Hooniverse Asks: What Car Part Would You Want Simply For its Artistic Merit?

The automobile has been, almost since its inception, a canvas for artistic expression. Whether it be a flourish of brightwork dressing up an exterior, or a particularly elegantly engineered mechanical element parts of cars can be the subject of  aesthetic appreciation unto themselves.
I have a hubcap from the first car I ever owned—a 1961 Chevy Corvair—hanging on a nail in my garage. It’s actually one that I replaced on the car as it had been scraped against a curb by a former owner and exhibited the scar that encounter left.  Today that scar is just part its history and I like the memories it elicits every time I see it.
With so many aesthetically pleasing automotive parts from which to choose—impossibly snaky exhaust headers; cool deco dashboards; voluptuous valve covers among them—is there a specific part from a particular car that you would like to possess just so you could gaze upon its beauty? What is the car part you would own just for its artistic merit?
Image: ©2017 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

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36 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What Car Part Would You Want Simply For its Artistic Merit?”

  1. James Oakley Avatar
    James Oakley

    Reliant Robin – and make a track car out of it.

  2. 0A5599 Avatar

    Low-hanging fruit waiting to be harvested.

    1. Papa Van Twee Avatar
      Papa Van Twee

      Not as good, but I prefer I4s, and almost bought one of these because the intake looks great (and it was cheap).

    2. Guest Avatar

      I plan on salvaging the snakes nest from my SHO if it ever gets totaled…

  3. Alff Avatar

    I’ll take a pair of these seats for the living room.

    1. nanoop Avatar

      They’d go well with the shaggy I guess.

  4. Rob Avatar

    One of the coolest gauge clusters ever is the one in the 1961 Chrysler New Yorker. It looked like glass half-globe with floating needles. Very jet age and I imagine incredibly complicated to repair if it ever broke.

  5. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar

    I actually have a BSA A65 rocker box cover that I bought just as a piece of sculpture. I am going to make a table lamp out of it. It will stand on four alloy rods, with some LED lights mounted under it.
    …although mine looks more like this:

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      Beautifully Art-Deco.

  6. Batshitbox Avatar
    1. Elliott Avatar

      What the heck is a Heckflosse?

      1. Fuhrman16 Avatar

        It’s the nickname for the W110, W111, and W112 series of Mercedes sedans produced from 1959 to 1968.

        1. outback_ute Avatar

          Also known as the Fintail or “Finnie” Mercedes

      2. Alff Avatar

        It’s what the dentist says to most patients.

        1. Vairship Avatar

          It’s what Brazilian women wear at the beach.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      While Dagmar’s Dagmars were real, this stamp sadly isn’t. It never made it to production, though it was an actual proposed design.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      There are lots of hood/ornaments & mascots that would fit here!
      Saw this one a couple of years ago, appropriate for a French car!

    1. caltemus Avatar

      i’ve got a firebird nose with the popups intact waiting to do this with

      1. Guest Avatar


        Is is possible to rig up the popups to work off a switch or remote? Because that would be quite the party trick!

        1. caltemus Avatar

          I’ve got the hood and tail lights as well. I want to make a like basement light fixture with em, so light strips along the sides of the hood, the tail lights at the back, and the pop-ups in situ, and it would all come on with the wall switch. I’m still working out the details

    2. Fuhrman16 Avatar


      1. Guest Avatar

        Yep! A Gremlin is his dream car, so when he saw the grille at a swap-meet, he had to have it.

        (His tastes are bit odd, but hey, that’s cool on the ‘Verse, right?)

        1. Vairship Avatar

          I’m pretty sure all our tastes are a bit odd. BTW, there’s a Gremlin still roaming the streets in my neighborhood.

  7. Professor Bananahot Avatar
    Professor Bananahot

    On the furniture front…
    I’ve been wanting to make a coffee table out of one of these old TopKick grilles for years.
    It’s a hard part to find in clean condition, plus I can’t even tell you the last time I saw one of these early 90’s trucks on the road.
    Also, motorcycle cylinder blocks make great desk organizers for the architecture office.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      Or you could use the Topkick cylinder block to hold your large T-squares. Might need to reinforce the desk though…

  8. oldcarjunkie Avatar

    I still have the banjo style steering wheel from my old Austin A40. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/03f7f4894349e887e65179e14e0972d0386546792cefefe2f8492558f50c9c0a.jpg

  9. Lokki Avatar