Back in the late ’80s, it was in fashion for people to steal hood ornaments from Mercedes-Benz cars and wear them on a necklace. It’s a bit foggy how this all started, but I think it had to do with one rapper or another wearing it in a video back when MTV actually played music videos. That means that every Mercedes within 25 miles of a school was missing its hood ornament. Rolls-Royce isn’t having any of that.
Rolls-Royce doesn’t have a hood ornament mind you, that is way to plebian. When you buy a Rolls, you get “The Spirit of Ecstasy” which we mostly know as that arched back, winged fairy-like creature on the hood of all Rolls-Royce cars. To prevent theft Rolls puts what is likely to be a significant amount of expense and time into engineering a retractable hood ornament that will flash back into the grill area of the car when the ornament is touched.
All that is required for the anti-theft system to zip Ms. Ecstasy out of harm’s way is a slight tug on the ornament. The retraction takes place so quickly that there is no way a would-be thief could rip the ornament off before it is hidden.
This security feature has been in place on all Rolls cars going all the way back to 2004. As expensive and high-end as all Rolls Royce cars are, I can’t help but wonder how much it would cost to replace that hood ornament alone if the car was damaged. It’s probably actually solid metal, not chromed plastic like cars normal people drive.