I was daydreaming recently and started running through car brands and their logos, which got me thinking about which were my favourite company logos. I’m sure you’ll have your own favourites, so do let me know, maybe I’ve missed a glaringly obvious one. My choices are based on intricacies, design, colour, and what I just think are cool badges. Each logo has its own article that delves deeper into its history, which you can read at the links below.
Here they are in order of my preference:
The Bizzarrini logo appeals to me through its defined golden eagle in the centre of the red, circular emblem. The rim is like no other; a flurry of sharp fins outlining the logo shows both the elegance and ruthlessness of the car’s design and performance.
In truth, there isn’t much history of this logo because the company only lasted 5 years. However, the story of the founder of Bizzarrini Sp.A is certainly worth telling.
Giotto Bizzarrini was an Italian engineer and founded Bizzarrini Sp.A in 1964. By this time he had a wealth of experience, having previously engineered at Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Iso. Born in Livorno in 1926, Giotto was the son of a wealthy landowner in a highly respected family in Tuscany.
You may know it as the Prancing Horse, but to give it its full title ‘ The Ferrari Cavallino Rampante’ has been traced to origins as old as 1692! The Museo del Marchio Italiano found a similar design on the regimental banner of the Royal Piedmont Regiment of the Duke of Savoy, Vittorio Amadeo II.
The marque’s eponymous founder Enzo Ferrari told the tale himself: the suggestion of putting the prancing horse on Ferrari’s race cars was made by Countess Paolina Baracca. On visiting her and Count Enrico Baracca, parents of famed Italian WWI fighter pilot Francesco Baracca, the Countess remarked that the prancing horse their son had painted on the side of his plane during the war would make a suitable emblem and good luck charm for Ferrari’s cars.
The Duesenberg emblem was created by the two brothers that established the American racing and luxury automobile manufacturer. Friedrich (Fred) and August (Augie) Duesenberg were self-taught engineers who came to the USA when they were small children.
Fred’s early engineering work as a bicycle maker in Iowa skidded to a halt when he filed for bankruptcy in 1903. He stayed in Iowa with his brother and they designed their first car in 1904; the Mason – a 2-cylinder race car. By 1913 the brothers relocated to St. Paul, Minnesota to run the Duesenberg Motor Company, where they manufactured auto and marine engines, including the four-cylinder engine, which was used from 1914 to power Duesenberg competition cars.
They used their know-how and expertise to begin building production engines and cars which became renowned for their performance and luxury. They went on to produce Model A passenger cars in 1920, with the Duesenberg Straight-8 engine being first produced in 1921. That year a Duesenberg race car became the first American car to win a Grand Prix race, taking the winner’s medal at the French Grand Prix. The Duesenbergs went on to win the Indianapolis 500 in 1924, 1925, and 1927, as well as speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Lamborghini, alongside Ferrari, was one of the flashy cars that I dreamt about driving when I was a kid. Back then and still today it’s one of the most famous luxury car manufacturers in the world. The Lamborghini emblem itself is likewise seen as a symbol of style, sophistication, and automobile elegance.
Its presence as a leading luxury car manufacturer from Europe is known across the globe. When one thinks about Lamborghini, images of sleek designs and stunning, sporty aesthetics spring to mind. Lamborghini is an icon in the niche and produces elite-performance cars, rightly considered to be among the fastest and most impressive in the world.
When the company first came on the scene in 1953 it earned attention in the industry with its unique approach to car creation, featuring a rear-wheel, rear mid-engine drive layout. The business’ growth grew significantly during the first decade, but sales dived in the financial crisis of 1973.
Lamborghini dealt with this by adding new lines and models to its portfolio, helping attract a wider range of buyers. Today, the Lamborghini logo is undeniably one of the most recognisable in the world, associated with sophistication, style, and class. Now, let’s take a closer look at its history.
