Horses, those magnificent and noble animals that have been keeping humans company for millennia. They’ve had a huge impact on the world and civilization, in general, helping people fight wars, work the land, or simply make a statement. It makes sense as to why some of the world’s most famous car manufacturers decided their logo should include horse.
Horses are one of the most popular symbols car manufacturers have used over time, and we are not talking only fast vehicles or luxury machines, although the first names that come to mind include Ferrari, Porsche, and even the very powerful Ford Mustang, for which Ford has actually replaced its classic logo with a gorgeous Mustang stallion.
Car logos always pose a difficult design choice, and they usually have a hidden message to them. A company’s ideology or purpose have to be put on display, in one bold, visual message, that everyone remembers.
For that reason, we decided to take a closer look at those companies that, over the years, took it upon themselves to honor horses and their place in automotive history, adding horse logos to their cars.
Based in Maranello, Italy, the world-renowned Italian luxury sports car manufacturer was founded by Enzo Ferrari back in 1939, coming out of Alfa Romeo’s race division. By 1940, Ferrari had already built its first sports car and by 1947 the very familiar “Prancing Horse” badge was on display on their cars’ hood.
Over the years, the company has been known to get involved in various areas of the automotive world such as racing events, especially in Formula One. Here, Ferrari is the oldest and most successful racing team of all time; it holds the most constructors championships titles and has sponsored the highest number of drivers’ championship wins.
As you might already be aware by now, all supercars from Ferrari have gained the reputation of being speedy, luxurious and quite expensive statements. But as of 2022, Ferrari is actually the 10th-largest car manufacturer on the planet.
It should not come as a surprise that their logo is one of the most recognizable out there. Ferrari’s prancing horse has an interesting story to it – and so does the renowned car brand behind it. Some of you might not be aware, even now, that World War I pilot Francesco Baracca had used a symbol on his flying machine – the very same you admire on every Ferrari supercar these days.
Ferrari’s horse is black, instead of the original red, because it was meant to announce the world the company is in mourning for the fallen pilot. The Prancing Horse is used as part of Ferrari and Scuderia Ferrari logos, and it was meant to inspire power and the ultimate thrills – as Enzo Ferrari was dreaming about.
The world’s renowned luxury car marque, Porsche has built its history by developing nothing else but state of the art machines and its iconic car logo has been along for the ride. Established in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, the German automaker has been known to introduce one or two high-performance sports cars.
Porsche is dedicated to the development of some of the best high-performance sports cars, SUVs and sedans out there. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, the company is nowadays owned by Volkswagen AG, but that becomes irrelevant once you get a glimpse of the brand’s outrageous lineup of sports cars and luxury vehicles.
Some may recall the first assignment the company had received was from the German government, which was to design a car for the people – enter the Volkswagen, and the very loveable Beetle model. Following the war, the 356 models were built in a small sawmill in Gmünd, Austria. The prototype quickly became of interest, and many regard the 356 as the first Porsche ever. What of the logo?
According to urban legends, the logo had been coined by Ferdinand Porsche’s son, Ferry, drawn on a napkin. What we do know is that Porsche’s logo was inspired by the Stuttgart coat of arms, with a black stallion on yellow background with black and red stripes.
Does this vehicle need any more introductions? What about the logo? This series of sports cars manufactured by Ford has been in production since 1964, which makes it the longest-produced Ford car nameplate.
Oddly enough, it was originally predicted that 100,000 units of the Mustang would sell each year. It was no accident, however, that the Mustang was introduced on April 17, 1964 – merely two weeks after the Plymouth Barracuda – and the fact that more than 400,000 units were sold in its first year.
The success of the Mustang led to competitors from other American manufacturers to enter the game, with sports cars such as the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird, AMC Javelin, and the Dodge Challenger – we couldn’t be happier about that. The Mustang had a massive effect on automotive research and development, over the years.
What about the logo? Truly interesting, the creators couldn’t decide on a name and a logo; the wooden sculpture of the famous running pony was created in 1963.
The list of car logos with horses had to include Carlsson, no questions asked. Carlsson is a German car tuning manufacturer specializing in Mercedes-Benz cars. Founded in 1989, by brothers Rolf and Andreas Hartge, Carlsson is a tuning house that had gained respect and well-deserved reputation for its unbelievable projects.
At any given moment, Carlsson’s products are available for the entire range of Mercedes-Benz models, with the brand name also associated with its range of alloy wheels. Following an aggressive push into the US market, in 2006, the company went all out with their modified CL500vehicle at the SEMA Show and got everyone’s attention.
I am a sucker for older cars, in general, which is why the Carlsson C38 will forever remain in my memory. Produced in 1998 in very limited numbers, and based on the 208 CLK320, this pricy vehicle featured the Carlsson CM38 upgraded engine – a hand built 3.8-liter V6, strengthened chassis, braking system, exhaust, suspension, a wide body and speedometer cluster. The C38 is what collectors would call a unicorn.
Carlsson’s logo? A leaping horse aims to signify power, dynamism, and strength. Check out the brand’s designs and projects, and judge for yourselves.
KAMAZ. A name associated with durability and Russian toughness, a company based in Naberezhnye Chelny, Tatarstan, that’s known for manufacturing trucks and engines. Founded in 1969, this Russian car company has become familiar for its cab-over trucks.
