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Newsletter February 9th, 2017

February 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Newsletter Archive 2017

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The 20-day special sale on some of the most popular sets ended three weeks ago but we have extended the 20-percent discount deal on these six sets for just 10 more days to give you a last chance to get your chlld, your friend or yourself started racing.

 

Scalextric C1297T Supercars race set (C)

1/32 scale analog slot car race set. Two Bugatti road supercars race on a stretched figure 8. Super-resistant, digital plug-ready cars. A great set for children.

Features:

Super Resistant

Digital Plug Ready

Easy Change Pick-Ups

Magnatraction System

Dimensions when assembled:

6′ 1″ x 3′ 2″

Track Length: 15′ 2″

Contents:

2 Super Resistant Bugatti Veyron Slot Cars

2 8205 – Full Straight

12 C8206 – R2 Curve 45°

1 C8207 – Half Straight

1 C8210 – Cross Road Straight

1 Pair C8229, 30 – Controller

1 C8530 – Analog 2 Car Power Base

1 P9403 – Transformer

$169.99 $149.99

Save: 20% off

View this Set

 

Scalextric C1320T Sport – Mini Challenge Set

The two Team Scalextric Mini Challenge racers go head-to-head in this set. Build four different layouts with the track supplied. This set includes a lap counter for even more excitement. The Super Resistant MINI Coopers are tough enough for full impact racing.

Each hand controller has a two-position selector switch which allows the driver to choose slow or fast speed settings to reflect the driver’s experience.

$149.99 $119.95

Save: 20% off

View this Set

 

Scalextric C1362T American Classics Set ( Trans-Am Camaro & Mustang (ARC ONE App)

The two Team Scalextric Mini Challenge racers go head-to-head in this set. Build four different layouts with the track supplied. This set includes a lap counter for even more excitement. The Super Resistant MINI Coopers are tough enough for full impact racing.

Each hand controller has a two-position selector switch which allows the driver to choose slow or fast speed settings to reflect the driver’s experience.

$199.99 $159.99

Save: 20% off

View this Set

 

Carrera 62369 GO!! Race for Victory set 1/43 scale (C)

6.1 x 2.6-feet, 17.4-foot lap length.

The Porsche GT3 and the Chevrolet Corvette are both hungry for victory. The Carrera GO!!! ‘Race for Victory’ set includes a 17.4-foot Carrera racing circuit that truly lays down the gauntlet. Keep the pedal to the metal on the fly-over and race up the steep bend and into the loop. Every grain of horsepower is transformed into speed. The Carrera GO!!! ‘Race for Victory’ set is all about speed. However, skilful driving will not be enough on its own; when racing cars of this calibre meet you’ll need an absolute will to win. Who can ride so much horsepower to victory? Grab the controllers and see for yourself!

$98.99 $78.95

Save: 20% off

View this Set

 

Carrera 62384 Go!! Disney/Pixar – Carbon Racers

6.0 x 2.6-feet, 14.1-foot lap length Lightning McQueen and Francesco Bernoulli put the pedal to the metal with the Carrera GO!!! ‘Disney/Pixar Carbon Racers’ set! These two Disney/Pixar Cars heroes in their new carbon-look outfits go head-to-head once again on this 14.1-foot racetrack. But watch out! The narrow section and junction add an extra tactical challenge to each race. Crashes can’t be ruled out as neither of these drivers is prepared to give way!

$98.99 $78.95

Save: 20% off

View this Set

 

Carrera 62397 Go!! Photo Finish

8.4 x 4.2-feet, 28.2-foot lap length.

The race starts and both cars pull away with high speed! This is going to be a real head-to-head race. The Carrera GO!!! “Photo Finish” 1/43 scale set provides two powerful sports cars from Italy. Lamborghini Huracán and Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 are hot rivals on the track in real life and now on the 28.2-foot high speed slot track of this set. The results? Too close to call, we must go to the photos to check who has prevailed!

$108.99 $86.95

Save: 20% off

View this Set

Ten-day special sale on a popular Slot.it GT40. You can save and have one of the most interesting Slot.it GT40 cars, but the deal ends when our stock is out or on February 19 (whichever comes firsts). No dealers.

