• Don’t Even Bother Trying To Steal Rolls-Royce’s Spirit Of Ecstacy Hood Ornament: Video

It’s a unique feature on all Rolls-Royce models that few people know about

Badges and hood ornaments are arguably one of the most stolen parts of a car. You can add side mirrors, wheel caps, and sometimes, the entire wheels themselves on that list. But when it comes to the ornaments, there is one that’s considered the holy grail of them all: the Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy. Needless to say, the luxury British brand has taken great lengths to ensure that the Spirit of Ecstasy, or the Flying Lady as some would call it, remains a permanent part of the car to the point that it becomes impossible to steal.

Mark Powell, the sales director of the Rolls-Royce dealership in Tampa Bay, made a demonstration on what happens when somebody tries to pry the Spirit of Ecstasy ornament from the hood of the car. A simple nudge of the ornament in any direction and the whole thing disappears out of site. The trick behind the hiding Flying Lady is a spring-loaded mechanism that Rolls-Royce began using in the 2003 Phantom. That mechanism jumps into action when the ornament is nudged and the ornament immediately retracts into the radiator shell under the hood of the car. The whole thing happens so quickly that any intention of stealing the ornament disappears just as fast.

To make the ornament feel more secure, Rolls-Royce also put in a button in the cabin of every one of its models whose sole purpose is to raise and lower the ornament at the whims of the owner.

It’s an incredible piece of engineering that often gets lost when people start talking about the opulence of these Rolls-Royce models. But it is an important part of the whole Rolls experience, especially if would-be owners decide that they’d want to have their Flying Lady’s covered in 24-carat gold plating or frosted crystals. In those instances, having that security measure helps prevent the ornament from falling into the wrong hands.


Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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