Nowadays, the brand’s heavy-duty models are developed and shipped to other countries around the world, such as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Latin America, the Middle East, and even Africa.
KAMAZ is still the largest truck producer in Russia and testament to their durability and versatility is this fact: the company’s trucks have won the Dakar Rally more than once – how does a record of eighteen times sound to you? The most in the truck category by any manufacturer.
With over 110 subsidiaries and affiliates, it seems that the decision to portray a horse on Kamaz’s logo was not by chance. What you see on display is an Akhal Teke, a prairie horse acknowledged for their agility, beauty, and strength. It seems to have been an inspired choice.
Corre La Licorne
Forget the unusual name for a second and focus on the fact that we are dealing with a French carmaker that was founded in 1901. Based in Levallois-Perret, close by to central Paris, the company kept delivering new cars until 1947. We were saying something about the name, right?
Although the first cars were named Corre, racing success achieved by driver Waldemar Lestienne, who’s family had a crest featuring a unicorn, encouraged the company to go for the name Corre La Licorne.
The company started off by developing tricycles and a single-cylinder quadricycle using De Dion-Bouton components, and dearly sales did not look encouraging. In an effort to gain popularity, the brand decided to participate in racing competitions and some victories made them pretty famous along the way. Sales improved, with automotive giants such as Renault, Peugeot and De Dion-Bouton losing market share in favor of the newcomer.
As time went by, the company went on to develop various models and extend its range and lineup. Not even the Great War could put a halt on this company’s development; by the mid-1920s, they were offering a wider range of vehicles, and the cars were joined by new commercial vehicle versions and even small buses.
However, The French auto-industry did not bounce back from the 1929 economic crash, even though by 1938 things were looking up. During WWII, production was limited to a small number of cars featuring electric propulsion. A range of 90 km (60 miles) and a cruising speed of 40 km/h (25 mph) were quoted and sound impressive even today.
Regardless of its impressive innovation efforts, by the end of the Second World War, the company was not doing so well. It took part in the 1947 Paris Motor Show in October, although none of the models exhibited ever made it to production. In 1950 the business closed.
Do you remember the mythical Pegasus, a winged horse that has been a great inspiration for millennia? It has also managed to inspire car manufacturers to have their logos feature it as a symbol of power and freedom. Speaking of which, Pegaso was a Spanish manufacturer of trucks, buses, tractors, armored vehicles, and even sports cars.
Across a period of 44 years, between 1946 and 1990, the brand rolled over 350,000 vehicles out its factory gates; it seems that its yearly record was achieved in 1974, when Pegaso built more than 26,000 vehicles.
During the 1950s, Pegaso built about a hundred Z-102 sports cars – if the name is unfamiliar to you, please be aware of the fact that these vehicles were really advanced for their time. They featured a five-speed rear-mounted transaxle and very powerful all-aluminum DOHC engines. How about this interesting fact: the Z-102 was the fastest production car sold in 1953 – it was able to reach a top speed of 155 miles per hour (249 km/h).
Speaking or performance, Pegaso all-wheel-drive trucks won the 1985 Rallye des Pharaons and the 1986 Paris-Dakar. I doubt you knew that. Soon, Pegaso became one of the leading European industrial vehicle makers, with a substantial contract dedicated to supplying tactical trucks to the Egyptian Army. Under the supervision of renowned automotive engineer Wifredo Ricart, the brand became a secondary brand of Iveco, in 1990.
Iran Khodro, also known as IKCO, is an Iranian vehicle manufacturing company founded in 1962. Based in Tehran, this company rolls out the factory gates vehicles such as Samand, Peugeot and Renault cars, while trucks and buses are not excluded. Just in case you were feeling curious: the word khodro (خودرو) means “automobile” in Persian.
Founded by Ahmad Khayami, the brand became Iran Khodro Industrial Group (IKCO), a stock company focused on creating and managing factories that manufacture various types of vehicles and components.
IKCO produces vehicles under 13 brand names and is known as the largest vehicle manufacturer in the Middle East, as well as Central Asia – did we mention North Africa? The facilities, equipment and employees involved in dealing with such an extensive range and large production numbers is incredible.
Eicher Motors Limited is an Indian multinational automotive company focused on motorcycles and commercial vehicles. Based in New Delhi, Eicher is actually the parent company of Royal Enfield – a brand known for developing incredible motorcycles – and has been around since 1948.
Aside from delivering motorcycles, Eicher has also joined forces with Sweden’s Volvo Trucks, resulting in Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles Limited (VECV), divided into five business units, specifically Eicher Trucks and Buses, Volvo Trucks India, Eicher Engineering Components and VE Powertrain.
On the other hand, Royal Enfield Motors had established a reputation as a dedicated and esteemed motorcycle builder, adding to the overall market value of Eicher.
Baojun is actually a Chinese word that means “treasured horse”, which is what the company aims to be – at least, in its native country. In 2010, General Motors announced a new joint venture with two Chinese automakers, one of which was this relatively unknown passenger-car brand.
Does it sound familiar to you? Surely, the Baojun 530 car might look familiar to some people, as it spawned off the MG Hector in India. If not, feel free to read more about it. There is little known about the Bajoun name, at least in Europe.
The reason for using a horse in Baojun’s car logo is simple: first off, what its name means in the Chinese language. Second, the horse logo was meant to inspire a sense of power and speedy attitude.