The logo of a car manufacturer can define the entire brand, becoming instantly recognisable to people all over the world. But there’s more to a logo than a simple picture. A logo can represent a deeper meaning, or symbolise the history of a manufacturer. We take a look at the logo of five manufacturers who’ve produced classic cars.
The current logo of the Japanese manufacturer is a stylish M within an oval and the M looks like wings. This is claimed to represent Mazda’s freedom of expression and the oval symbolises the sun. Mazda’s name is taken from Ahura Mazda, the creator god of Zoroastrianism. Mazda translates as ‘wisdom’ and the name is also an anglicised version of the company founder, Jujiro Matsuda.
The Porsche logo can be traced back to the coat of arms of the state of Wurttemberg that used to have the city of Stuttgart as its capital. Stuttgart is written in the centre of the logo, representing where Porsche cars are still built. The horse represents the stud farm on which Stuttgart was built, while the red and black stripes are taken from the crest of the Kingdom of Wurttemberg that was founded in 1918 after the German monarchy was disbanded.
With its yellow shield and the colours of the Italian flag on the top, the Ferrari logo stands out. The ‘SF’ stands for Scuderia Ferrari, which means Team Ferrari. The most prominent image is the prancing black horse that was chosen by Enzo Ferrari to honour the son of Francesco Barraca.
Barraca’s son had been a fighter pilot during WW1 and the horse had been painted on the fuselage of his plane. Barraca’s son was thought to have taken the horse from the plane of a German pilot, who he shot down in Stuttgart. This makes the Ferrari horse similar to the one found on the Porsche crest.
Originally called SS Cars, Jaguar changed its name after the Second World War to avoid being connected with the Nazis. The new logo reflected the change, becoming a leaping, silver Jaguar. The emblem symbolises the grace of a Jaguar car and its forward momentum.
The Mercedes-Benz logo is based on a three-pointed star that appeared on a postcard sent in the 1870s by GottlIeb Daimler to his wife. He marked where he was living with the star and wrote “one day this star will shine over our triumphant factories.” The star’s spokes came to represent land, sea and air, first appearing on a car in 1910