The Stories Behind Famous Car Logos Have It All, Marketing & Advertising News, AND BrandEquity


Alfa romeo

The 108-year-old Italian brand is the original home of Scuderia Ferrari: the racing team founded by Enzo Ferrari. Its history is so fascinating that Alfa Romeo’s parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, spent four years and € 40 million dedicating its legacy in a renovated museum and the former Alfa Romeo headquarters in northern Milan. , in Italy.

One thread that almost inevitably emerges is “What the hell is their logo about?” Is it a serpent (some see a dragon) devouring a man or is it a man emerging (reborn) through the fangs of the reptile? Blake Rong of Road & Track wrote in 2016: “Few automakers offer such doom-metal imagery. Saab’s fire-breathing griffith draws closer. Peugeot’s roaring lion, arms outstretched, dates from 1847. But the Italian biscione, as the logo is called, is as closely linked to Alfa Romeo as Alfa Romeo is to his hometown of Milan. ALFA (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili) was founded in 1910 and the badge marries two traditional symbols of Milan – the cross of the municipality and the serpent Visconti or biscione (which, according to some, dates back to the Second Crusade and a “Saracen” chief’s coat of arms). In the original logo, the two were divided by two Savoyard dynasty knots.
War Diaries: During the bombing of factories during WWII, the machines that produced the Alfa Romeo logos were destroyed. This led to the creation of a spartan one-color (red) version of the badges, according to the company.

Rolls Royce

Spanish bulls and German submarines: the stories behind famous car logos have it all
The Rolls Royce mascot “The Spirit of Ecstasy” that adorns the grille of luxury cars has a rather morbid Indian connection. The brand’s current ornament is said to be from The Whisperer, a sculpture inspired by actress Eleanor Thornton, who was said to have been Lord John Montagu’s mistress. When sculptor Charles Skyes was commissioned to create a logo for Montagu’s Rolls Royce, the latter, according to reports, urged Skyes to use the British actress as his muse. In 1915, Thornton was aboard the SS Persia bound for India, which was hit by a torpedo from a German submarine in southern Crete. She accompanied Lord Montagu who was sent to India to assume command during the First World War. Montagu, who was initially considered one of the deceased, survived the bombardment. He was also the founder and editor of automotive magazine, The Car Illustrated.


Spanish bulls and German submarines: the stories behind famous car logos have it all

Born of a famous rivalry between two Italian titans of the industry, Ferruccio Lamborghini and Enzo Ferrari. The story goes something like this. Lamborghini, which was not happy with its newly purchased Ferrari, called for a meeting with its manufacturer to come up with a technical solution to an untimely clutch problem. An indignant Enzo, the reigning king of speed machines, told the millionaire “tractor maker” to stick with making farm equipment. In Corsa mode, or Race mode, Lamborghini returned to Sant’Agata Bolognese in northern Italy with the resolve to build cars that would give Enzo and his Ferraris a run for their money. After a few early models, he unveiled at the 1966 Geneva International Motor Show what is considered the world’s first super car, the Lamborghini Miura. The history of the brand’s iconic logo, on the other hand, is not as colorful as the origins of the sports car.

The logo was inspired by the zodiac sign of its founder Taurus and his love for Spanish bullfighting. In fact, Miura is the name of a line of Spanish fighting bulls from the Miura Cattle Ranch in Seville, Spain. Several names of Lamborghini creations were inspired by the world of matadors and muletas. The Miura bull called Islero, also the name of a Lamborghini car made between 1968 and 1969, was famous for surrounding and killing the matador Manuel Laureano Rodríguez Sánchez or Manolete, considered by some to be the greatest bullfighter of all time. (There’s even a Hollywood biopic on Manolete, starring Adrien Brody and Penelope Cruz.)


Spanish Bulls and German Submarines: The Stories Behind Famous Car Logos Have It All

In Sean Connery’s film ‘Finding Forrester’, the character of Jamal Wallace played by Rob Brown tells us about the origins of the Bavarian automobile major BMW and its blue and white logo. But Jamal’s rather creative interpretation of the logo was actually wrong. This is not a nod to Bavarian Motor Works’ origins in aircraft engineering – the logo apparently a representation of a “white propeller spinning around a blue sky”. As the New York Times reported in 2010, this myth arose out of a 1929 magazine advertisement. The real story is much less exciting. Official BMW spokespersons said it was about showing the colors of the Free State of Bavaria.

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