You Can’t Steal a Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy

The Spirit of Ecstasy: you may not know what it’s called, but when you see one, you know exactly what it represents. It may seem like a simple hood ornament to some but to Rolls-Royce fans, it a symbol of status and heritage. Once upon a time, people could break them off of the hoods and keep them, and it became such a problem for owners that the manufacturer designed a way to keep people from stealing them.

The Spirit of Ecstasy

On the hood of every modern-day Rolls-Royce is a beautiful statue of a woman, leaned forward with her arms outstretched behind her. Some say she looks as if she has wings, and the metallic cloth that rests over her arms certainly looks that way. She may go by several names, but we recognize her as an icon of wealth and status, and although they aren’t worth a fortune, many owners have had problems with them disappearing.

A Rolls-Royce Ghost on display
A Rolls-Royce Ghost | Martyn Lucy/Getty Images

You can’t steal them

The engineers and designers at Rolls-Royce recognized the theft of the Spirit of Ecstasy to be such a problem that they set out to come up with a solution. The feature has become standard on every Rolls-Royce, so even the base-model owners don’t have to worry about their special hood ornaments being taken. The feature itself is actually pretty cool, though we wouldn’t recommend you test it out for yourself — after all, someone might really think you are trying to steal it.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge
Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge | Rolls-Royce

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Modern Rolls-Royce cars

The feature set in place to protect the Spirit of Ecstasy can be found on 2004 models to the most modern, and it has worked so well that there is no indication that Rolls-Royce plans on doing away with it. When pressure is applied to the Spirit of Ecstasy, a trap door brings the ornament into the hood, slamming a small door shut behind it with quite a bit of sass.

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A prepared thief could perhaps figure out a way to remove the Spirit of Ecstasy quickly enough to take her, or perhaps jam the door shut, but there isn’t all that much value in the piece itself, so it isn’t quite worth the time and energy. So, while I’m sure it’s possible to steal one of these beautiful hood ornaments, it is much harder than it once was.