The Legacy of Car Logos

Giulia Nigrini
Giulia Nigrini
Vehicle Service Contract Specialist, Traveler, Car Enthusiast
February 18, 2022
min. read
front view of an old alfa romeo

As far as histories go, automobiles have a rich one. Cars haven’t been around all that long but have profoundly changed the way we move around the world and experience life in general. From the first race cars to the mommy wagon, they all play an incredible role in shaping our world.

Much like the cars themselves, the logos of many well-known brands have interesting stories about the symbols and the meaning of the name. It is as though the history is filled with mystery and folklore that ultimately adds to the immense impact that cars have on many lives around the world. Read on as we unfold a few of the great car companies and the legacy of car logos.

A Few Car Logos and Their Stories

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo has a logo/badge that is full of heritage. It has changed a few times over the years and each iteration showcasing an important part in the history of Alfa Romeo. When it was first founded the company was known as A.L.F.A which stood for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili. The badge is divided in two with symbols on either side representing certain achievements and the area in which it was founded, Milan, Italy. As it stands today, the left side shows the municipal cross of Milan and the right the Serpent of Visconti and the serpent appears to be eating/swallowing a man.

The biscione symbol, a serpent eating or giving birth to a man, became the symbol of the Visconti family in the 11th century. Over time the family gained power in Milan and so Milan eventually adopted the serpent as its symbol. The crown the serpent wears in the Alfa Romeo logo is said to represent the Visconti family gaining dukedom in the 15th century. From 1925 to 1982 Alfa Romeo logo/badge hada golden laurel crown to commemorate the Alfa Romeo P2 win at Automobili World Championship.

Aston Martin

In the early days Aston Martin had a simple monogram inside a circle that was the logo and car badge. At the time, in 1921, it was considered very elegant. By the time 1927 came around though the logo went through a revamp. The addition of the wings in a very wide V shape with Aston Martin across the wings. It was in 1932 that the wings were flattened, resembling the logo that is seen today. For a brief period, 1950-1971, the logo carried the name of then owner David Brown. From 1972 the name was removed leaving the wings and Aston Martin name and refined to the logo we know and love. The logo stands for exploration, elegance, speed, freedom, and dreams.


Like some of the other brands on this list, BMW has a rich history in location pride and some seriously good marketing. The white and blue colors in the logo are the colors of the State of Bavaria in Germany, where BMW was founded. The whole meaning behind the BMW logo is believed by many to be that the logo represents the propeller on an airplane. This story is actually a myth. Some clever advertising in 1929 depicted the BMW logo over the rotating propeller of two airplanes when they were pushing a new airplane engine and the height of the economic crisis.

The association stuck with customers that the logo was in fact the representation of a rotating propeller. The truth is the BMW rather had roots and expertise in aircraft manufacturing and the ad campaign that gave fire to the association simply fit the company’s history. A retro-fit meaning in many ways, but an apt one. In the end, the colors are what matter and the colors represent Bavaria.


Cadillac first had its iconic logo on cars in 1905. The logo is known as the Cadillac Crest and has stood for the American automotive industry ever since. The crest is a coat of arms divided in two, made up of the shield and coat. Surrounding the coat of arms is the coronet that symbolizes the six ancient courts of France. The shield is made up of the four quarters and denotes a noble family that have courageous origins.


Porsche took great inspiration from their location. The Porsche logo is represented as a coat of arms with the image of a horse in the center. All of which is deliberate and pays homage to the region and town that Porsche is headquartered in. The image of the horse in the middle is taken from the Stuttgart coat of arms, the city where the head offices are located. Stuttgart was founded through horse stud farms or breeding farms and so the image of a horse represents the founding days of the city. While the coat of arms is the old coat of arms for Württemberg, the region where Stuttgart is the main city. It was in 1952 that Porsche came to the USA and stole the hearts of many.


Lexus arrived on the scene in 1989 in the USA and they had but one goal in mind. That was to be a competitive brand for all other luxury car brands at the time. In particular, the American luxury cars that had many enjoying the American dream. The logo needed to symbolize the elegance and luxury Lexus was about to offer the people of the USA. While showcasing the reliability of Toyota since Lexus is a Toyota brand. The designers took focus on the L and went to a smooth and sleek look that would represent the luxury of Lexus but still bold.


Honda was founded a short time after World War II by Soichiro Honda. It is said that he was passionate about motorcycles and cars since he was a young boy. Eventually this sparked an interest in engineering, making him a self-taught man of mechanics. Naturally starting up his own auto making business was in the future but it was really how that was the question.

Starting the Honda company for motorcycles only at first gave the company an easy enough starting point. By 1963 Honda was the best selling motorcycle worldwide. The logo was the Honda name with a wing over the top of the name. The wing became more and more stylized until a shift was made to a simple but well designed “H” as the company logo. This was a bold move, it did serve them well and many people enjoy their cars today.


Subaru is a Japanese car brand that started off life as an aircraft manufacturer. Over time the company evolved into the Subaru Corporation we have come to know today. Subaru attracts a loyal customer base and has an easy to recognize logo. The logo is an oval shape that is blue and a silver border. Inside the oval are silver stars all clustered together.  The logo represents the Pleiades star cluster M45, or the “Seven Sisters”, one is said to be invisible – hence only six stars in the Subaru logo. Subaru is also the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster. This gives reference to the company merger some years ago.


Volvo as a brand is well known for safety and reliability. You know that as a driver you can rely on a Volvo to keep you safe and run for years while retaining value. It is a car that you can invest in. The logo however, has a few feathers ruffled. The logo is a circle with an arrow on the top right hand side, pointing out. Many have recognized that the logo resembles the symbol used to represent the male gender. This has caused some to wonder about the logo overall. The Volvo logo is the symbol for iron and is to symbolize the company’s foundation in “safety, quality, and durability.” So there may be a little confusion but the logo stands as a symbol of strength and a reliable car.

Keep Your Car Protected

No matter what logo your car is sporting, you will want to keep it going for years to come. There are a number of ways you can protect your vehicle. You can do ongoing maintenance and keep to a regular wish schedule to limit corrosion and other wear and tear damage. Another good suggestion is a vehicle service contract, colloquially known as an extended car warranty. A vehicle service contract will give you peace of mind that you are covered in the event of a mechanical breakdown. No need to fork out hundreds, even thousands, of dollars for repair bills.

Vehicle service contracts are offered on 3 here on the Chaiz platform. The lowest tier is the powertrain then you have the powertrain plus and the highest tier is the most comprehensive or bumper-to-bumper plan. The powertrain plan offers the longest terms at a low price but only covers limited parts that are critical to the car. Powertrain plus plans offer better coverage at a higher rate while the most comprehensive plan covers the majority of parts with the lowest terms.

The Perks of an Extended Car Warranty

A failure in your car can often happen when you are on the road, and sometimes even very far away from home. The perks of an extended warranty, or vehicle service contract, will ensure that you get what you need quickly. Here are a few perks you can look forward to after your purchase of an extended car warranty with Chaiz:

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