Can You Name These American Car Logos From One Image in 7 Minutes?

AUTO

By: Bambi Turner

6 Min Quiz

Image: John Margolies via WikiCommons

About This Quiz

Could you recognize American car brands and their famous models by the badges alone? Would you be able to tell the snake logos of the Cobra and Viper apart? And do you remember some of the brands that were cancelled in the last 20 years?

Take this quiz to test your American car logo IQ!

Early in the 20th century, America was home to many hundreds of car brands, some of which lasted only a year or two. Their numbers dwindled to a handful after The Great Depression, and then dropped again after WWII. You may have grown up knowing the U.S. auto industry as “The Big Three plus AMC.” That meant Chrysler Corporation, General Motors and Ford Motor Company and their various brands, plus American Motors Corporation.

Today, we’ve got GM in a much smaller form than when it once commanded 50-percent of the American market. Ford Motor Company, too, has shrunk, and Chrysler is now FCA. That’s for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles after a merger with Italy’s Fiat was needed to save Chrysler from collapse in 2009. And in fall 2019, FCA announced it would merge with France’s PSA, which owns Citroen and Peugeot. 

But we’re jumping ahead. America, land of opportunity, has recently given rise to upstart carmakers, most notably electric car maker Tesla. There are others that seem to keep promising to make cars but don’t seem to get in gear. 

You’ll need to rev up your memory or time machine to identify current, defunct and future hopeful American carmakers just by their logos, but go on, give it a try!

Name the company that uses this logo.

There are conflicting explanations, neither one proven, about the origin of the Chevrolet “bowtie” logo. Company founder William Durant once said he saw the design on some wallpaper in a Paris hotel in which he stayed. Years later, his widow claimed the shape had come from an ad in a Virginia newspaper the couple had seen while vacationing there. In any case, the logo’s details, including color, have changed over the years.

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Match this logo to the correct car company.

General Motors launched Pontiac in 1926, naming it for the same Native American Chief for which the city of Pontiac, Michigan, was named. The original logo was derived from a chief’s headdress but was replaced in the late 1950s by an arrow head design.

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Can you identify this defunct car brand by its logo?

Saturn was a subsidiary of General Motors from 1985 to 2010. Its logo, inspired by the planet Saturn, represents a close-up of part of the planet and its famous rings.

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Name the auto maker that uses this logo.

Ford’s Mustang has worn a galloping horse logo since its introduction for 1965. Famous the world over, the logo design has changed only in detail over the years.

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Name the company that used this logo.

Chrysler introduced its Plymouth brand in 1928 to compete with other low-priced American car brands. The Plymouth logo has always been some version of a sailing ship -- like the one the Pilgrims used to reach Plymouth, Massachusetts. The brand was discontinued in 2001.

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Remember which company uses this logo?

Chrysler, founded in 1925 by namesake Walter P. Chrysler, started off with a pair of logos. One was designed to resemble a wax seal (of “approval”) and blue ribbon, and the other was inspired by the wings of the Roman god Mercury. A small pentastar logo was used as an additional corporate symbol on Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth cars starting in the 1960s. Today’s Chrysler logo essentially combines an evolution of the brand’s original two logos.

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Think you know which company used this logo?

Mercury, which Ford had launched as an upscale brand in 1938, initially used the head of the Roman god Mercury as its logo. By the early 1980s, the logo was a stylized M or wave shape within a double circle. Ford ended the Mercury brand in early 2011.

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Which American auto brand do you associate with this logo?

Buick, founded in 1899 by David Dunbar Buick, is the oldest American auto brand. It became the foundation for General Motors, which purchased it in 1908. The tri-shield logo, which was inspired by the Buick family crest, was not used until the 1930s. It has evolved over the decades and has now gone back to using red, white and blue shields.

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Know which American car uses this logo?

The Corvette’s logo uses a crossed-flag motif, one side like that of a black and white checkered flag used in racing, and the other incorporating the Chevrolet brand, of which the Corvette has always been a part.

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Which car company uses this logo?

Established in 1903, Ford Motor Company used several different logos before sticking with a simple blue oval enclosing the name in white script in 1927. The oval was slimmed down in the 1950s and again in the 1970s, and the blue color was altered in 2017.

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Which car brand logo is this?

Fisker Automotive was founded in 2007 and made one model, the Karma plug-in hybrid. Although the original company went bankrupt in 2014, its orange and blue logo, inspired by a sun setting into the ocean, continues for a new company started by the original company’s founder, Henrik Fisker. (The Karma model continues under a new company of that name.)

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Match this logo to the correct company.

Founded by Henry M. Leland in 1917, Lincoln was later bought by Ford Motor Company to become its luxury division. The star logo shown was first used on the limited-production 1956 Continental Mk. II model, when Continental was a separate division from Lincoln for a couple of years. When the two were combined, the star became the logo.

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Match this logo to the correct car company.

Willys-Overland made cars beginning in 1908, and many later models were simply branded “Willys” (correctly pronounced “Willis” but commonly pronounced “Willies”). Most famously, Willys made the Jeep. Kaiser bought the company in 1953 and sold Jeep to AMC in the 1969. The classic Willys logo was a big W enclosed in a circle, sometimes accompanied by propellers or wings.

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Can you name this auto brand?

