THE HISTORY BEHIND THE CAR LOGOS
Car logos are recognizable all over the world. Some car brand logos change frequently whilst others are unchanged since their creation. As we know, car companies have their unique history on how they managed to grow from a small entity into an enormous corporation that sell countless vehicles every year. Some of these stories are fascinating, especially when it comes to the origin of car logos.
Basically, the cars' logo is the introduction to the companies' interesting story with some representing inspiring experiences that the car companies went through to survive and thrive.
What To Ride takes you on a journey through some of the most interesting car logo stories!
Mercedes-Benz’s three-point star logo has been renowned for more than a century representing premium and luxury cars.
The Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) and Karl Benz laid the foundation for motorized vehicle transportation while automobile entrepreneur Emil Jellinek promoted and trademarked the now famous car. Mercedes; which means ‘grace’ in Spanish, was the name of Jellinek’s daughter who was a race car enthusiast. She was brought in as a partner and was the inspiration for the Mercedes trade name. In 1872, Daimler sent a letter to his wife with a three-pointed star pointing the location of his home in Germany, with the description that one day the star would twinkle over his car factory and carry with it prosperity.
DMG took the star as the company’s car logo and trademarked it. At the same time, Benz & Co trademarked the laurel wreath surrounding the company’s name, which was its own logo. When the merger between DMG and Benz & Co occurred in 1926, the company logos combined to become a laurel wreath surrounding a three-pointed star. The company then became known as Daimler-Benz AG and later Mercedes-Benz.
Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the famous supercar, once discussed the story of the prancing horse that is his logo. The famous Ferrari car symbol shows a black horse that prances in front of a yellow background, usually with the letters S F for Scuderia Ferrari accompanying it. It all began when Enzo Ferrari met the parents of Francesco Baracca, who was a national hero airman in the First World War.
The prancing horse symbol was originally the signet of who had painted the horse on the side of his . mother Paulina asked to put her son’s prancing horse on his cars, assuring him that it will bring him good luck and so he did. The horse was and remains to be black. He added the canary yellow background which was symbolic to his birthplace, .
The Lamborghini logo displays a bull or ‘Taurus’ which is not only Ferruccio Lamborghini’s zodiac sign but also a nod to his intense fascination with Spanish bullfighting. Bullfighting is the main part of Lamborghini’s inspiration as they are dubbed the ‘famous bulls’.
The Porsche logo pays homage to Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Württemberg, where Porsche’s headquarters are located. Stuttgart is located in southwest Germany and was actually built atop a horse-breeding farm. Stuttgart used horses in its city seal, inspiring Porsche to make a black horse the centrepiece of its car logo representing power and the signet of Stuttgart.
The antlers and black and red stripes on the Porsche logo were swayed by the state colours of Baden-Württemberg’s seal. The Porsche logo design honours the places and location where it was created and developed.
The history of the name BMW (Bavarian Motor Works) dates back to 1917. The BMW car company’s home state of Bavaria was represented on the car company logo. The quarters of the inner circle on the BMW badge display in inverse order the colours of the State of Bavaria – white and blue.
The reason for it being in inverse order of blue and white was the local trademark law at the time, which forbade the use of state coats of arms or other symbols of sovereignty on commercial logos. So originally the BMW logo had a much simpler meaning, but that doesn’t mean that myths of its meaning weren’t circulated.
One of these myths said that it is an airplane propeller and for a long time BMW has made little effort to correct this myth. So according to the experts, sticking to the story that the BMW emblem is a propeller would not be entirely wrong but neither is it strictly true. The repetition of this story among people has made this explanation a self-propagating urban myth.
The Spirit of Ecstasy is the figurine erected on the bonnet of the Rolls Royce car. The first Rolls-Royce motorcars did not feature radiator mascots; they simply carried the Rolls-Royce emblem. However, when Baron John Montagu appointed his friend and sculptor Charles Robinson Sykes, who was working under the nobleman’s patronage in London, to carve Eleanor Velasco Thornton as his personal mascot for the bonnet of his 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
Sykes originally crafted a figurine of her in fluttering robes, having placed one forefinger against her lips – to symbolize the secret of their love affair. The Rolls Royce figurine was accordingly named The Whisper and is on display at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu along with other Spirit of Ecstasy figurines.
Only three or four castings were ever made, and only two are believed to have survived.