These of you conversant in classic motorcars will recall that there was as soon as a interval in historical past the place hood ornaments weren’t the fashionable exception however the rule. Automakers have been affixing their company iconography to the highest of automobiles since earlier than there have been seat belts, tapping members of the animal kingdom, indigenous leaders who opposed the British (again when such issues have been acceptable), winged letters of the alphabet, rocket ships, and nearly every part else one might think about wanting to stay atop an vehicle. However most of these have been modified to go well with the instances and/or relocated onto the grille in an effort to keep away from impaling pedestrians (Ed. be aware: And maybe theft. I believe my grandparents had the hood decoration stolen off their mid-’90s period Buick as soon as. — TH).

Whereas just a few corporations tried to get round authorities security laws by implementing flexibly mounted hood ornaments designed to keep away from stabbing the individual you’ve already accomplished the disservice of hitting along with your automobile, nearly all of them have given up the ghost by 2020. The one notable exception is Rolls-Royce, which has spent a fortune designing a spring-loaded gadget that snaps its well-known Spirit of Ecstasy (aka The Flying Woman) down contained in the engine bay at any time when a reasonable quantity of power is utilized.

The corporate has since determined to replace its decoration to permit drivers to retract it on demand. It has additionally began providing a £3,500 choice that makes Spirit of Ecstasy an illuminated crystal bauble that has immediately run afoul of the European Union’s new gentle air pollution laws. Rolls-Royce might want to take away it from its brochures and prospects might be pressured to neuter their automobiles in the event that they need to be compliant with the legislation.

Whereas we will’t think about panicked millionaires dashing to get these “mounted” after some cop pulls them over with a funny-sounding siren, the producer will undoubtedly be scrubbing the choice to keep away from being fined. The producer really appears to have been conscious of the laws for some time. However wasn’t clear what would should be accomplished as Brexit negotiations proceed, seemingly with out finish.

“In February 2019 we despatched our sellers a bulletin saying we have been eradicating the choice of an unlit Spirit of Ecstasy. It was now not to be offered to prospects. It got here off the choices record,” a Rolls-Royce spokesman instructed The Daily Mail. “Sadly, we’re telling our prospects that we’ll by legislation must disconnect their Spirit of Ecstasy.”

The newest hubbub appears to stem from dissatisfied homeowners who don’t see any good purpose to switch their mega-luxury automobiles primarily based on regulatory pointers targeted on seemingly innocuous design selections. In contrast to some other outlets that mocked Rolls-Royce owners as decadent capitalists and sarcastically treated this as a non-problem, we’re extremely fascinated by how this would possibly impression future automotive designs. The rules for what lighting purposes represent a “statutory nuisance” within the EU appear extremely imprecise. As soon as complaints of sunshine air pollution have been made, regulators want solely to evaluate whether or not the sunshine in query serves any objective. This has made every part from vacation decorations to safety lights (enterprise or home) topic to new restrictions.

That makes Rolls-Royce the primary automaker we’re conscious of that’s being pressured to vary something in Europe. However we’re betting it received’t be the final. Tons of producers have added illuminated accents to the exteriors of their merchandise lately. Mercedes-Benz will even promote you a Three-Level Star that lights up, assuming you haven’t already bought one from the handfuls of aftermarket corporations providing the identical factor. All of that sounds as if it might simply be in violation of EU laws if the precise individual complains.

As for these troubled Rolls-Royce prospects, the corporate mentioned it could fortunately swap out their glistening Flying Women for a conventional Spirit statuette and refund them £3,500 used to buy the now-illegal choice.

[Image: Rolls-Royce/BMW Group]