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  • Why a quail?

    An earlier discussion about flying quail radiator caps got me wondering. How did a quail come to be a ornament for a Model A? We’re they used on other cars? Was there a variety of radiator caps offered by the aftermarket?

    any history / explanation would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Love the question Micheal.
    No clue, as to the answer.
    Twiss Collector Car Parts

    Comment


    • #3
      A-7747 sent me this a couple of weeks ago to post, but I never got around to it. He has not mastered putting up pictures yet, but one day I’ll teach him how. He is a new member here who was very recently banned from another Model A site. Fred brings along a lot of knowledge on originality especially regarding early cars. Having him here really enhances the knowledge base that we already have. The more the merrier right?
      Now that this question came up I figured it would be a good time to post his attachment.



      85AA6A51-CAEA-4B42-9CBA-E13CF3707C78.jpeg
      3 ~ Tudor's
      Henry Ford said
      "It's all nuts and bolts"


      Mitch's Auto Service ctr

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      • #4
        Nice post Mitch, but it still doesn't answer the question, "Why a Quail?"

        Comment


        • #5
          Quick google search turn up this, no opinions as to it's authenticity:
          In the beginning of the 1920 years having some sort of mascot or logo on the radiator cap of cars became popular. There were many kinds made from horses to bull dogs on large trucks to windmills to bows and arrows and even figures similar to the ones on the front of ancient sailing ships.Henry Ford can be credited with selecting the quail as the Model A mascot. He told Irving Bacon, who worked for him. He wanted something that would depict a quick getaway the way he was advertising his cars. Bacon suggested a rabbit but Ford wanted something better than that. He suggested that a quail flushes out of the brush just like a firecracker going off. He thought a quail would be just right. So a quail it was, designed with wings down as though it was just starting to fly off.Of the 5,000+ parts in the Model A, Ford seemed to be involving himself in every step in the design process of the quail. Hundreds of drawings and samples were made until he was satisfied. He was not an easy man to please before he got to what is familiar on the Model A today.The Ford factory did not make the quail. It was made by the George Stant Machine Works that had been making other radiator caps for many years. They were located in eastern Indiana at Connersville. It was Model A part number A-18385. It cost less than $1.00 to make and sold for $3.00. In one year over 250,000 were made.This accessory is cherished by the people that restore cars. Even though an original quail was inexpensive, one might sell for $150.00 or more today, if it is in good condition. The patent on making the quail radiator cap was never renewed so it is possible for factories to make reproductions today. Most dealers that have Model A parts sell a reproduction quail, but for much more than the $3.00 it originally sold for. Most of the time if you see a quail on the radiator cap of a Model A today it will be one of these reproduction quails made recently.

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          • #6

            The Quail is an old world game bird, there is an older American family from the Pittsburgh area that owned a bank in the past that uses the Quail as their family emblem.
            I guess what I’m suggesting is it could represent a class status.
            28 Tudor
            57 Tbird
            2kMR2 Spyder
            62 Willys Pickup

            Wise man once told me you don’t know what you don’t know

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            • #7
              I had this site tucked away and pulled it out. http://articles.rrvcsdc.org/Hood-Ornament-History.php
              It is from a Studebaker club (scroll down for the quail). According to this article, Henry Ford chose the quail and personally oversaw the development of the piece. It does not say why he chose a quail.
              Last edited by gdaquilina; 04-06-2020, 07:45 PM.

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              • #8
                Jerry beat me to it. Lol

                Probably because Henry Ford liked quails. It was his decision. Why he liked Quails I’m not sure



                E292FE99-087F-4B4F-9C8D-E4313DBAB6AC.jpeg
                3 ~ Tudor's
                Henry Ford said
                "It's all nuts and bolts"


                Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                Comment


                • #9
                  Follow a model A, when it pulls away the exhaust note sounds like a quail taking off. Most A's , well tuned and Aries or similar exhaust. The sound isn't Constant only for a few seconds between 1-2,2-3 and goes away in 3 at speed.

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                  • #10
                    More importantly, why not a quail?

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                    • #11
                      They were also made by a company named " Jarvis" but with some different looks to it in the 1928/29 style.. The 1930/31 look pretty much the same except for some small changes you have to look for..

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                      • #12
                        As I understand it, two factors combined made up Henry's mind to adopt the Quail.
                        First, was the rate at which it accelerated - a feature of the Model A which was very quick for its day. They were popular with police for that reason.
                        Secondly, if you have ever heard a quail take off in a hurry, its wings make a sound not unlike the exhaust of a Model A.
                        Both of these things have been mentioned above but not as a combination.When a decision had to be made on a mascot, the quail was an obvious choice, IMO.