Cadillac, founded by Henry M. Leland in 1902, named his new company after French explorer Antoine Laumet De La Mothe Cadillac, who had founded the city of Detroit 200 years prior. Cadillac was sold to General Motors in 1909, and Leland later founded Lincoln, which he later sold to Ford. The Cadillac badge is derived from the explorer’s family crest, and Cadillac has modified it over the decades.

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Can you name the company that used this logo?

American Motors Corporation (AMC) was formed when Nash and Hudson merged in 1954. The company debuted a modern new logo for 1970, made from a red triangle and blue rectangle. AMC was sold to Chrysler in 1987, but only its Jeep brand ultimately continued.

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Can match this individual model logo to the right company?

As part of its relationship with Carroll Shelby in the 1960s, which included the Cobra sports car and souped-up Mustangs, Ford acquired the Cobra name and symbol to use on its cars. The current Shelby Mustangs use a stylized cobra as a logo. Meanwhile, the Shelby American company, which still modifies Mustangs, uses a different cobra symbol.

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Can you match this logo to the right car model?

Dodge used the wicked-looking snake logo on its ferocious Viper sports car from 1992 until the model was discontinued in 2017. Would you mess with a car wearing that logo?

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Which auto maker used this logo?

DeLorean, named for founder John Z. DeLorean, a former General Motors executive, created the DMC-12 sports car for the American market but built it in Northern Ireland from 1981-1982. Its 130-horsepower V6 engine came from a Volvo. The DeLorean became famous for a starring role in the hit movie “Back to the Future” and for its founder’s trial and acquittal for smuggling cocaine.

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Remember which company used this logo?

Kaiser Motors produced cars from 1946 to 1953, then merged with Willys-Overland to form Kaiser-Jeep. The company had a bold logo, consisting of a badge with the letter K and a buffalo perched atop a rock.

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Which defunct car brand used this logo?

Don't feel bad if you didn’t recognize the logo for Edsel, as it was only around from 1957-1960. Edsel was Ford’s failed attempt to establish a new brand between itself and its upscale sibling, Mercury.

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Which car brand logo is this?

Zimmer was founded in Syracuse, New York in 1978 by Paul Zimmer to build “neo classic” cars, models that put 1930s styling on modern vehicles. The most successful was the Zimmer Golden Spirit, based on the Fox-body Mustang. Less successful was the Quicksilver, based on the Pontiac Fiero. The company was sold in 1997 to Art Zimmer, who, oddly, was unrelated to the original founder.

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Which automaker is associated with this image?

Studebaker, a company rooted in the manufacture of horse-drawn wagons and then electric cars, became one of the most successful “independent” American car brands. Its car making days ended in 1966, but its many fans recall its red and blue circle logo designed by Raymond Loewy and featuring the famous Studebaker “Lazy S.”

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Match this logo to the correct company.

Tesla, which founder Elon Musk named for electrical engineering genius Nikola Tesla, uses a logo that was inspired by the cross-section of the company’s AC induction motor design.

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Know which hopeful American automaker uses this logo?

Elio was founded by Paul Elio in 2009 and has been promising to build a unusual three-wheeled car in a former General Motors plant in Louisiana since then. As of fall 2019, the Elio is still seeking financing to start production.

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Can you identify the car model that used this logo?

A decade before the Oldsmobile brand was dropped by GM in 2004, its dramatic new Aurora model debuted to critical acclaim. But nobody knew what the car was, because Oldsmobile did not use its logo. Instead, it created a new logo just for the Aurora. The Oldsmobile brand later adopted a similar logo, an oval with a swoosh passing through.

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Think you know which company uses this logo?

Never heard of Rezvani? The California-based company makes the Beast Alpha sports car and the Tank-X SUV, the latter based on the Jeep Wrangler and available with a choice of engines. The company logo is said to represent founder Ferris Rezvani’s love of flying and racing.

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Match this logo to the correct automaker.

SSC Supercars, based in Richland, Washington, finally began building its Tuatara supercar in late 2019 after many years of showing prototypes. The logo uses a red, white and blue badge with the slogan, “In varitate victora,” Latin for “in victory is truth.”

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Do you recognize this car builder by its logo?

Reeves Callaway founded his namesake company in 1977 to make turbocharger kits for BMWs. By the late 1980s, Callaway had a contract with Chevrolet to build the famous Callaway Twin-Turbo Corvette conversion in his Old Lyme, CT facility. Callaway today offers high-performance versions of various Chevrolet and Cadillac vehicles.

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Guess the automaker that uses this logo.

Founded in Texas in 1991, Hennessey Motors began by making Dodge Vipers even more powerful and today modifies a variety of super-fast cars and trucks to go even faster – everything from American muscle cars to British McLarens.

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Can you identify the electirc vehicle company using this logo?

Founded by a discredited Chinese billionaire, U.S.-based Faraday Future was named for Michael Faraday, the English scientist (died 1867) known for his law of law induction. The company regularly makes the news for being on the verge of death but still promises to put an electric SUV into production … in the near future. Its digital-style logo uses eight lines to form two slanted letter Fs or an arrow pointing upward, depending on how you view it.

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Which automaker uses this badge?

After using the ram logo on all its vehicles for many years, Dodge transferred it to its pickup truck line, which was spun off as a separate brand in 2010 called Ram Trucks.

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Do you recognize this old car model's logo?

Rambler was a compact model introduced by Nash in 1950, and it continued as a kind of sub-brand name under American Motors Corporation (AMC), which was created by the merger of Nash and Hudson in 1954. AMC used the name on various models until 1969.

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