The logos of many brands are current these days due to the coronavirus. Several manufacturers have slightly modified them for an informative purpose: to show the importance of social distancing measures to stop the pandemic. Temporary changes aside, it is a part of the cars that usually go unnoticed even though some have a story behind that deserves to be told. These are some of the curiosities of car logos that you did not know.
The unknown curiosities of car logos
We start with Italy. The four letters of Alpha contain an acronym that means: Anonymous Fabrica Lombarda Automobili. The last name Romeo would arrive after the First World War when Nicola Romeo took the brand. Inside the Alfa Romeo logo, we find the Milan flag and a snake. The origin of this must be found in the Middle Ages and more specifically in the coat of arms of a family of rulers of the Lombard city.
The four rings of Audi were not always as we know them today: the passage of time has refined them and left them alone since there was a time when they were accompanied by text, which was removed to enhance the brand image and that was more recognizable to the public. If you are wondering if they have any meaning, we have the answer: they represent the four-car manufacturers (Audi, Horch, DKW, and Wanderer) that came together to create Auto Union AG.
The German brand has been one of the last to update its emblem, betting on the minimalism that we have already seen in the redesign of the Volkswagen or Mini logos. Since 1917 the changes it has undergone have been quite light to preserve its essence. The one of now is the sixth and maintains its essence reflecting the colors of Bavaria, blue and white; not in vain, BMW is from the capital: Munich. And no, we have not forgotten the central propeller: it got there thanks to the cover of a brand magazine of airplanes published in 1929.
The rampant horse of the Ferrari logo has one origin and its yellow background, another. This tone corresponds to the color of the Modena flag, which is the region where Maranello is located, the headquarters of the Italian brand. The horse was the symbol of the plane that Francesco Baracca piloted in the First World War. When he lost his life, his mother asked Enzo Ferrari to show it off in their vehicles. He agreed but dyed it black in honor of the Italian pilots who had died in the race.
Many may think that the bull that Ferruccio Lamborghini’s cars come from his fondness for bullfighting. Nothing is further from reality: this animal was chosen for the Lamborghini logo because it is the one that represented its zodiac sign, Taurus.
Let’s go by parts. The German brand chose the star because it symbolizes eternity and quality. Also, each of the points represents the domain of land, sea, and air because Mercedes manufactured engines for cars, boats, and planes. The circle that surrounds it, however, took a little longer to arrive: it did so in 1937.
The Mitsubishi logo consists of three diamonds that got there for two reasons. The first must be found in the brand name: this is the product of the combination of Mitsu (which in Japanese means three) and Bishi (which translated is diamond). The second is the representation of the three pillars of its business: Bank, Corporation and Heavy Industries.
As with BMW, the Porsche emblem refers to a city and region in Germany. The horse comes from the Stuttgart coat of arms, where the brand was born, and it is the state of Wüttemberg that provides the rest of the elements.
We ended up with Subaru whose logo carries various meanings. The six stars are a representation of the constellation of the Pleiades and, at the same time, symbolize the companies that gave rise to the brand. Finally, in Japan, the color yellow and blue embody the sun, the night and the stars.
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