’s name, Univex, and the patent number 149,443.

A beautiful remnant from the dawn of the jet age, originals are currently selling for around $100 (but beware the reproductions)!