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Car Brands that Start with C

By Adrian Vroom


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This isn’t the first time we go all out and choose a letter from the alphabet as we’re trying to find the most popular, as well as some of the most unusual automotive and historically-relevant car brands out there. This time we are going to focus on car brands whose names start with the letter “C”.

For obvious reasons, some brands are more sought after than others and might have an influence on your final decision to buy a new car. The question is this: how many car brands that start with C can you name? Or even better: how may car brands on this list are familiar to you?

At the beginning of the 20th century, passionate people from all over the world worked hard on developing new vehicles that took over everyone’s imagination. Hundreds of newly created auto brands tried to establish their reputation for developing cars, but only a few managed to stand the test of time.

There are plenty of car brands which start with the letter C found within the books of automotive history. It is almost impossible to list them all, and give you lots of details about each and every single one of them, but we will try to focus on the most interesting ones. Are you ready?


Cadillac CT5
Cadillac CT5

One of the first names to be associated with a car manufacturer ever was Cadillac. Established in Detroit, Michigan, back in 1902 by Hendry Ford and Leland Henry, this iconic American car brand focused on developing premium cars two seconds after its founding.

By 1909, General Motors took interest and made them an offer no one could refuse, and so it was, Cadillac became part of General Motors. The company did retain its name and its aim to please the wealthy consumers by focusing on developing luxurious, high-quality vehicles.

Of course, people from the United States were massive fans of the brand, but Cadillac was also popular in China and Canada, with high sales numbers recorded across these three countries. But Cadillac also manages to sell its vehicles in 34 other markets across the globe.

Known for making no compromises on quality, Cadillac is not really an affordable car manufacturer, but that’s beside the point when you’re looking for the best cars.


Chevrolet Equinox
Chevrolet Equinox

Louis Chevrolet, an engineer and racing driver, joined forces with General Motors’ owner William Durant in 1911 to create the popular brand that we all love today: Chevrolet.

Nowadays a subsidiary of General Motors, the company is based in Detroit, USA, but only made its way in Europe as late as 2005. Daewoo is a name most Europeans know, although few of them are aware the company is also a subsidiary – of Chevrolet.

Chevrolet or Chevy is among the top-selling brands in America, with the name well known for its quality and safe vehicles – as well as trucks, automatic cars and SUVs. If you are looking for something durable, affordable and even state of the art, Chevrolet is the name you should be looking out for.

There is a wide array of models the car manufacturer had or is developing, but I doubt any one model is more poplar then their Corvette badge. The question remains: which generation model would you rather drive?


Chrysler 300
Chrysler 300

Based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States, this American car manufacturer was founded in 1924 by Walter Percy Chrysler. Chrysler is known for its excellent cars, among which we can count a few small city cars, family sedans and minivans.

In those times, Chrysler 350 and the Chrysler Imperial models were all the rage – they still are. By 1928, the brand managed to acquire Dodge thus transforming this company into a leader on the North American car industry.

Since 2014, the Italian over at Fiat have taken over and made all the big decisions. With headquarters in the US, United Kingdom and the Netherlands, the modern day company is known for delivering cars that feature a customizable interior, state of the art technologies as well as plenty of active and passive safety features.

Although most people think about sedans and minivans when thinking about the Chrysler name, some of us still daydream about driving the Viper GTS-R beast – even the engine’s sound is enough to get us excited.


Citroen C5 X
Citroen C5 X

A solid representative of the French car industry, Citroen was founded in 1919. Andre Citroen had a vision of manufacturing affordable cars that most people could park in their garage and enjoy driving on a daily basis. The model that put the brand on the world map was the 1934 Traction Avant. This vehicle gained quite a lot of popularity, being the first car to feature all-wheel drive.

However, this model was also so expensive to manufacture, that it led the company towards bankruptcy, that’s when Michelin came in to save the day and bought the company while retaining its trademark. A few years later, in 1976, Citroën joined forces with Peugeot and that’s how the PSA Peugeot Citroën concern has been born.

The Paris-based firm is now a big deal on a global scale, with some impressive models having been revealed since then. Who could forget the popular Citroen 205? Or the company’s success in various racing events?