 

Slot It SICA20B Ford GT40 MkII, Daytona winner

Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby drove this Shelby American Ford GT40 Mk. II to victory at the very first 24 Hours of Daytona in 1966. The car was equipped with a huge 7-liter Ford V8. The 1966 championship was a big one for Ford with a 1-2-3 win at Daytona. The Shelby Mk. II of Dan Gurney and Jerry Grant came in second and the Mk. IIof Walt Hansgen and Mark Donohue came in third.

$59.95 $45.95

Save: 23% off

View this Car

New This Week

Want to see what’s new? Just keep reading…

Keep reading – or if you would rather just cut to the chase and see all our new products, click here to go to the shop.

The Fifth issue of Slot Cars magazine is here with lots of articles on 1/24 scale cars for commercial raceways and how-to information on 1/32 scale 3D chassis.

 

GBP-5 Slot Cars Spring 2017, 64 pages

GBP-5 Slot Cars Spring 2017, 64 pages.

$6.50

View this Item

Pre-order

New Cars Coming Soon

The Mercedes SSKL was one of most famous and most successful racers of the thirties, winning both sports car races and Grands Prix. Now there are ready to race finely-detailed replicas coming from MMK but there will only be a few produced so pre-order yours.

 

MMK744A Mercedes SSKL 1931 no. 87 winner Mille Miglia 1932,driver Rudolf Caracciola—PRE-ORDER NOW!

MMK744A Mercedes SSKL 1931 no. 87 winner Mille Miglia 1932,driver Rudolf Caracciola.

Cast-resin body with cast and etched detail parts, hand-assembled, painted and decaled. Ready to race. Made in France.

$189.99

View this Car

 

MMK744B Mercedes SSKL 1931 no. 8 winner German GP 1931—PRE-ORDER NOW!

MMK744B Mercedes SSKL 1931 no. 8 winner German GP 1931.

Cast-resin body with cast and etched detail parts, hand-assembled, painted and decaled. Ready to race. Made in France.

These are some of the cars that competed with MMK number MMK71A, B, C, D, E, F and G Bugatti Type 51 GP cars so you can recreate the thirties races in 1/32 scale.

$169.99

View this Car

These six new-for-2017 Scalextric cars are due next week so you will want to have your pre-order filed. There is the first 1/32 scale model, ever, of the VW Passat BTCC racer to go head-to-head with the BTCC BMW, Honda and Ford.

 

Scalextric C3734 BTCC Honda Civic Type R, 2015 Donington Park—PRE-ORDER NOW!

Having raced in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) for almost 20 years, Matt Neal has claimed three Championships, most recently in 2011. Taking the Honda Civic Type R to the track before it even appeared in showrooms, Matt had a fantastic 2015 season, with three race wins including this one at Donington Park.

Despite trailing Colin Turkington heading into the final three races at Brands Hatch GP, Matt was able to finish strongly to claim 3rd place overall in the standings.

Pro Chassis Ready (PCR)

Digital Plug Ready

Easy Change Pick-Ups

High Detail

Magnatraction

Working Rear Lights

Xenon Effect Headlights

$49.99

View this Car

 

Scalextric C3737 BTCC VW Passat, 2015 Brands Hatch—PRE-ORDER NOW!

Driving for Team BMR in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), Jason Plato had a great 2015 season with six race wins. Heading into the last race of the year, Jason had a chance to take the entire Championship. Unfortunately, it was not to be as Gordon Shedden drove like his life depended on it to get just enough points to push Jason back into second place. It was, however, another fantastic season for Jason and his first with Team BMR.

Pro Chassis Ready (PCR)

Digital Plug Ready

Easy Change Pick-Ups

High Detail

Magnatraction

Working Rear Lights

Xenon Effect Headlights

$49.99

View this Car

 

Scalextric C3783 BTCC Honda Civic, 2015 no. 52—PRE-ORDER NOW!

