The Spirit? The Flying Lady? Who was that lady?
"The Spirit of Ecstacy" or "Extacy." That is the mascot on the radiator cap of what plebejers call 'Rollers'. It is the ornament that has adorned the Rolls-Royces radiators since 1911. The radiator was in the shape of a Greek temple. The statue is a design by Charles Sykes, and is said to be based on actress and model Eleanor Thornton (1880-1915).
The statue represents a standing woman who leans forward with her arms stretched back, her clothes fanning out, suggesting that she has wings. Until 1914 these statuettes were made in silver.
Standing or kneeling?
But there are also Rolls-Royces with a lady kneeling on the radiator cap. The politically correct explanation for this is that that position would provide a better streamline. From the lady: "Maybe." From the massive nose of the Rolls? "Oh no?!"
The real story behind the kneeling lady is different. Weird or very understandable? It depends on how your idea is about how the world works. Who pays. Rolls-Royce - the brand always pretended to build the best automobiles in the world - did not produce for long-term minimums. For heads of state, millionaires, movie stars, maharajas, dictators ... People like that.
Under which heading can you put 'the Arabs'?
The people who came directly from the camel behind the wheel of a Rolls-Royce had the money all over the skirt. But buying a Rolls-Royce? That was a thing for Muslims, with their extremely clear vision of De Vrouw and her place in the universe we know.
And for such a brand-new oil millionaire it would be impossible to have to stand or sit as a Man behind a standing woman. By letting the woman kneel, she did fit into the mindset of the men who had become so rich so effortlessly so quickly.
Hassle with women
That hassle with women and the fronts of cars has had even more trouble. The grille of the car that almost became Ford's demise, the Edsel was characteristic. It was certainly not the reason that the Edsel flopped. But at the time there was quite a stir from the corner of the feminist women who were still in their infancy. Because the grille of the Edsel would show a shocking resemblance to a female genitalia of a pretty excited lady.
There is always something to think of
And: “A dirty mind is a joy for ever”. A few decades later there were also ladies who had used the mirror under the banner of 'get to know your body'. The 'kidneys' of a BMW grille with the BMW emblem mounted above it, also looked insultingly like a female genitalia. At least in their view.
What with all that anger for us, the standing peeing species, was a clearer pain, that was the approach of the Eisenacher Motorwerke after the second world war. There, in old BMW production facilities that were now under the care of the victors, BMWs were made from stocks of new old stock. Stuff that was still there.
At BMW they were not happy with it
After a bit of jitters, 'BMW' was changed to 'EMW'. And to prevent further problems, EMW also changed the logo. Of course an EMW was no longer a BMW. Of course, the BMW logo could therefore no longer be used. That is why a new logo was designed.
Perhaps it was due to the fact that Germans are not among the most artistically creative people. The blue and white BMW logo was therefore replaced by a completely unique, round emblem. That was subdivided into four quartz segments: 'red-white-red-white'. Problem solved.
In the meantime, Edselon's prized classics. And you can also be seen on an EMW.