The Rolls-Royce hood ornament, known as the Spirit of Ecstasy, is in fact a miniature sculpture, a veritable work of fine art.
Rolls-Royce’s very image has long been indistinguishable from their hood ornament – the Spirit of Ecstasy: a metal sculpture of a woman with her arms spread out behind her, her clothes billowing in the wind.
In fact, the sculpture is so beautiful and valuable in and of itself that it is often targeted by thieves. The hood ornaments were all silver-plated until 1914 and silver and gold statuettes can still be ordered today.
The statuette dates back to the early days of Rolls-Royce when it was first created by British sculptor Charles Robinson Sykes. The artist actually made the first version of the hood ornament for motoring enthusiast Lord Montagu. His model was, in fact, Montagu’s secretary and mistress, Eleanor Thornton, according to local legend.
The folks at Rolls-Royce eventually became annoyed that customers were concocting their own personalized hood ornaments and commissioned Sykes to create a similar statue for all Rolls-Royce cars.
Thus was born the Spirit of Ecstasy, which has been the standard hood ornament on every Rolls-Royce for the past century. And since 2003, a British company called Polycast Limited has been creating thousands of ornaments for Rolls-Royce every year.
As you can imagine they are quite valuable. And therefore often ripped off.
Rolls-Royce has now decided to foil all future would-be thieves by making the Spirit of Luxury retractable.
What that means is that once the car is turned off the hood ornament simply disappears.
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So what happens if someone tries to steal the Spirit of Ecstasy while the car is running? No such luck. The hood ornament will immediately disappear the second someone touches it.
There’s a reason Rolls-Royce is considered one of the best cars in the world. The retractable hood ornament is just one of the many luxurious and inventive features you’ll find on a newer Rolls-Royce.
You can expect extraordinary craftsmanship and incredible hand-made components inside and outside a Rolls-Royce motorcar. The British automaker is famous for keeping the number of cars it produces each year low in order to keep quality – and demand – high.
In other words, each and every Rolls-Royce is not just a car but a luxury filled rolling work of art.
So what is the most luxurious Rolls-Royce in the world? That has to be the Boat Tail. Starting at $38.8 million the Boat Tail is the pinnacle product for Rolls-Royce’s legendary Coachbuild department.
In fact, the first Boat Tail was created for one specific customer and only three examples of the car have been built. (And it’s rumored that Beyonce is one of those owners).
Let’s take a look at the features that make the Boat Tail perhaps the most extraordinary car on earth.
- It’s powered by a 6.7-litre twin-turbo V12 engine that makes 420kW.
- The elongated tail houses two large openings which include a luxurious picnic set-up.
- There’s an automatic parasol that folds out and a pair of custom-made leather stools from Italian furniture specialists Promemoria.
- There’s a champagne fridge that chills bubbles to exactly six degrees.
So what’s the other most luxurious Rolls-Royce? We’d have to go with the Sweptail.
Selling for $12.8 million, the Sweptail found its inspiration in a luxury yacht. And adding to that luxury is the Spirit of Ecstasy.
It is, in fact, another incredible bespoke creation that was first built for a very wealthy Rolls-Royce customer. It was originally based upon the Phantom Coupe and it took approximately four years for the Rolls-Royce Coachbuild team to build and finish.
Like the Boat Tail, the Sweptail finds its inspiration in the world of yachting with a design that incorporates wood and leather paneling.
At the front, you will find the trademark Rolls-Royce square grille but at the rear, it features a tapered, boat-like, rear window that flows from the glass roof. Fun fact: Rolls-Royce has noted that the rear windscreen is the most complicated piece of glass it has ever created.
Related: Is the New Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II the Ultimate Luxury Car?
If you wish to own a Rolls-Royce without paying over $12 million, the Rolls-Royce Phantom may be your perfect car. In fact, it’s considered the flagship Rolls-Royce.
The Rolls-Royce Phantom invigorates those who defy convention.
With its rebellious aura, it’s the ultimate icon of luxury, reinterpreted. Despite its audacious spirit it’s the quietest Rolls‑Royce ever created, the perfect foundation where you can create your own noise.
Discreet placement of cutting‑edge technology ensures nothing detracts from the sheer pleasure of the exquisitely appointed Phantom Suite. You and your guests will savor the mix of smooth and rough textures while taking advantage of cutting-edge engineering and technology.
Even among luxury cars, the Rolls-Royce Phantom is considered the crème de la crème.
The cabin is exceptionally roomy and comfortable with the finest leathers, woods, metals, and fabrics – all carefully chosen to deliver an aura of opulence and beauty. In true Rolls-Royce form, the Phantom sports a 6.8 liter twin-turbocharged V12 engine capable of 563 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. You can travel from zero to 60 in 5.15 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph. That power is diverted to the rear by an 8-speed automatic transmission. Even potholes pose no threat to the silky smooth ride thanks to a custom pothole-spotting camera that helps the suspension adapt to road imperfections in real time.
Everything in this car works together to deliver a magnificently graceful driving experience. In a world that tells you what to do, here you have the time and space to figure out what you want to do. Starting at an estimated $450,000.
Want to make heads turn with your Rolls-Royce and its ultimate luxurious sculpture – the Spirit of Ecstasy? Shop our latest inventory at our Rolls-Royce dealerships below.