miscellaneous productions, MGM Leo Hood Ornament 1928

original production material

In 1928, the fairly new MGM Studio, born in a merger just 4 years earlier, wanted to extend their brand and have Leo The Lion seen around the world, so they sent him on a five year tour of the US and abroad. To house him, they had REO custom build a cage truck and chase vehicle, for humans, on their coveted Speedwagon chasis. The result was more circus wagon than truck. The tour began in Washington, DC., at the National Press Club where the truck was christened, and then to the White House. When they arrived in NYC, press reported 700,000 showed up to greet Leo on Broadway. The tour was a wild success with Leo becoming the second most recognized trademark after Coke. Both the Advance vehicle, Car #2, and Leo's cage truck had this custom made ornament of Leo on top of the world. It was found in England, fairly close to Borehamwood, as the UK was one of the last stops on the tour. Reuse of Leo's truck, in January 1935, for SEQUOIA, shows the ornament now gone, in spite of all the Leo pieces being otherwise intact.

item: collector:
category: original / screen-used
type: production material
celebrity: Leo The Lion (1)
movie: miscellaneous productions
original (92)  |  replica (96)
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