Driver: Gordon Shedden

Number: 52

Gordon Shedden competes in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) for the Honda Yuasa Racing Team. One of only three Scottish champions in the BTCC, Gordon has won the Championship on two occasions, including the 2015 season.

Winning the title in dramatic fashion in front of a record 42,000 crowd, Gordon managed to work his way through the field and grab enough points to put Jason Plato into second place overall.

Pro Chassis Ready (PCR)

Digital Plug Ready

Easy Change Pick-Ups

High Detail

Magnatraction

Working Rear Lights

Xenon Effect Headlights

$49.99

View this Car

 

Scalextric C3860 BTCC Honda Civic Type R, Jeff Smith—PRE-ORDER NOW!

Scalextric C3860 BTCC Honda Civic Type R, Jeff Smith.

$49.99

View this Car

 

Scalextric C3861 BTCC Honda Civic Type R, Matt Neal—PRE-ORDER NOW!

Rounds 4, 5 & 6 of the 2016 BTCC season took place at Donington Park. Matt Neals Honda Civic at looked fast in the opening rounds at Brands Hatch and the pace continued here. After Qualifying 9th, Matt went on to finish 12th, 6th and first in the following races.

$49.99

View this Car

 

Scalextric C3863 BTCC MG6, Josh Cook—PRE-ORDER NOW!

Scalextric C3863 BTCC MG6, Josh Cook
After a good solid start to the season for Josh Cook, he headed for Oulton Park for rounds 10, 11, & 12. A good effort in Qualifying see him start 10th on the grid. He then went on to score points in all 3 races finishing 7th, 6th and 5th.

$49.99

View this Car

Click Here to See All of this Week’s New Arrivals

Thanks for shopping with us!

The Electric Dream Team

www.electricdreams.com

Warehouse phone: (310) 676-7600

Slot car technical information and help email:

support@electricdreams.com

Our warehouse is open to walk-in customers Monday through Friday 9 am to 4 pm.

Next time you’re in the greater Los Angeles area stop by and see us.

606 Hawaii Street, Unit B

El Segundo, CA 90245

We’re just minutes from LAX.

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Newsletter May 4th, 2012

Coming soon from Carrera

Carrera 30601 Audi R8 LMS #39, 2011, D132

Carrera 30601 Audi R8 LMS #39, 2011, D132. Preorder now! – $53.39

Carrera 30608 Ferrari 599XX, #4, D132

Carrera 30608 Ferrari 599XX, #4, D132. Preorder now! – $53.39

Carrera 30612 Mercedes SLS Horn MS, 2011 D132

Carrera 30612 Mercedes SLS Horn MS, 2011 D132. Preorder now! – $53.39

Carrera 23769 Ford GT40 MkII, LeMans 1966, D124

Carrera 23769 Ford GT40 MkII, LeMans 1966, D124. Preorder now! – $75.49

Carrera 23772 Ferrari 599XX, white, D124

Carrera 23772 Ferrari 599XX, white, D124. Preorder now! – $75.49

New items in stock

Slot It SICA22A Lola B09/60 LeMans 2010


Slot It SICA22A Lola B09/60 LeMans 2010 – $64.99

Slot It SICA22Z2 Lola B09/60 plain white

Slot It SICA22Z2 Lola B09/60 plain white. – $54.99

Note:  This car is the version with the inline Boxer motor.  There will also be one with an anglewinder Flat 6 motor.  This will be SICA22Z1. It is expected to be available soon, but we have not received a firm release date.

Thanks for shopping with us!

The Electric Dream Team

www.electricdreams.com

Warehouse phone (310) 676-7600

Free shipping

Slot car technical information and advice: support@electricdreams.com

Our warehouse is open to walk-in customers Monday through Friday 9 am to 4 pm.  Next time you’re in the greater Los Angeles area stop by and see us at:

606 Hawaii Street, Unit B

El Segundo, CA 90245

We’re just minutes from LAX.

Newsletter January 13th 2012

January 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Newsletter Archive 2012

Happy Friday the 13th from Electric Dreams!

This is the first of three this year.  If you are exceptionally superstitious you may want to go into hibernation until 2013.  That’s if you haven’t already done so to avoid all the political craziness of a presidential election year.

