New Permanent Exhibit at the AACA Museum, Inc.
Hershey, PA | Horn button designs range from mild to wild. Representing horn buttons from the ’40s through the ’60s, the new permanent horn button exhibit features over 80 selections from marques including, but not limited to, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Mercury, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, and Pontiac.
The display highlights the often overlooked ornate detail that went into vintage automobiles. While beautiful, the horn buttons of the past were not always safe. In one famous example, legendary actor, comedian, and performer Sammy Davis Jr. lost his left eye in a car accident when it impacted on the bullet-shaped horn button of his 1955 Cadillac’s steering wheel. The very same type of horn button—a 1955 Cadillac Coupe de Ville—is on view in the collection. Safety standards, as well as more economical designs, eventually led car manufacturers to steer away from decorative horn buttons. Manufacturers opted instead for more practical and safer steering wheel pads found in most modern cars.
This comprehensive collection was donated to the Museum in 2019 by Carl Ursich and Terry Bartley in honor of their friend (and the original owner of the collection) Charles L. Bametzrieder, III. Visitors to the AACA Museum can view this collection in our Regions & Chapters room on the Museum’s upper level.