Citroen’s technology and avant-garde aesthetics have taken the world by storm the second the company revealed its innovative hydraulic self-levelling suspension system – this was way back in 1954.


Caterham Seven 170
Caterham Seven 170

Sports car enthusiasts and those of you looking for those pure thrills should look no further. Established by Graham Nairn in 1963, British company Caterham Cars has developed a kit car that you could assembly at home.

Although it acted as a Lotus Seven dealership until 1973, this company acquired the rights to develop and sell the model and started working on their own project. Called Caterham 7, the first model to bear their logo, was revealed quickly after and it was a replica of the aforementioned Lotus car.

Based in Surrey, England, Caterham delivered lightweight cars, lacking in sophisticated electronics and driving aid. They were always very desirable, especially for classic-car lovers. The British brand is still very much active, with orders list remaining long and full at any moment of the year. Better yet, their cars are often improved upon and tuned-up, making them even more impressive. 


Lincoln Continental
Lincoln Continental

Inspired by the 1930s Lincoln Continental, the Lincoln Division established in 1955 the Continental – a separate brand that was dedicated to designing and creating luxurious and premium-level cars. As you can imagine, these vehicles were never meant to be affordable.

The Continental Mark II became the most expensive American vehicle of the era; it was hand-made and featured plenty of interesting and luxurious features. What’s even more interesting is that each unit meant a $1,000 loss for the company.

By 1956, Ford took over, although it was not enough to keep the Continental name afloat on the market. The Continental model, on the other hand, has been produced for more than 55 years and offers a wide array of automotive treats.

Cooper Car Company

Cooper Monaco
Cooper Monaco / classicdriver.com

During the 1940s, in a garage in Surrey, United Kingdom, a small company started to research and develop racing cars. In 1947, this British auto brand registered its name, but the world was unaware of the fact that the Cooper Car Company was about to change the racing world.

Founded by father and son, Charles and John Cooper, the company developed a new form of Formula 1 car. Their cars had the engine mounted at the back and gained popularity during the 1950s.

At the end of the 1950s, Cooper entered the Indianapolis 500 and caught everyone’s eye. During the same period, Bruce McLaren and Jack Brabham managed to attain not one but two Formula 1 Constructors’ Cups, securing the brand’s place in automotive history.

The Cooper name lives on through the MINI Copper cars today.


Callaway Corvette
Callaway Corvette

Corvette owners and fans probably know this name pretty well by now. The US-based engineering company Callaway Cars Inc. was founded in 1977 by Reeves Callaway. With its headquarters in Old Lyme, Connecticut, the company is known for designing and developing unique projects and outlandish packages for cars, pickups and even SUVs.

However, it quickly became clear that Callaway loved working on Corvette cars more than anything else. Their specific components and packages were meant to quickly and easily fit any new Corvette vehicles, often enough within the GM’s plant.

Over the years, Callaway has earned its place on the market as well as a reputation for developing sophisticated and state of the art components – aesthetic, functional or performance-oriented mechanical item – thus allowing Corvette cars to look that more cooler and drive even faster than initially intended.

One quick web search will reveal the level of madness this company delivers.


Cannoo Microbus
Cannoo Microbus

Although it doesn’t sound like it, Canoo Inc is an up and coming American automotive company. Established by Stefan Krause and Ulrich Kranz, this firm is based in Torrance, California, and seems to have an odd goal.

The company aims to manufacture affordable and low-priced urban commuters, as well as electric vehicles. Translated, this means that the company will develop and rent its own vehicles at very affordable prices. We mentioned the name, as we are curious as where future days will see this company going.


Cord L-29 Cabriolet
Cord L-29 Cabriolet / Photo by Jim Evans / wikipedia.org

Active between 1929 and 1932, and between 1936 and 1937, the Auburn Automobile Company managed to leave its mark on automotive history, albeit it had only 4 years to do so. The brand used the Cord trademark do design and develop upscale American cars, before being discontinued in 1937.

The Cord Corporation, founded by Errett Lobban Cord immediately focused its attention on premium-level cars enthusiasts. Their luxurious designs and technical innovations have ensured their place in our memories and automotive history forever.

