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The history of five iconic car logos {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

19 Oct 2015

It’s our ‘Best of the Badges’ 50% off sale so we’ve been thinking about some of our favourite car logos…

Get your half-price tickets in the sale here; http://bit.ly/Badges-Sale

Porsche

In the early 1950s, Professor Ferdinand Porsche decided to create an effective and powerful company emblem with help from his son Fred and a few trusted friends. Several drafts were made, including that of the Porsche engineer Franz Xaver Reimspieß, which was finally chosen after some input from Porsche himself.

The logo is based on the coat of arms of the state of Württemberg, the former Weimar Germany, which had as its capital Stuttgart and became part of Baden-Württemberg from the political consolidation of Western Germany in 1949. It features stylized antlers and the state colours of red and black on a yellow-gold background – also the colours of the German flag. It was intended as an expression of esteem to Swabia, the Porsche family’s second home. Of course at the centre sits a horse to symbolise power and Stuttgart where the company is based.

Ferrari

One of the most iconic badges ever has a surprisingly sentimental history (given Enzo Ferrari’s notorious disdain for emotion), and the great man himself told the story only once:

“The horse was painted on the fuselage of the fighter plane of Count Francesco Baracca — a heroic airman in the first world war. In 1923, I met count Enrico and Paulina Baracca, the hero’s father and mother, who said to me one day, ‘Ferrari, put my son’s prancing horse on your cars. It will bring you good luck’. The horse was, and still is, black, and I added the canary yellow background which is the colour of Modena.”

— ENZO FERRARI

So there you have it, a rare and poignant quote from the man himself.

Mercedes

The Mercedes-Benz logo is one of the most famous brands in the world. The famous three-pointed star was designed by engine manufacturer Gottlieb Daimler to show the ability of his motors for land, air and sea-usage. It was first seen on a Daimler in 1909, and was combined with the Benz laurel wreath in 1926 to signify the union of the two firms. Mercedes-Benz is the world’s oldest automobile manufacturer.

Jaguar

Jaguar was founded in 1922 as the Swallow Sidecar Company and the first vehicles produced by the British entrepreneurs carried the “SS” badge on the hood. “Jaguar” was added to the name in 1935. It was not before the end of the war in 1945 that the “SS” part was removed from the logo for political reasons, meaning that the company would be named Jaguar Cars. In search of a stylish emblem to guide the brand into the future the company’s designers introduced the notorious jumping jaguar.

It was meant to symbolize the core values of the company: grace, elegance, performance, power and ambition to move forward. There was nothing better than a dynamic jaguar posture to reflect all these qualities.

Audi

In 1909 August Horch founded the Horch Automobilwerke GmbH after leaving his previous Horch Motorwagenwerke AG due to problems with the CFO. But the previous company sued him for re-using the company name (despite it being his surname) – so Horch translated his name into Latin  Audi.

However in 1932 thanks to the German economy issues (the great depression), Audi partnered with the old company Horch, together with DKW (founded 1907) and Wanderer (founded 1885) and merged to form Auto Union AG and the logo was created showing four interlocking rings, one for each company. The logo was only used on Auto Union race cars though as each manufacturer continued in their own market segment. That was until 1945 after the Second World War when more pressures meant sales were low and the brand went on as Auto Union. There were many ups and downs throughout the 50’s and 60’s ending up in 1970 with a merger with NSU to create the Audi name we now know.

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