I would think that the skull thing has been around since well before cars were even invented. Didn't the savages encountered by the ships on trade and exploration voyages in the 1400s keep skulls and bones of their conquests hanging around to scare off their enemies?
(like weirdbeard had said in his post, I'll bet he is a little more connected to those crazy cannibal guys than he'd care to admit
, Just kidding
I know that the association with skulls and other powerful images was really brought home in a much bigger way when servicemen who had fought in WWII came back and started car and motorcycle clubs.
IIRC Hells Angels was initally a group of WWII airmen who used the skull with wings as their symbol of victory and earned badness. HA history lesson
The Hells Angels motorcycle club used the image of the skull with wings as a symbol to their own badness. Whether or not they truly earned the right to use the image is going to be uncontested by me. Those guys were definately a force to be reckoned with, and no one with any sense would try to impersonate a member.
The real meanings of so many of those images have been so obscured by commercialism that they have lost all of their original meaning.
My 14 year old daughter has a belt with a buckle cast in the shape of a skull.
How scary is that?
Well ok, anyone who HAS a 14 year old daughter knows that they are scary
without skulls and flames, but you get the idea.
What did the Von Dutch flying eyeball mean in the 50's and 60's and what does it mean today?