Each model was more interesting and technologically advanced than before, with streamlined designs and plenty of luxurious features throughout, but this was not enough to fulfill the founder’s hopes for a long-term existence of the company.

Cole Motor

Cole Aero Eight Sportster
Cole Aero Eight Sportster / rmsothebys.com

Joseph J. Cole founded the Cole Motor Car Company more than a century ago, back in 1908. The name was associated with luxury car manufacture up until 1925, when this short story was over.

But Mr. Cole had already made a another attempt at developing a luxurious car back in 1903, before acquiring the Gates-Osborne Carriage Company, which eventually became Cole Motor. Based in Indianapolis, United States, the company soon revealed its first model – the Cole Model 30.

Things were looking good and people had taken an interest in Cole cars, but in 1925 the sudden demise of founder Joseph J. Cole put a stop on all manufacture efforts. The last 607 units within the factory were sold and the company was liquidated.


Cisitalia 202
Cisitalia 202 / pininfarina.it

We see no point in telling you about the company’s origins, as the brand’s name quickly hints towards Italian descent. Cisitalia was established in 1946 by Piero Dusio – did we mention it was based in Turin, Italy? This firm focused on the development and manufacture of sports cars or racing vehicles.

Their first project, the D46, was actually built around a Fiat model, although no one minded about that. Cisitalia quickly gained a reputation for building high-quality and versatile sports cars during the 1940s, with the firm responsible for the development of 22 models. But the most popular remains the superb 1946 Cisitalia 202 GT, designed together with Pininfarina. 

It might also be worth mentioning that Cisitalia entered Formula One events in 1952, but by 1963 the company was already bankrupt.


Cizeta-Moroder V16T
Cizeta-Moroder V16T / rmsothebys.com

In 1988, Italian automobile company Cizeta Automobili SRL was founded. Giorgio Moroder and Claudio Zampolli decided Modena was the best place to launch a new supercar company, but their big plans were not about to be fulfilled any time soon.

The fact that the company’s name was inspired by Claudio Zampolli’s initials did not bring them fortune. The only automotive project bearing the company’s name we can speak of is the Cizeta-Moroder V16T.

Powered by a 16-cylinder transverse engine while displaying a body shell courtesy of Marcello Gandini, inspiring Lamborghini-like thrills, this vehicle was quite a head turner. However, by 1994 the company had only delivered 8 units, and it was headed towards an inevitable demise. But the company still exists today, trying to come up with the next best thing.

Carbon Motors Corporation

Carbon Motors E7 Police Car
Carbon Motors E7 Police Car

Were you aware of the name, this company or its purpose? Established in 2003, Carbon Motors Corporation was founded by Stacy Dean Stephens and William Santana Li. Based in Los Angeles, California, the American-made company aimed to design and manufacture a dedicated police car.

Nothing but state of the art technologies were to be involved with this concept, but failed attempts to obtain funding from government services led to endless delays and inability to keep the shop going. By the middle of 2013, the brand had disappeared into the wind, leaving room for the next company’s attempt at taking over the automotive market.

Carlsson Autotechnik

Carlsson Mercedes-AMG G63
Carlsson Mercedes-AMG G63

Established in 1989 by Rolf Hartge and Andreas Hartge, this famous German tuner is based in Merzig, Germany. Over the years, Carlsson has become the world leader when it comes to automotive upgrades and stylish tweaks for Mercedes-Benz car owners.

Each and every year, the shop’s dedicated team envisions new and exciting components to be fitted onto various Mercedes models. The firm’s attendance at the Frankfurt Motor Show usually means a new set of innovations and wild ideas attached to an overwhelming car.

The company has managed to develop its own dealer network, meant to find each of the 120 units the firm manufactures every 12 months a proper owner. Performance-oriented, fast and outrageous, their projects are quite a handful.

Calcott Brothers

Calcott 1914
Calcott 1914 / bonhams.com

We end up on British shores once again, focusing our attention on this small car manufacturer. Established way back in 1886, Calcott was originally focused on the development and manufacture of bicycles. Based in Coventry. United Kingdom, this firm was founded by the Calcott brothers, hence the name.