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                        • #13
                          I am not sure as to why, but it would not have been my choice. But since it was his choice and many were made I hope to at some point put one on the 29 delivery. Rod
                          At some point in time standardization was a creative idea.

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                          • #14
                            Rowdy, The one you were looking at was for a 30/31.. The 28/29 has a cap that screws on as you know, and this is a problem for the Quail & Motor Meter cap as they are VERY prone to severe corrosion in the threaded cap area and dont fit like they should, if at all.. Its very hard to find one for the years 28/29.. Stanco or Jarvis.

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                            • #15
                              From post 5: actually Apperson Jackrabbit was produced until 1926, so I would imagine Henry would not want to seem a copycat.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by A-7747 View Post
                                Rowdy, The one you were looking at was for a 30/31.. The 28/29 has a cap that screws on as you know, and this is a problem for the Quail & Motor Meter cap as they are VERY prone to severe corrosion in the threaded cap area and dont fit like they should, if at all.. Its very hard to find one for the years 28/29.. Stanco or Jarvis.
                                I know. Was looking at it for partial trade for a 28-29. With my base and the inital cost of that one. I would have been in good shape if the hinge was not broken. Rod
                                At some point in time standardization was a creative idea.

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                                • #17
                                  The Gilmore Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan has the largest display of mascots I've ever seen.
                                  A funny one I saw was a witch flying on a broom, and the base said "Hillary". Naturally this was from the time before Hillary Clinton was even born, so it had nothing to do with her. I'd guess it was the artist's signature, but am not sure.
                                  A few days ago I posted about having a couple of my posts deleted on the site, and it was when I talked about this mascot. Twice it was removed, so I gave up on posting it again.
                                  For anyone who hasn't been to Gilmore, it's one of those must see places to visit, and plan on spending at least 4 to 6 hours there.

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                                  • #18
                                    Here's a NOS quail from 1928-1929. It is a Jarvis:
                                    1928-1929_Jarvis_Quail_wBox_lt.JPG

                                    I ran across this one in France and the label on the box indicates that it was "Imported from the United States of America". Car parts that were imported to France got taxed at a higher rate than French produced parts and such imported parts were required to be labeled as such.

                                    Brad in Maryland

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Brad in Maryland View Post
                                      Here's a NOS quail from 1928-1929. It is a Jarvis:
                                      1928-1929_Jarvis_Quail_wBox_lt.JPG

                                      I ran across this one in France and the label on the box indicates that it was "Imported from the United States of America". Car parts that were imported to France got taxed at a higher rate than French produced parts and such imported parts were required to be labeled as such.

                                      Brad in Maryland
                                      That's a nice piece Brad! Any photos with the cap open? Very few folks know about the locking ring on the pre-1930 Jarvis caps. They've only seen the common twist top caps.

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                                      • #20
                                        This topic and the other Quail one have been very interesting and informative. Now if a stranger asks about the Quail cap I have a story to go along.
                                        Go VFF!

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                                        • #21
                                          Interesting thread!!!!
                                          "Bullshit and Brilliance Comes with Age and Experience"

                                          Comment


                                          • #22
                                            Originally posted by Jedmundcars View Post
                                            This topic and the other Quail one have been very interesting and informative. Now if a stranger asks about the Quail cap I have a story to go along.
                                            Originally posted by Apple Green Wheels Rule View Post
                                            Interesting thread!!!!
                                            I agree and may combine the two threads into the Misc Tech forum.
                                            3 ~ Tudor's
                                            Henry Ford said
                                            "It's all nuts and bolts"


                                            Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                                            Comment


                                            • #23
                                              We are lucky that the quail was chosen.
                                              Had he chose the majestic Canada Goose ....? Think about the cost involved in getting that sucker re-chromed. ?
                                              Twiss Collector Car Parts

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                                              • #24
                                                As stated above the wild Quail is one of the fastest birds when taking off. Pen raised birds not so much. There are very few wild Quail left in the United States. When I was a kid you heard the Bob White call all the time. Now most people have never heard one.

                                                Comment


                                                • #25
                                                  Originally posted by Tom Wesenberg View Post
                                                  The Gilmore Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan has the largest display of mascots I've ever seen.
                                                  A funny one I saw was a witch flying on a broom, and the base said "Hillary". Naturally this was from the time before Hillary Clinton was even born, so it had nothing to do with her. I'd guess it was the artist's signature, but am not sure.
                                                  A few days ago I posted about having a couple of my posts deleted on the site, and it was when I talked about this mascot. Twice it was removed, so I gave up on posting it again.
                                                  For anyone who hasn't been to Gilmore, it's one of those must see places to visit, and plan on spending at least 4 to 6 hours there.
                                                  If I recall correctly the Gilmore mascots are mainly from Marv Tamaroff a car dealer and collector in the Detroit area.

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