New items in stock

BSR030P Mercedes 300SL roadster PAINTED BODY KIT

BSR030R Mercedes 300SL, Paul O’Shea SCCA 1957 RTR – $234.99

BSR030P Mercedes 300SL roadster PAINTED BODY KIT – $99.99

BSR031P Ferrari 250GT Scaglietti PAINTED BODY KIT

BSR031P Ferrari 250GT Scaglietti PAINTED BODY KIT – $99.99

Ninco 20156 Autobahn Racers set

Ninco 20156 Autobahn Racers set – $339.99

Ninco 50594 Porsche 356, "Testirosa"

Ninco 50594 Porsche 356, “Testirosa”.  $79.99

Ninco 55045 Mustang FR500 "DHL" digital

Ninco 55045 Mustang FR500 “DHL” digital. $69.99

Ninco 55050 Mercedes SLS GT3 "Postbrief"

Ninco 55050 Mercedes SLS GT3 “Postbrief”.  $54.99

Ninco 61602 XL2 motor (FK130)

Ninco 61602 XL2 motor (FK130) – $29.99

Ninco 80618 NC13 Evo motor FK130, 20,600 RPM

Ninco 80618 NC13 Evo motor FK130, 20,600 RPM – $26.99

Ninco 10118 Standard power base (new) for Ninco race sets

Ninco 10118 Standard power base (new) for Ninco race sets – $32.99

Ninco 10315 35-ohm controller with RJ plug

Ninco 10315 35-ohm controller with RJ plug – $34.99

Note: Because Monday, January 16, is a holiday for US postal workers no shipments via US mail will go out that day.  United Parcel Service, however, is working so UPS packages will go out as usual.  The warehouse will be open for walk-in customers.

Thanks for shopping with us!

The Electric Dream Team

www.electricdreams.com

Warehouse phone (310) 676-7600

Free shipping

Slot car technical information and advice: support@electricdreams.com

Our warehouse is open to walk-in customers Monday through Friday 9 am to 4 pm.  Next time you’re in the greater Los Angeles area stop by and see us at:

606 Hawaii Street, Unit B

El Segundo, CA 90245

We’re just minutes from LAX.

Newsletter October 7th, 2011

October 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Newsletter Archive 2011

Pioneer Camaro shots

These images recently appeared on Pioneer’s Facebook site.

Pioneer Camaro

Pioneer Camaro

Note that the metallic red car is a road car with rally wheels and the SS grille with hidden headlights.  A production model of such a car has not yet been announced, but these images can be taken as a sign that one is in the works.

Just announced by Proto Slot

Proto Slot CB064P Chaparral 1 painted body kit

Proto Slot CB064 Chaparral 1 RTR car, Jim Hall, 1962. Preorder now! – $249.99

Proto Slot CB064P Chaparral 1 painted body kit. Preorder now! – $99.49

New Items in stock

Scalextric C3162A Aston Martin DB5 Casino Royale

Scalextric C3162A Aston Martin DB5 Casino Royale – $69.99

Scalextric C3179 Audi R8 GT3

Scalextric C3179 Audi R8 GT3 – $42.99

TKP27 Maserati Tipo 52, LeMans 1964, body kit

TKP27 Maserati Tipo 52, LeMans 1964, painted body kit – $87.99

MMK SF12A Delahaye 1938 LeMans winner

MMK SF12A Delahaye 1938 LeMans winner, RTR – $295.99

MMK SF12B Delahaye 1938 LeMans winner w/ engine detail

MMK SF12B Delahaye 1938 LeMans winner w/ engine detail, RTR – $342.99.

MMK continues to work its way through the early LeMans winners in its series of handmade resin-cast collectors’ models.

