The flying lady hood figure on the Rolls Royce and known as “the Spirit of Ecstasy” is 100 years old. It was copyrighted on the 6th of February 1911. The occasion has already inspired this year’s 100 unit run of Phantoms in the Spirit of Ecstasy Centenary Collection. On Sunday London witnessed a unique parade of 100 Rolls-Royces of all vintages and types. The parade of the stately vehicles went past Buckingham Palace, beneath Big Ben and across Westminster Bridge.
The parade saw the participation of the whole range of Rolls-Royces from contemporary Phantom and Ghost models to vintage Silver Ghosts, Clouds, Shadows and Spurs. There were also a Springfield Phantom and Springfield Ghost which were made in the US between 1921 and 1931 by Brewer coach makers of Long Island City, N.Y. There were about 15 hand built models as well.
100 years ago hood ornaments were merely vainglorious add-ons and were generally provided by the owners themselves. Rolls-Royce’s chief, Claude Johnson, decided to stamp out these déclassé amateur efforts by offering his own, classier, standard bonnet ornament. Mr. Sykes was given the commission and what he created not only became the Rolls hallmark but even after a century is a mark of distinction and status.