However, manufacturing bicycles wasn’t enough and, by 1904, the brand started developing motorcycles as well. But in 1913, Calcott entered the world of automobiles too and remained active until 1926 – having survived the death of James Calcott in 1924 – at least, for a little while.

It did, however, manage to deliver as many as 2,500 vehicles until that time.


Caparo T1
Caparo T1

Caparo Vehicle Technologies or CVT is an automotive company based in the United Kingdom. Established in 2006 by Graham Halstead and following the technology company Freestream, this firm benefitted from the expertise of McLaren F1’s former engineers, Ben Scott-Geddes and Graham Halstead.

Although focused on design services and the development of new technologies, in 2006 the British brand revealed their own Caparo T1 sports car – it wasn’t really a surprise, with two former McLaren engineers behind the company’s existence. This hypercar offered an incredible power to weight ratio, and even an updated version was developed, the Caparo S.

Carrozzeria Castagna

Castagna Rossellini
Castagna Rossellini

Established in 1849, Carrozzeria Castagna is an Italian car body manufacturer. Based in Milan and founded by Carlo Castagna, this shop started off by acquiring Ferrari’s coachbuilding company and went to work on designing their very own touring car.

Their Benz ATV did not make a lasting impression as the company would have hoped, and in 1954, the factory was closed. Sadly, the two attempts that were made in an effort to revive the brand during the 1990s were not met with success.

However, Uberto Petra and Gioacchino Acampora acquired the name in 1994, which is why drivers got to enjoy more recent projects, including cars inspired by the Fiat 500 and Mini. Nowadays, you could get your hands on two luxurious vehicles developed by the brand: the Castagna Imperial Landaulet and Aznom models.


Casalini 550GranSport
Casalini 550GranSport

Giovanni Casalini started this Italian company in 1939, and you could easily guess there the brand name came from. This car brand was based in Piacenza, Italy, and it’s recognized as the oldest microcar manufacturer within the country’s borders.

Focused on design and development of mopeds and tiny three- and four-wheeled vehicles, the firm managed to gain quite a lot of attention. Their first three-wheeler was dubbed the Sulky, and it was introduced to the world in 1969. Intended for management without rights.

In 1994, the company revealed the Kore 500 ATV – another first – while 2011 saw them introduce the popular Casalini M10 Daytona three-door microcar. Modern builds manage to stand out from a crowd thanks to high-strength polymer chassis or reinforced fiberglass bodies.


Chadwick Great Six
Chadwick Great Six / vintagemotoring.blogspot.com

It was 1904, when the Fairmount Engineering Company was established. Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this historic American-made car company was the idea of designer Lee Sherman Chadwick.

Initially focused on developing bodywork, the company ends up being renamed to brand Chadwick Engineering Works and entering the automotive world with the aim of manufacturing their own cars.

Between 1904 and 1916, Chadwick managed to complete somewhere around 300 cars. The company closed its factory’s gates by 1924, although an attempt to revive the name was made in 1960. The envisioned two-seater roadster was not enough to accomplish that goal.


Chalmers Record Speedster
Chalmers Record Speedster / goodingco.com

In the next few minutes we are going to focus our attention on the Chalmers Motor Company. This American automotive brand was established in 1908 by Hugh Chalmers and was based in – wait for it – Detroit, Michigan.

With a keen sense of luxury, the man behind the firm decided it might be a good idea to focus on premium-grade vehicles. By 1911, this company was already ranked 8th among US automakers.

In 1923, this company joined forces with Chrysler but until then it managed to develop several luxury cars – such as the Chalmers 30, which sold 3,047 units during the first year of the company’s existence. We totally love the company’s Record Speedster though. 


Courage LC75-AER
Courage LC75-AER / ultimatecarpage.com

Oddly named, Courage Competition was a racing team and racecar constructor. This company was noted down in the official books in 1982, when the Courage C01 prototype was assembled. Established by racing driver Yves Courage, who took part in various racing events at Le Mans, the company and its motorsport team were dedicated to developing racing cars.

