Rolls Royce is a brand that symbolizes wealth, luxury, and opulence. For over 100 years, the British marque has been atop the automotive world. The brand has gone through many changes during the past century. However, one thing has remained consistent. At the front of every Rolls, from the 1911 Silver Ghost to the 2022 Cullinan, stands the Spirit of Ecstacy. But, what does this iconic logo represent? And what is the Spirit of Ecstacy value? Stay with us until the end to find out!
The hood ornament is one of the first points of a vehicle that catches the eyes of passers-by. And, in our view, the Spirit of Ecstacy is the most eye-catching hood ornament out there. However, there is a lot of history behind this figure than what meets the eye. After going through this article, you will have a good understanding of everything there is to know about this iconic symbol of automotive history.
Rolls Royce Logo
Before talking about the Spirit of Ecstacy value, let’s take a brief look at the origin of the Rolls Royce motor company. The origins of the company can be traced all the way back to 1884. That year, a young Englishman named Henry Royce started an electrical and mechanical business. 20 years later in 1904, he met Charles Rolls, who was a car salesman based in London.
They reached an agreement to produce cars to be exclusively sold at CS Rolls & Co, under the name Rolls Royce. Within 2 years, they launched the Silver Ghost. This vehicle was made to the highest standard at the time, and received the accolade of “the best car in the world”.
At this time, the company was in need of a logo to set its vehicles apart from the competition. Earlier Rolls Royce models simply came with the logo of the company printed on top of the grill. The main reason that the vehicles lacked a hood ornament at that point was Henry Royce’s dislike of mascots. However, this all changed in 1909.
Rolls Royce Hood Ornament
The influence of the Spirit of Ecstacy was a young lady by the name of Eleanor Velasco Thornton. She was the personal assistant of Lord John Walter Montagu, who was the 2nd Baron Montagu of Baulieu. Lord Montagu was associated with cars as well. He was the founder of the magazine “The Car Illustrated”.
During the early 1900s’, having personalized ornaments on cars was the norm. You see, Lord Montagu owned a 1909 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, and he also wanted a personal mascot to be put on the bonnet of his vehicle. He commissioned a graduate of the London Royal College of Art named Charles Robinson Sykes to carry out this job.
Sykes chose Elenor Thornton to be the model for the figurine. The initial figure was different from the Spirit of Ecstacy we know and love today. It depicted the young lady wearing a robe that was fluttering in the wind. The figure had one forefinger placed against her lips, and was subsequently named “The Whisper”. This figure sat on the bonnet of the aforementioned Silver Ghost, and now can be found on display at the Beaulieu National Motor Museum.
It is said that only four castings of this figure were ever made. However, only two of them are still existing. The other two castings have been lost to time.
Rolls Royce Emblem
The managing director of Rolls Royce at the time, a person named Claude Johnson wanted a graceful mascot to be placed on their cars right out of the factory. He also commissioned Charles Robinson Sykes to design the mascot.
Inspired by his earlier work, “The Whisper”, Sykes got to work. His goal was to create a mascot that conveyed the spirit of Rolls Royce to the outside world. The finished product was first named “The Spirit of Speed“. But, Sykes later revoked the name to what we know now, the Spirit of Ecstacy.
The mascot was first presented to the car manufacturer in the February of 1911. Since then, it has adorned the hood of almost all Rolls Royce models. Earlier versions of the mascot also contained the signature of Charles Sykes. However, this inscription was later removed in 1951.
The Spirit of Ecstacy was first offered as an optional extra. However, it became an official part of Rolls Royce vehicles in the 1920s. At first, the logo was silver-plated. But, this was changed in 1914, as people began to steal the logos for their value.
Since 1914, the logo has been made with the use of a chrome alloy or nickel. A gold-plated version was also on offer at an additional cost. As you might have guessed, the Spirit of Ecstacy value of these earlier models is astronomical.
Spirit of Ecstacy Value – Variations
Throughout the years, there have been 11 main variations of this iconic logo. In this section, we will tell you about some of the most prominent alterations, both from the past and the future.
Spirit of Ecstacy Value #1 – Kneeling Spirit of Ecstacy
A kneeling version of the Spirit of Ecstacy was made by the original creator in the early 1930s. This was meant to be put on the new sporty sedans produced by the manufacturer. The main idea behind the kneeling figurine was to make it shorter, thus giving drivers a clear view of the road ahead.
