The History and Meaning behind Iconic Car Logos


When buying a car, we often wonder what makes it different from its counterparts? The engine, the interiors, the finishing, undoubtedly provide a distinct identity to every model; however, its the logo that we notice before anything else. Car logos are like a vehicle’s last name, speaking volumes about its lineage, history and evolution. We come across various car logos in our everyday life, yet know little about what they mean or the story behind their evolution. We have handpicked some iconic car logos and in this post, decode what they mean. Take a look.

1. Toyota’s Three Ovals

Simple, clean and efficient, just like the cars by the manufacturer

Created in 1990, Toyota’s three ellipses logo represent the customer’s heart, the heart of the product and the heart of technological progress and future opportunities. The logo weaves a story about how customer expectations are interlinked with the manufacturer’s ideal. The outermost oval signifies how the world has embraced Toyota over the years. Some popular theories suggest the inner oval to be a needle and the empty space is deliberately left for an invisible needle to pass through. The theory stems from Toyota’s founding as an industrial loom maker.

2. Audi’s Four Rings

The famous four rings that have signified quality and reliability for decades

One of the most iconic and well-know car symbols of all times, Audi’s Four rings signify four companies: DKW, Horch, Wanderer and Audi. These companies were a part of the Audi-Union Consortium in 1932, and were merged after World War-II. The new logo was first introduced in 1965, when the company launched its first post war vehicle with a four-stroke engine.

3. Mercedes’ Three Pointed Stars

And they say excellence cannot be depicted through pictures

 The one common thing among car logos is that they keep on changing with time, signifying the manufacturer’s changing aspirations according to a change in customer preferences. This is where Mercedes Three Pointed Stars logo stand aparts. The manufacturer has walked the road less taken and has stuck to its Three Pointed Stars logo since the company started operation and represents the company’s aspiration to dominate land, water and air. The logo was the brainchild of the company’s founder, Gottlieb Daimler who sent a picture postcard with the logo to his wife in 1872 and wished to see it shine over all his factories.

4. Lamborghini’s Raging Bull

We’re not getting anywhere close to any car with that logo, what about you?

 Lamborghini’s Raging Bull, undoubtedly is one of the sickest car logos of all time. One look at the aggressive bull ready to attack is enough to send shivers down the viewers spine. The aggressiveness suits the company’s reputation as the manufacturer of some of the most powerful and menacing cars humankind has ever seen. Legend has it that the company’s founder Ferruccio Lamborghini,a fan of bullfighting was on the Miura Ranch when he conceptualized the logo. Lamborghini’s zodiac sign is Taurus, which further explains his fascination with bulls.

5. Ferrari’s Prancing Horse

The horse is eager to break time dimensions, too bad, there are speed limits

The story behind how Ferrari’s logo was conceptualized is as legendary as the manufacturer’s legacy. The prancing black horse symbolizes speed. The yellow background is a symbolic color of Enzo Ferrari’s birthplace. Legend has it that an Italian ace pilot, Francesco Baracca, who participated in World War-I painted the horse on his fighter plane’s fuselage. The pilot was shot down in 1918. Later Ferrari met his mother, who suggested him to use the symbol on all his cars and prophesied it would bring good luck. The rest as they say is history.

Every car Logo has a Story: Ready to Learn About Your’s?

Car logos are more than just random designs, and give a peek into the car’s history and the manufacturer’s ideology. Now that you have learned about the story behind some of the most famous car logos, you are ready to flaunt your knowledge about cars among friends. As far as getting one is concerned, Salvage Bid has got you covered. Our online car bidding auctions feature salvage cars manufactured by these and other top manufacturers. To learn more about the bidding process or any of the vehicles listed with us, simply call +1 (360) 347-1300.

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