Based right in Le Mans, France, Courage even joined forces with names such as Nissan, Ford or Porsche in order to research and develop performance-oriented machines for the 24-hour event at LeMans. Nowadays, the firm is focused on delivering the racing car of the future – which is electrically powered, of course.


Changan Eado Plus
Changan Eado Plus

Changan is a Chinese car brand that was actually founded in 1862 – at the time the company was a private machinery factory. Later, following nationalization, this company began working in the country’s defense sector. They soon revealed their first army off-road vehicle, but by 1984, civilian or passenger vehicles were already begin designed.

Based in Chongqing, China, Changan Automobile is nowadays state-owned and dedicated to the manufacture of economy cars. Their vehicles are meant to be affordable and easy to maintain, with Changan also joining forces with iconic brands, such as PSA, Mazda or Suzuki in their effort to develop the best automotive projects they care able to.


Chery Arrizo 5
Chery Arrizo 5

Yet another popular Chinese car manufacturer, Chery Automobile Co., Ltd. is also focused on mass production of city vehicles. This ensured them reduced development costs, affordability and popularity among people.

Established in 1997 and based in Wuhu, China, this firm is state-owned – something you must have imagined by now. A deal with SEAT meant that the company would manufacture cars on Toledo’s chassis starting with 1999. Next, the firm would focus on manufacturing administrative taxis as well.

In 2001, a financial trick allowed the company to become the first Chinese exporter of passenger cars, SUVs, and minivans – this had a significant impact on the company’s income as you probably imagine. 


CAMC Hanma H9
CAMC Hanma H9

CAMC might be difficult to pronounce, but it is the acronym under which Chinese automotive company Hualing Xingma Automobile sells its cars. Established in 1999, this firm was centered around construction equipment.

Although it all started with a not-so sophisticated production line of concrete mixers and such, they ended up developing heavy-duty trucks meant for various applications. Following a signed agreement with Mitsubishi Fuso, the year 2003 meant that CAMC would benefit from the support it needed to manufacture the trucks it was aiming for.

Soon after, the company began exporting its products across the world, and the rest is history.

Corre La Licorne

Corre la Licorne V14W4

Jean-Marie Corre established this brand in 1901, hence the name, a company that was based in Levallois-Perret, France. Corre La Licorne was an automaker that remained active until 1949, with numerous projects including racing cars.

Having joined forces with the team over at TM Corre, the brand managed to stand out of the crowd and record some notable achievements in the racing world. Soon after, nobleman Waldemar Lestienne inspired a logo and name change of the company.

By 1907, the company had incorporated a unicorn within its logo, with the Corre La Licorne now the final name. Following a written agreement, which ended with the selling of the firm to Lestienne Firmin, the company’s engineers managed to design and develop an electric car during World War II – the only unit was ever was assembled.

By the end of the war, in 1949, things were looking gloomy and the factory closed its gates.


Changfeng Leopaard Mattu
Changfeng Leopaard Mattu / auto.sohu.com

Guangzhou Automobile Group, or GAC, is a Chinese brand based in Changsha, Hunan. Back 1950 they’ve decided to start an automobile manufacturing subsidiary – and so they did. The new division was named Hunan Changfeng Motor Co. and it centered its efforts around the development and manufacture of light trucks designed for Chinese roads and drivers.

Nowadays, the firm will also deliver Mitsubishi Pajero replicas; it will even upgrade your existing Pajero vehicle or sell you replicas of various Mitsubishi pickups. It would seem that things worked out, with the company recording decent sales numbers on the local market.

By 2009, big changes – including a change in name, with the company now being called GAC Changfeng Motor Co Ltd. – ensured the company remained competitive and attractive enough to keep on developing new models and upgrade packages.


Car Brands that Start with C
Chevrolet Camaro

There you have it. These are all the car brands that we could find with names starting with C. We hope you enjoyed this walk down history lane. Do you know any other car companies that start with this letter?

About Adrian Vroom

As a child, Adrian was fascinated by anything and everything car related. Years went by and he found himself more and more in love with cars. It wasn't just about their good looks, speed and power, it was about the freedom they represented, the thrills and joy they provided and the ton of options that were available for every type of person out there. Learn more about GCB's Editorial Process.

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