Hood pins are used as a secondary restraint for the hood and are attached by a pin and plate drilled through the hood. They were originally made for the racetrack to keep hoods buttoned down at high speeds, but found their way onto muscle cars of the late 60s/early 70s.
Hood pins (two per hood) were most prevalent on Dodge and Plymouth muscle cars of that era (e.g., Challengers, ‘Cudas, Road Runners, Daytonas, GTXs, Super Bees, etc.). They were, primarily, a styling element used to give a more aggressive look, since today’s cars already have a safety hood latch. One car, the 1969 Dodge Super Bee 440 Six-Pack, had four hood pins. This, however, was necessary because it had a lift-off fiberglass hood with no hood hinges.
Now, owners of modern day muscle cars are installing hood pins to give their cars a retro look. Hood pins come in various designs. Some have push pins, some have ring pins and others have locking pins for theft protection. The metal mounting plates can come in different colors/finishes (usually silver or black). In addition, as an accessory to hood pins, lanyards can be added. These add a nice styling touch and prevent the loss of the pins.
Recently, some manufacturers have been making “stick-on” hood pins. These are purely cosmetic and provide “the look” without the need for drilling.
The following are some photos illustrating the types of hood pins, their use on late 60s/early 70s Mopar, Ford, GM and AMC muscle cars and their current use on modern-day Challengers.