Why are the Porsche and Ferrari Logos Similar?

July 10th, 2019 by

Porsche Logo

The Porsche logo and the Ferrari logo both feature the same prancing horse, prompting many to ask: Why are the Porsche and Ferrari logos similar? White Bear Lake residents may be surprised to find that the horses have the same origin, yet were used in the Porsche and Ferrari logos completely separate of each other. Porsche St. Paul experts break down the history of the logos below.

The Porsche and Ferrari Prancing Horse

The prancing pony first existed on the coat of arms of the former state of Weimar, Germany and its capital, Stuttgart. Today, that region is known as Baden-Württemberg, and it shares a border with France. Both Ferrari and Porsche would end up having independent connections to Stuttgart.

The Porsche Logo

The Porsche logo is essentially the entire coat of arms of Weimar, Germany, and in fact, only exists in modern times on Porsche cars since the creation of Baden-Württemberg, which does not use the coat of arms. Of course, coat of arms are not supposed to spell out what they symbolize, so the Porsche logo is not technically a coat of arms anymore since it both says “Porsche” and “Stuttgart.”

Porsche chose to honor Stuttgart in the logo since that’s where the company was founded. The company was created there in 1931, consulting for two decades on the construction of motor vehicles—often for the German government—before developing the Porsche 356 in the late 1940s. It was the Porsche 356 that would first bear the prancing pony logo in 1952.

As you likely already know, the Stuttgart coat of arms is still proudly displayed on Porsche vehicles, including new 2019 Porsche 911 sports cars. For St. Paul-area residents who are still curious, we break down the Porsche logo further in this historical post.

The Ferrari Logo

The origins behind the Ferrari logo are slightly less straightforward. As legend has it, the prancing horse in the Ferrari logo was used by World War I Italian fighter pilot Francesco Baracca on the side of his plane.

As he tells it, Enzo Ferrari met Countess Paolina of Ravenna after winning a race at the Savio track in 1923. It was the Countess who would go on to tell Ferrari to add the logo to his cars, insisting the logo would bring good luck. The logo, she explained, adorned her son Count Francesco Baracca’s World War I fighter plane —Baracca was Italy’s top fighter pilot. The distinctive yellow shield would first appear in 1932 on the Ferrari Alfa Romeo. Over time, the logo would be redesigned from the coat of arms shield to the more simple rectangle that you probably recognize today.

What isn’t entirely explained is why the coat of arms of a German town appeared on an Italian’s WWI fighter plane. Some rumors claim that Baracca used the logo on his plane to honor a vanquished German foe, who’d used the symbol of the prancing pony on his own plane because he was from, you guessed it, Stuttgart.

Which Logo is Better: Porsche or Ferrari?

Do you prefer the more literal interpretation of the coat of arms used within the Porsche logo, or the simpler pony logo developed by Ferrari? If you answered “Porsche,” then we applaud your taste. Why not stop by Porsche St. Paul to see the logo in person on the new 2019 Porsche Cayenne? You’re also welcome to schedule a test drive before arriving.