This variation of the beloved Flying Lady made its debut on the 26th of January 1943. It was present on all Rolls Royce vehicles made from 1934 to 1939. Nonetheless, this version was discontinued after the introduction of the Phantom IV, Silver Dawn, and Silver Wraith models. These used the original version of the logo. However, it was made smaller for better visibility. But, the kneeling Spirit of Ecstacy occasionally made appearances on the hood of Rolls Royce cars from 1946 to 1956.
Spirit of Ecstacy Value #2 – Modern Version
The current version of the Spirit of Ecstacy was released to the world along with the introduction of the 2003 Phantom. It is 3 inches tall and is offered to the buyers with several material choices. Polished stainless steel and illuminated frosted crystal are two of the choices. Not only that, you can have the figurine plated in 24 karat gold if you desire.
This new generation of the Spirit of Ecstacy comes mounted on top of a spring-loaded mechanism. The main goal behind this is to prevent theft. We will talk about this feature in detail in a later section of this article.
Spirit of Ecstacy Value #3 – Spectre Version
Rolls Royce is in the process of developing its first all-electric vehicle. The car will be named the Spectre and will come with an all-new, highly aerodynamic revision of the Spirit of Ecstacy at the front. Eventually, this new version will find its way to all future Rolls Royce models.
The Spirit of Ecstacy at the front of the Spectre is just 82.73 mm in height. This is significantly shorter than the old logo, which was 100.01 mm in height. The robes of the lady have been reshaped to be more aerodynamic.
The stance of the mascot has changed as well. Instead of having her legs together and bending at the waist, the new version stands with one leg forward. The redefined Silver Lady helps the Spectre to achieve a drag coefficient of just 0.26. This makes it the most aerodynamic Rolls Royce ever made.
Rolls Royce Spirit Ecstacy Price
The regular version of the Spirit of Ecstacy comes standard on the hood of every Rolls Royce. However, you can have the mascot made in different materials for some extra customization.
An illuminated version of the sculpture can be had for a price of $8300. It comes finished in a frosted glass finish on the exterior. Furthermore, this version has some lights on the bottom which illuminates it when the Rolls Royce is at a standstill. Not only that, the illumination activates when the welcome lights are on as well.
Rolls Royce will happily sell you a 24-carat gold plated Spirit of Ecstacy too. However, this will not come cheap. In fact, Rolls Royce will only tell you the price upon request. You can bet that it won’t be cheap!
In recent years, Rolls Royce released some faster versions of their regular models, under the name “Black Badge“. The Wraith and Ghost Black Badge came with a special version of the Spirit of Ecstacy. Here, the Flying Lady was colored black, instead of her usual silver shade. This version is not available on regular models, so you’ll have to purchase one of these exclusive Black Badge models to get it.
Spirit of Ecstacy Value – Most Expensive Spirit of Ecstacy
The accolade of being the most expensive Spirit of Ecstacy ever made goes to the one Rolls Royce made in celebration of its centennial. The figure was made in collaboration with Mouward, who is the royal jeweler of England. This special Spirit of Ecstacy took 350 hours to complete. It is covered with 38.54 carats worth of high-quality diamonds, bringing the value to an eye-watering $250,000.
Safety Mechanism Behind The Spirit of Ecstacy
As the Spirit of Ecstacy sticks out from the hood, you may think that this piece has a risk of being stolen. But, that is not the case. Rolls Royce has thought about this problem and has implemented a clever solution as a safety measure. In fact, this has been implemented in every recent Rolls Royce model since 2003.
You see, the figure is placed on top of a spring-loaded mechanism. When the mascot is on display, this mechanism is covered by a trap door. However, if excessive pressure is detected on the Spirit of Ecstacy, the mechanism will trigger and automatically retract the figure into the radiator shell.
On top of that, the Spirit of Ecstacy can be controlled from the inside of the vehicle as well. With the press of a button, owners can raise and lower the Flying Lady at their will.
The mechanism that controls the movement of the Spirit of Ecstacy is rather complex. It makes use of several sensors, metal parts as well as a 7.3 motor to carry out its task. This retracting feature of the figure acts as a safety feature as well. In case of a collision, it retracts automatically to prevent pedestrians from getting injured.
