2011 marks the centenary of one of the most celebrated and iconic motoring emblems in the world. One might argue that the Cavallino Rampante, the “prancing horse” logo that adorns Ferrari cars, or the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star designed by Gottlieb Daimler are more acclaimed. However as Rolls-Royce celebrate the centenary of their Spirit of Ecstasy mascot, few can fail to miss her grace, style and poise, which compliment the luxury car manufacturers ethos perfectly.
To mark one hundred years of the Spirit of Ecstasy, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in Goodwood are producing a collection of bespoke Phantom models. This Spirit of Ecstasy Centenary Collection of one hundred Rolls-Royce Phantoms will be embellished with features inspired by the legendary flying lady such as a range of exclusive exterior colours, wood veneers and leather options.
The lady who was the inspiration for the Spirit of Ecstasy, Eleanor Thornton would I am sure approve that Rolls-Royce are choosing to celebrate this milestone with several events through 2011. On the 6th February, the date on which Charles Sykes’ Spirit of Ecstasy design was first registered, Rolls-Royce will host a drive through central London featuring one hundred contemporary and historic Rolls-Royce cars. Wafting through key landmarks en route, such as Berkeley Square and Conduit Street, the current and original homes of Rolls-Royce in London.
Eleanor Thornton was the original model for the design of the Spirit of Ecstasy Rolls-Royce Mascot. Eleanor Velasco Thornton was the lover of the Baron Montagu of Beaulieu. She died on 30 December 1915 when the SS Persia, on which she was travelling with the Baron was torpedoed without warning by a German U-boat. The Baron survived, but her spirit still flies on every Rolls-Royce.