The Stutz Motor Car Company of America, Inc., based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, was known for producing luxury and high-end sports cars. The fast cars that Stutz produced throughout its history were actually America’s first sports cars and, from 1924, they made luxury cars for the rich and famous.
Stutz was founded in 1911 by Harry C Stutz, but not initially with his surname. At that time Harry was well-known in the auto industry for being a master of many jobs in that field. In 1911 he used his motoring skills to design a rear axle-mounted transmission, before founding the Ideal Motor Car Company to build it. At first, Harry acted as consultant to those creating the Empire car, but it wasn’t long before his perfectionism led him to building his own car. He wanted to show his car making mettle by entering it in the first Indy 500 race, where it took 11th place against much more powerful cars. The slogan for the Stutz car was born, later shown on their emblem, it was “The Car That Made Good in a Day”.
Lancia’s logo has changed many times in its lifetime, but it has never moved too far away from its original logo idea. The colour palette has been mostly blue and silver, which represents the quality, loyalty, and reliability of the brand. The company values the comfort and safety of their customers, all of which is shown in their logo.
The Trident from the Maserati logo comes in 4th place, unquestionably an iconic symbol in the luxury automotive world, for almost a century now. Since its inception in 1926, the Trident has featured on every single road-going or racing car in Maserati history.
It was created by Mario Maserati and has remained a constant marker throughout the evolution of the Maserati brand and its style. It signifies the exclusive status of Maserati cars and represents their identity as masterful cars of luxury, elegance, and sports car excellence.
Maserati proudly displays the Trident atop its factory offices in Modena, Italy. It was chosen to embody this two-sided spirit, bring forth an intriguing tension: on one side the craftsmanship, refinement, elegance; on the other, a need for adventure, a rebellious spirit, a hunger for performance.
Luxurious features and high-performing engines aren’t the only qualities that all Porsche models share; each vehicle also wears the famous Porsche logo and name. It is a classic symbol that has hardly changed at all in its lifetime. This underlines the confidence of a brand that is one of the top car manufacturers in the world, producing about 10 billion cars a year. In fact, Porsche is the most successful company ever in motorsport.
What’s not to love? The colours, the scorpion, it’s just cool.
Abarth is an Italian road car and sports brand, as well as a manufacturing division owned wholly by Stellantis. Founded by Carlo Abarth in 1949, he named the company after his surname and set up the headquarters in Turin, Italy.
Abarth & C.S.p.A. is the company’s full name. It’s one of the divisions of FCA Italy S.p.A. and produces sports and road cars. Despite being located in Italy, its principal owner is the Dutch company Stellantis N.V. Corporation.
Carlo Abarth was co-owner and sports director of the racing team of Cisitalia, but realised in 1947 that the company was on the verge of collapse. The following year the company closed, and one of its other co-founders, Piero Dusio, moved to Argentina. Carlo was able to secure financial support from Armando Scagliarini, the father of Cisitalia’s racing driver Guido Scagliarini, and transferred all of the assets of the failed plant to himself. Together with Guido, in the spring of 1949, a new company arose from Cisitalia’s ashes – Abarth & C. Its headquarters were located in Bologna, but moved two years later to Turin.
1. Alfa Romeo
For me, Alfa Romeo’s logo has to be the best of all time. I love everything that’s going on, the colour scheme, the fact it has a red cross next to a snake eating a man. It’s just cool, period.
“Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company” or Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili in Italian, (A.L.F.A. to us) was founded on 24th June 1910. A logo was chosen soon after that hasn’t changed much in the following 112 years. I was slightly bewildered and keen to find out why this Italian company had chosen to place a St. George’s flag next to a man eating snake. These answers were found, plus more revealing facts, in my extensive research of the history of the Alfa Romeo emblem.
So there you have my personal top ten car logos of all time. Yes, I know I’ve missed out a lot, and maybe you have a different order to me. Have I made a glaring omission or do you have a better top 10. Let’s hear what you have to say…