Sunday, February 20, 2011

One-of-a-kind Rolls-Royce mascot down the memory lane

Megha Sharma Feb 9 2011

Rolls-Royce recently celebrated 100 years of its original “Flying Lady” mascot by taking out a parade of an elite fleet of 100 cars down the lanes of London. Designed by Charles Robinson Sykes, “Spirit of Ecstasy” or “The Flying Lady” has adorned Rolls-Royce cars since the year 1911. Modeled after Eleanor Velasco Thornton, the secretary-cum-secret lover of John Walter Edward-Scott-Montagu, this graceful figurine has spurned numerous variations of hood ornaments post its unveiling as “The Whisper” on Montagu’s personal Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. The original mascot depicted a young woman in fluttering robes, with a forefinger to her lips. We mark the centenary of the legendary “Flying Lady” by bringing for you the most famous hood ornaments ever designed for the ultimate motorcar.

1. Kneeling Flying Lady

The kneeling lady version of the original “Spirit of Ecstasy” was unveiled by Charles Sykes in January, 1934 and had been customized for the Phantom III model of 1936-1939. This particular rendition was discarded subsequently in favor of a smaller version of the original standing mascot. [Via]

2. Dove of Peace

A hood ornament specially commissioned in 1923 for Sir James Venour Foulis, then Governing Director of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, the Dove of Peace was crafted out of hallmarked silver by the renowned silversmith George Buller. Embellished with garnet eyes, this limited-edition ornamental bird incorporated a 1923 Rolls-Royce Ghost radiator cap. [Via]

3. Dartz’ Spirit of Xtasy

Now, this went a tad bit further than the parameters of good taste. Russian tuner Dartz came up with this erotic metallic rendition of a couple making love as a hood ornament for the Rolls-Royce Phantom, only to garner some serious criticism for the same. Some even claim that the man in the embellishment resembles Dartz founder Leonard F Yankelovich - oh boy! [Via]

4. Chrysis by Rene Lalique

This elegant frosted glass figurine of a nude woman, with a windswept mane of hair, was designed by Rene Lalique in the year 1931. Arching back, with her hands outstretched behind her, Lalique’s “Chrysis” is a beautiful rendition of the female form. [Via]

5. Ornament on Hines’ Hearse

Hines Funeral Home acquired a new hearse in the year 2008, which came adorned with a Rolls-Royce hood ornament figuring a flying female form with intricately etched-out wings. The silver ornament on owner Franklin Hines’ newest acquisition was from the era of 1930s. [Via]

6. Jean Kemanjian’s Flying Lady

Designer Jean Kemanjian added a new sparkle to the original Rolls-Royce hood ornament “The Spirit of Ecstasy.” Kemanjian’s Flying Lady came decked up in dazzling diamonds, and cost a whopping $200,000. This exclusive mascot was commissioned by the luxury car dealership Manhattan Motorcars. [Via]

7. The God Apollo

This mascot was designed by Charles Sykes, who created the original “Spirit of Ecstasy,” and submitted to Rolls-Royce for fitment to the 1933 Derby Bentley. Only a few of these were subsequently produced, and garnered much interest at that time. [Via]

8. The Naughty Lady

The “Naughty Lady” was chosen by David Robson as a mascot for his 1912 L&E (2079) Silver Ghost. The cheeky version of a Victorian woman in a hat and a plume with her legs thrown wide apart, The Naughty Lady was eye catching to say the least. [Via]

9. Mr Toad Hood Ornament

This customized hood ornament adorns the 1924 tourer (41EM) Silver Ghost of Jeremy Green. The cute and unique Mr. Toad can be seen holding up a Silver Ghost steering wheel. [Via]

10. Jam Roll-Rolls Royce

A 20 horsepower Rolls-Royce, Jam Roll (chassis number GVO-40), was one of the last 20hp chassis to be made in the year 1929 in order to commemorate Scouting’s 21st birtday. It boasted of a customized mascot that comprised the Scout arrowhead and motto “Be Prepared.” [Via]

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