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Old 02-23-2019, 10:14 AM   #1
Mulletwagon
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Default The Bird

Always admired that flying quail radiator cap. Anyone know the story behind this iconic piece of automotive art ? How does one read the integral temp indicator ?
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:31 AM   #2
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: The Bird

I think that the quail symbolizes the quickness of the model A as in when the quail flies off and the sound of the quails fluttering wings .
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Bird

As for the temp. indicator reading , as in any thermometer , as the mercury rises , so does the temperature . I find that a temperature gauge , inside the car is more accurate and easier to see and read .
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Bird

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Originally Posted by Purdy Swoft View Post
I think that the quail symbolizes the quickness of the model A as in when the quail flies off and the sound of the quails fluttering wings .
I thought I read one time that Henry also considered the cottontail rabbit as a ornament for the Model A but chose the quail,both denoting quick take off that he witnessed on the farm growing up. I think the quail is really neat and nails the simplicity of the Model A with most of the day being fancy swans or whatnot.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Bird

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.

Borrowed from: http://www.picture-worl.org/automobi...iator-cap.html
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Bird

Somewhere there is vintage film footage of a live quail in a small cage beating itself to death trying to fly. If memory serves me the statement in the vid was many many quails were killed. They were being filmed so artists could study the "stills" before making clay models for the Radiator cap design.
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Old 02-23-2019, 02:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Bird

Wow ! Katy nailed it. Thanks for the explanation and link.
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Old 02-23-2019, 02:55 PM   #8
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Where in the Florida Panhandle are you? Hugh
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Bird

We had a reprint of an article from Mar/Apr 1960 Restorer by Art Miller in our February Newsletter about the quail. You can find it here. The article is on pages 14-17, the main info starts on page 16.
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Old 02-24-2019, 10:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Bird

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Originally Posted by Tacoma Bob View Post
Somewhere there is vintage film footage of a live quail in a small cage beating itself to death trying to fly. If memory serves me the statement in the vid was many many quails were killed. They were being filmed so artists could study the "stills" before making clay models for the Radiator cap design.
Hmmm. I raise bobwhite quail and yes, they flush when startled however they are a very docile friendly bird when you are quiet and slowmoving around them. The model a quail is in the glide position of flight. Not flushing. Even in that position a quail can zip right through very thick brush without touching a single twig. Very agile and fast flyer. I bought a quail repro from Macs right after I got my A. I love the look of it on the radiator. Has been a good one too, doesnt spit coolant and opens easily.
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