Rolls Royce Models With Spirit of Ecstacy
Currently, Rolls Royce offers a number of ultra-luxurious vehicles in their lineup. Here, we will give you an overview of these models. The Rolls Royce lineup includes the following models.
1. Rolls Royce Phantom
The Rolls Royce Phantom is the de facto luxury sedan in the world. It has been the flagship of the brand for decades. With a starting price of $458,000, the Phantom is one of the most expensive vehicles on the planet too. However, for that price, you are getting access to the epitome of luxury on four wheels.
The Phantom is now in its 8th generation. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged V12, which despite its weight, is powerful enough to reach a top speed of 155 mph. However, the most impressive aspect of the Phantom is the sheer number of luxury features it comes with.
Not only that, Rolls Royce offers you the choice of personalizing every inch of your Phantom. You can choose the paint color and even the grain of the wood in the interior. Due to this reason, no two Phantoms in the world are alike. If you seek even more luxury, you can spend an extra $100,000 to get the extended wheelbase version. The EWB is longer than the regular Phantom, so you can be even more comfortable while you are being chauffeured around.
2. Rolls Royce Cullinan
When the Cullinan first launched, it received a lot of backlash. However, Rolls Royce’s first SUV has quickly become one of the most popular models on sale. It mixes the luxury of the Phantom with the capability to traverse through rough terrain.
Named after the world’s biggest uncut diamond, the Cullinan packs an equally large, twin-turbocharged V12 engine under its long hood. It produces 563 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. But, if you crave more performance, a Black Badge version of the Cullinan is available too.
The Cullinan Black Badge increases the power of the engine up to 592. Not only that, the throttle response and gear shifts are more responsive as well. Some chrome elements are blacked out to make the Black Badge stand out from its regular counterpart.
3. Rolls Royce Ghost
Fittingly called a “baby Phantom”, the Rolls Royce Ghost looks to bring you Phantom levels of luxury at an affordable price. How affordable you may ask? Well, the starting price is set at $334,000. We think our definition of “affordable” is different than Rolls Royces, don’t you agree?
The Ghost is powered by the same engine as the Phantom and has most of its features too. However, its body is smaller than that of the larger Phantom. A longer extended wheelbase version, as well as a sportier Black Badge version of the Ghost, are also on sale.
4. Rolls Royce Wraith
If you are on the hunt for an ultra-luxurious coupe, look no further than the Rolls Royce Wraith. With its fastback design and powerful engine, it is undoubtedly the sportiest vehicle in the Rolls Royce lineup. As usual, the Wraith Black Badge adds to the experience with its mighty 624 horsepower.
5. Rolls Royce Dawn
A convertible is the ultimate expression of freedom, and the Dawn grants you that freedom wrapped in luxury. Although it looks similar to the Wraith, most of its parts are completely unique. The soft-top roof can be retracted in seconds, and the V12 engine will take you anywhere in a hurry.
No matter which Rolls Royce model you prefer, there is one thing shared among all of them. The Spirit of Ecstacy proudly stands at the front, capturing the imagination of everyone who passes by.
Other Popular Hood Ornaments
Although the Spirit of Ecstacy is the most popular hood ornament in the world, that doesn’t mean it is the only one. Some other popular mascots in the automotive world include the likes of,
- The Lincoln ‘Gun Sight’
- The Bentley ‘Flying B’
- The Mercedes-Benz ‘Three Pointed Star’
- The Jaguar ‘Leaper’
- The Packard ‘Goddess Of Speed’
Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these iconic symbols.
1. Gun Sight
The Lincoln Gun Sight emblem was similar in shape to the crosshair of a weapon. This symbol was present on a number of past Lincoln models. However, some Lincolns used a silver greyhound hood ornament as well.
2. Flying B
Bentley is considered by many to be the main rival of Rolls Royce. On top of that, the company is from England as well. So, there is no wonder that they had their own iconic hood emblem.
The Flying B made its first appearance on the hood of the 1919 Bentley 3 liter. When compared to the Spirit of Ecstacy, the design of the ‘Flying B’ is rather simple. It is just a letter ‘B’ with a pair of wings behind it. Unsurprisingly, the ‘B’ stands for, you guessed it, Bentley!