Proto Slot CB062P Aston Martin DBR1, LeMans 58, painted body kit

Proto Slot CB062P Aston Martin DBR1, LeMans 58, painted body kit – $96.99

Proto Slot CB063-1P Ferrari 275GTB4, LeMans 66, painted body kit

Proto Slot CB063-1P Ferrari 275GTB4, LeMans 66, painted body kit – $96.99

Proto Slot GM020-1P Alpine Renault A106 Tour de France, white

Proto Slot GM020-1P Alpine Renault A106 Tour de France, white – $87.99

Proto Slot GM020-2P Alpine Renault A106, Mille Miglia 1956

Proto Slot GM020-2P Alpine Renault A106, Mille Miglia 1956 – $87.99

Scalextric C1248T Total Endurance race set

Scalextric C1248T Total Endurance race set – $179.99

Scalextric C1274T GT Force race set

Scalextric C1274T GT Force race set – $229.99

Just in the door from Carrera

Carrera 23760 Cheetah, blue, Digital 124

Carrera 23760 Cheetah, blue, Digital 124 – $75.49

Carrera 23761 Cheetah, green, Digital 124

Carrera 23761 Cheetah, green, Digital 124 – $75.49

Carrera 23763 Aston Martin DBR9, Jet Alliance, D124

Carrera 23763 Aston Martin DBR9, Jet Alliance, D124 – $75.49

Carrera 23764 Ferrari 250 GTO, blue, D124

Carrera 23764 Ferrari 250 GTO, blue, D124 – $75.49

Carrera 27371 Ferrari 512BB/LM NART

Carrera 27371 Ferrari 512BB/LM NART – $34.99

Carrera 30576 Ferrari 512BB/LM NART, D132 – $53.39

Carrera 27380 McLaren M20, Weisberg

Carrera 27380 McLaren M20, Interserie – $34.99

Carrera 30587 McLaren M20, Interserie, D132 – $53.39

Carrera 30558 Mercedes streamliner, Digital 132

Carrera 30558 Mercedes streamliner, Digital 132 – $49.99

Carrera 30557 Auto Union, Digital 132

Carrera 30557 Auto Union, Digital 132 – $49.99

Carrera 30567 Mercedes-Benz McLaren GT SLR, D132

Carrera 30567 Mercedes-Benz McLaren GT SLR, D132 – $53.39

Carrera 30577 Ferrari 512BB/LM, D132

Carrera 30577 Ferrari 512BB/LM, D132 – $53.39

Carrera 30581 Corvette C6R GT2, D132

Carrera 30581 Corvette C6R GT2, D132 – $53.39

 

Thanks for shopping with us!

The Electric Dream Team

www.electricdreams.com

Warehouse phone (310) 676-7600

Free shipping

Slot car technical information and advice: support@electricdreams.com

Our warehouse is open to walk-in customers Monday through Friday 9 am to 4 pm.  Next time you’re in the greater Los Angeles area stop by and see us at:

606 Hawaii Street, Unit B

El Segundo, CA 90245

We’re just minutes from LAX.

 

True Stories Behind Car Company Logos

October 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Slot Car News

Did a wallpaper pattern in a Paris hotel room inspire the famous Chevrolet Bowtie emblem? Does the blue and white BMW roundel really symbolize a propeller and sky? And was the Porsche logo first sketched on a napkin in a New York City restaurant? In the world of automobile logos, truth can be stranger than fiction—though a good story can go a long way toward embellishing a brand’s corporate identity.

This story doesn’t have much to do with Slot Cars – rather our fascination with cars themselves and the origins of some of the iconic logos that brand many of our slot cars. Enjoy the read!

From Ferrari’s Prancing Horse to Cadillac’s crest, automobile logos appear on everything from steering wheel hubs to giant billboards, and even the lapel pins on the suits of company executives. This kind of flexibility is one of the design elements needed for an effective and strong logo, says Jack Gernsheimer, Creative Director of Partners Design Inc. and author of Designing Logos: The Process of Creating Symbols that Endure.

With over 40 years of advertising experience and more than 500 logos to his credit, Mr. Gernsheimer believes it’s essential to look long-term and to keep things simple when designing a logo. “Not getting too trendy with the type or color” is vital, he says. “When you design a logo, ideally it should endure for decades.” For many automakers, the roots of their logos stretch back over a century and contain enough symbolism and intrigue to fill a Dan Brown novel.

