3 ways to activate the Rolls Royce ornament retract

August 29, 2018

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Rolls Royces are well known for their unique hood ornament, that they have had on their cars for a long time. It’s a lady standing on top of the radior grille. Did you know there is different ways activate the Rolls Royce ornament retract?


Rolls Royce themselves describe her like this “she leans forth towards the wind, arms outstretched, her dress billowing as if in flight. A symbol of dreams – of energy, grace and beauty”



The very first Rolls Royce cars didn’t have the spirit of ecstasy. In the first cars it was only the Rolls Royce emblem in the front.

When they made the spirit of ecstasy the specification was:  “the spirit of the Rolls-Royce, namely, speed with silence, absence of vibration, the mysterious harnessing of great energy and a beautiful living organism of superb grace…” .In 1911 they presented the first model of the spirit of ecstasy.


In the beginning it was an option on all cars, but almost all cars had it. By the 1920s it was standard option.


From 2003 and forward the ornament has the ability to retract. She can be made from highly polished stainless steel, gold plated with 24-carat gold or from illuminated frosted crystal.

There is some occasions where the ornament can disappear in a small compartment under her.



3 ways to get the spirit of ecstasy to retract:


1. When the car is locked the spirit of ecstasy will retract.


2. There is a button by the glovebox where you can choose to raise or retract the ornament.




3. If someone tries to steal the spirit of ecstasy, she will disappear in an instant.



So how does this retract mechanism work?

Here is a  picture of how the mechanism looks when out of the car:

rolls royce hood ornament retract 1

rolls royce hood ornament retract 2


Its a mechanism made out of steel and plastic. Driven by an electric motor. Looks pretty advanced.

If the mechanism break it will probably cost you a small fortune… But money should be that much of a problem since you are driving/being chauffeured  around in an Rolls Royce, right?

The cost of the spirit of ecstasy differ depending on how you specify it. Here are some examples:


  • Sprit of ecstasy coated in silver chrome. $1.500-$2.000

  • Polycarbonated version of the spirit of ecstasy. $15.000

  • 24 carat gold version. $16.000

  • Spirit of ecstasy in diamonds! $200.000

    So its probably a good thing that it has the ability to retract when needed!


Bentley on the other hand never had a retracting ornament.

The Bentley Turbo R sold by us didn’t even have an ornament. Bentley stated that the Turbo was a sporty car and the hood ornament would just add air resistance. Instead they just had the B emblem painted in red on the Turbo model. We doubt that the air resistance really matters on cars like these because of their already boxy design and heavy weight.


Some Bentleys have an hood ornament though. “The flying B”


Rolls Royce ornament retract


We love the classic hood ornaments on these cars. It’s nice that some car makers still use them even though there is more issues with safety when producing modern cars.