UpgradeThe “Flying Lady,” “Winged Lady,” “Naked Lady,” and “Chrome Flying Goddess” are just some of the names that people have called this hood emblem over the years. The “Spirit of Ecstasy” is the actual name of the mascot, or hood ornament, on Rolls-Royce cars. It’s of a woman leaning forward with her arms outstretched behind and above her with billowing cloth running from her arms to her back to resemble wings.
The Spirit of Ecstasy was designed by Charles Sykes and carries with it a story about a secret passion between John Walter Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu and Eleanor Velasco Thornton, who is the model for the emblem. Eleanor was John’s secretary, and their love was to remain hidden, limited to only their friends for more than a decade. The reason for the secrecy was Eleanor’s impoverished social and economic status, which was an obstacle to their love. John, succumbing to family pressures, married Lady Cecil Victoria Constance, but their secret love affair continued until her untimely death.
In the United States this mascot is called the Flying Lady. The Flying Lady was a modified version of the Spirit of Ecstasy figurine, making her bow a little further in order to protect the bonnet. Charles was once again commissioned by Rolls-Royce in the ’30s to make a lower version of the mascot to suit the sports saloons. The kneeling lady mascot was unveiled in 1934, an undeniable reflection of Eleanor.
Some critics and fans of the Rolls-Royce have given the Spirit of Ecstasy the dubious nickname “Ellie in her Nightie,” suggesting Eleanor’s influence as today’s Spirit of Ecstasy. As years fly by, along with automobile designs, one traditional icon that still stands is the one they also call the Flying Lady. You will find her on any classic right at the edge of the hood.
The guys over at Shot Callerz showed us how they installed a modern version of the Spirit of Ecstasy Chrome Flying Goddess hood ornament with a touch of classic style and a modern twist.