Automotive Pioneers

Tragedy plays a role in a popular myth surrounding the famous intertwined double-R logo of British luxury automaker Rolls-Royce. The company’s founders, Sir Henry Royce and Charles Stewart Rolls, originally used red lettering for the emblem that combined the first initial of their last names. Legend has it the color was changed, from red to black, in a mark of respect after the death of Sir Henry Royce in 1933. In reality, black lettering was simply considered more becoming of a prestigious luxury car. The timing of the color change was pure chance.

Rolls Royce’s second iconic emblem, the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, is linked to a similarly tragic (but in this case, entirely true) tale. Designed by Charles Sykes in 1911, the model for the emblem was Miss Eleanor Thornton, the personal secretary of John Scott Montagu, the 2nd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu and friend of company co-founder Charles Stewart Rolls. In 1915, Miss Thornton died at sea while traveling to India. Yet for almost 100 years her likeness has graced every Spirit of Ecstasy.

The origins of some automotive logos begin even before the dawn of the automobile. The Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star is commonly known to symbolize the use of the company’s engines on land, sea and air. But the star first appeared on a personal note written in 1872 from company founder, Gottlieb Daimler, to his wife. Mr. Daimler used a three-pointed star to mark the location of his family’s new home in the town of Deutz, Germany. His sons adapted the emblem as the Mercedes-Benz logo from 1910 onward.

One of the best known emblems of all time, Ferrari’s Prancing Horse first appeared on warplanes flown by Francesco Baracca, an aviator and hero of World War I. In 1923, Enzo Ferrari met Francesco’s parents after a race, where they suggested Ferrari use their son’s prancing horse badge on his race cars—both for good luck, and as an homage to Francesco, who died before the war ended. A yellow background was added (it’s the official color of Enzo Ferrari’s hometown of Modena, Italy) and the horse’s tail was redesigned to point upward.

In the case of BMW, myth (and savvy marketing) has fooled generations into linking the company’s logo with an aviation theme. “A German advertising agency in the 1920s produced an ad that showed the [BMW] roundel against the spinning propeller of an airplane to reflect the company’s origins as an aircraft engine manufacturer,” says Dave Buchko, company spokesman for North America. “That, it seems now, turns out to be urban myth.” While it’s true that BMW manufactured airplane engines, the blue and white logo represented the colors of the Bavarian flag, not a stylized propeller and sky.

American Ingenuity

Had it not been for a talkative spouse, the Chevy Bowtie emblem could have claimed one the strangest design origins. Louis Chevrolet said the famous emblem was inspired by a wallpaper pattern in his hotel room during a visit to Paris in 1908. The story would have been considered fact, had it not been for Mr. Chevrolet’s wife. She later said her husband had seen an advertisement featuring a similarly shaped logo in a Sunday supplement. Eye-catching design—and careful evolution—is a theme found in many American car company logos.

The Cadillac crest is the coat of arms of French military commander and explorer, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, who founded Detroit in 1701. Simplified and streamlined over the years, the basic style remains intact. “It’s so distinctive, you don’t want to give that away,” says Anne Marie Webb, Design Manager for GM’s Global Brand Identity. When updating one of GM’s brand logos, Webb says she always considers elements “that made it recognizable and strong.” Even then, cultural differences must be considered. The Buick Tri-Shield emblem is monochromatic in every country except China, where the logo maintains red, blue and grey coloring. “They felt [color] had a more premium feel,” explains Webb.

Changing times can also bring big changes in a logo. For more than 80 years, Chrysler has used a wide range of badges featuring ribbon seals, or ribbon seals with wings. But in 1962, Chrysler Chairman Lynn Townsend wanted a more modern and less fussy corporate logo. According to Chrysler’s archives, out of approximately 700 designs, Townsend selected the Pentastar. Many assumed the design symbolized the five divisions of the company (circa the early 1960s). It didn’t; the design simply looked good.

