Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy

One of the most recognisable figures of the automotive world will celebrate her birthday this year. February 6 will mark one hundred years of the Spirit of Ecstasy, the iconic radiator grill mascot that graces every Rolls-Royce.

Eleanor Thornton the model for the Spirit of Ecstasy

Fashioned after Eleanor Thornton, the mistress of the 2nd Baron of Beaulieu. Thornton drowned in 1915 after her ship was torpedoed by a German U Boat. The Baron survived. So did Eleanor’s spirit, as 4 years before Charles Sykes sculpted the now iconic mascot inspired by Thornton. The Spirit of Speed as it used to be called, is now known as the Spirit of Ecstasy.

Eleanor Thornton & Charles Sykes

On February 6th in London, one hundred vintage and modern Rolls-Royce cars will drive through London to celebrate this very special occasion. Through out 2011 Rolls-Royce Motor Cars will be producing one hundred Rolls-Royce Phantoms at Goodwood, especially embellished to commemorate the legendary flying lady, and her “Spirit of Ecstasy”.

Rolls-Royce Phantom with the Spirit of Ecstasy radiator grill mascot