3. Three-Pointed Star
The Three-Pointed Star is the iconic symbol of Mercedes Benz. The history of this logo can be traced back to 1921 when it was first registered by Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, which is the company behind what we know today as Mercedes. This hood ornament could be found on different Mercedes models until very recently.
Another iconic British hood emblem comes in the form of Jaguars’ Leaper. It takes the form of a majestic Jaguar leaping to the front. The beauty of the Lepaer only comes second to the Spirit of Ecstacy herself.
5. Goddess of Speed
Packard was once one of the most popular, and luxurious, American car manufacturers. However, the company has been long gone now. But, its iconic mascot, the Goddess of Speed, still captures the hearts of automotive enthusiasts. It depicted an angel, holding a tire in her outstretched arms.
- The Spirit of Ecstasy, located in the centre of Rolls-Royce hoods, is one of the world’s most prestigious and highly desired hood ornaments with a valuation of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- The ornament was based on Eleanor Velasco Thorton, also known as Thorn, with whom Lord John Walter Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu, the creator of the decoration, had a forbidden affair.
- The first figure of the ornament sculpted by Charles Robinson Sykes was that of a woman standing on one foot, holding a finger to her lips as if keeping a secret, known as “The Whisper,” symbolizing the secret affair.
- Due to its high valuation, the Spirit of Ecstasy is prone to be stolen, but the cars themselves resist an attempted theft due to robust anti-theft mechanisms.
- Each Rolls-Royce car mounted the hood ornament on a spring-loaded mechanism after 2003, allowing the emblem to automatically detract into the radiator shell when hit from any direction.
- The diamond-studded figure, valued at a whopping $250,000, was created to mark the centennial of the Spirit of Ecstasy in 2011, with 38.53 carats of diamond and 2300 diamonds in the gown.
- The Spirit of Ecstasy was also cocooned in a Faberge egg, designed by Liisa Talgren of Faberge and Alex Innes, a Rolls-Royce designer, using the extraordinary skills of seven craftspeople led by workmaster Paul Jones and the finest materials.
- The current design of the Spirit of Ecstasy is made of platinum and other rare metals and is completely coated in 150 carats of high-quality diamonds, making it the world’s most expensive hood ornament with an average value of $200,000.
- To keep the Spirit of Ecstasy untouched, the driver can raise or lower the emblem through automated systems from within the car.
- The original designer of the ornament, Lord Montagu, was an influential figure in the motoring industry, helping to shape its growth and development during the early 20th century.
The Spirit of Ecstacy is an iconic part of Rolls Royce, and automotive history itself. Ever since its introduction over a century ago, this sculpture has defined the pinnacle of automotive luxury.
The Spirit of Ecstacy value may be high, but its significance is even higher. And with the recent reimagining of her design, there is no doubt that the Spirit of Ecstacy will remain the symbol of Rolls Royce for years to come.
FAQS On Spirit of Ecstacy Value
Here are some popular FAQs:
What Is The Rolls Royce Emblem
The iconic emblem of Rolls Royce is named the Spirit of Ecstacy. Most people think that the emblem depicts an angle. However, that is not the case. It depicts a young woman, with her robes fluttering in the wind behind her. The figure is sculpted after a young woman by the name of Elenor Thornton.
What Is The Spirit of Ecstasy
The Spirit of Ecstacy is the mascot of the Rolls Royce motorcar company. It was first revealed in 1911 and has adorned the hood of every Rolls Royce vehicle since.
What Does The Rolls Royce Hood Ornament Look Like
The Rolls Royce hood ornament depicts a young lady, with her clothes flying in the wind. This gives it the appearance of an angle as well.
Are Hood Ornaments Illegal
Hood ornaments were a common sight during the early days of motoring. However, as time progressed, their use slowly declined. In some places of the world, hood ornaments are illegal. That is because, in the case of a collision with a passerby, the hood ornament can cause severe injuries to the pedestrian. The Spirit of Ecstacy has a safety mechanism for this in the form of a spring-loaded mechanism hidden under the hood of the vehicle.
What Car Has A Woman Hood Ornament
The most popular car with a woman as a hood ornament is Rolls Royce, with its Spirit of Ecstacy. However, a number of other manufacturers had hood ornaments depicting women in the past as well. The Goddess of Buick and Packards Goddess of Speed are two examples of this.