Lawyers, Latin and Luck

Some car company logos owe their existence to legalities and economies of scale. In 1909, having left the company bearing his name, August Horch established a second automobile company in Zwickau, Germany. But with his name already in use, Horch had a serious problem. He couldn’t legally name his new company after himself. However, when translated into Latin, “Horch”—which means “hark”—became the lawyer-friendly “Audi.” The four interlinked Audi rings came about in 1932, when four struggling automakers joined together under the corporate banner of Auto Union. These companies included Audi, DKW, Wanderer and, ironically, the original Horch.

Volvo also has Latin roots. Meaning “I roll,” the name was taken from a brand of ball bearings before it was applied to the Swedish automaker in 1924. The Volvo logo is the Roman symbol for iron—symbolizing a warrior’s shield and spear. The diagonal streak across the grille was originally only a mounting point for the badge, but is now “almost as much a brand ID as our iron symbol,” says Daniel Johnston, Product Communications Manager at Volvo Cars North America.

Good luck—and an easier to pronounce name—played a role in the creation of the Toyota nameplate in 1936. In the book Toyota: A History of the First 50 Years, company founder Kiichiro Toyoda “ran a contest for suggestions for a new Toyoda logo. There were over 20,000 entries. The winning entry consisted of katakana characters in a design that imparted a sense of speed… “Toyoda” became “Toyota” because as a design it was esthetically superior and because the number of strokes needed to write it was eight, which in Japan is a felicitous number, suggestive of increasing prosperity.”

Statues, Stars, and Smart Cars

Inspiration for a name and logo can come from careful consumer research, legal loopholes or, in some cases, by looking at the surrounding environment. The Maserati brothers took inspiration for their company’s trident logo from the statue of Neptune in the central square of Bologna, Italy, where Maserati was originally headquartered. The trident with Maserati script below was sketched by Mario, an artist, who also happened to be the only Maserati brother never actively involved in the design or engineering of cars.

Inspiration for the Subaru name literally came from the heavens—or more precisely, the Japanese name of a star cluster in the Taurus constellation. Six of the stars are visible to the naked eye and—in keeping with corporate identity—this matches the six companies which combined to form Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru’s parent company. The Hyundai name has an even simpler explanation. In Korean it means “modern,” while the company’s logo is a stylized “H” that also represents two people, the company and customer, shaking hands.

The Smart name seems to speak for itself, no translation needed. It actually happens to be an acronym of Swatch (the Swiss watch company that was a partner during the early stages of the company), Mercedes (the brand’s current custodian), and “Art.” The company’s logo signifies compact, with a “C,” and forward thinking with an arrow emblem.

Plot Twists

When it comes to the origin of an iconic logo, the same car company can sometimes have two variations of the same story. That holds true with Porsche, and the truth behind the German sports car manufacturer’s eye-catching emblem. According to a spokesperson with Porsche Cars North America, an extremely influential automobile distributor, Max Hoffman, met with Ferry Porsche in a New York City restaurant in 1951. The discussion moved on to Hoffman’s belief that Porsche needed a powerful logo, something distinctive and elegant. A rough sketch was made then and there, on a dinner napkin.

Yet the story from Porsche Germany differs from this colorful explanation. Max Hoffman did ask Ferry Porsche for a logo, but the emblem was designed by Porsche engineer Franz Xaver Reimspiess—and most definitely not sketched on a napkin somewhere in Manhattan. Does it matter who is right or wrong? Probably not.

A tall tale never hurts, especially when it involves two companies known for building some of the most exotic cars in the world. Car enthusiasts love to stoke the rivalry between Lamborghini and Ferrari, even down to the minutiae of the Lamborghini logo. The design of the gold and black emblem was led by company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini, and the bull located in the center stands for his astrological sign (Taurus). Legend has it that Mr. Lamborghini purposefully copied the Ferrari shield, then reversed that company’s yellow and black color scheme to prod the ego of Enzo Ferrari.

With the key protagonists having passed away, there is probably no way to know for certain how much of this is true. “To our knowledge, this is just a rumor,” said a spokesperson for Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. “The only way to confirm would have been to ask Mr. Lamborghini himself.”

Original Source: Road and Track Magazine
Written by: Nick Kurczewski

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