Can't we have just one unicorn?
There are a lot of tropes and cliches in the automotive industry. For example, a badge with a horse is a trope but designing the interior of a car to look and feel like the cockpit of a jet fighter is a tired cliche.
A trope is defined as a tried and true story element that people like, and a horse logo falls under that. A horse suggests power, speed, and elegance in one package. If you're an enthusiast, you'll be able to name two of the top of your head (Including the Ferrari logo in the thumbnail) and likely three if you think for a moment.
If you're a citizen of the world or particularly well-read, you might be able to name a few more. These are all the automakers you'll find worldwide with a horse logo that we know and the one car with its own horse emblem.
Ferrari is sometimes referred to as "The Prancing Horse" due to its badge, and it has a story.
Count Francesco Baracca was a legendary Italian air force ace during World War I and painted the black prancing horse on the side of his airplane. Why he did is debated by history. It was either taken from the Duke of Savoy's banner or reminded Baracca of his home and his family's stables.
It's likely a little from column A and a little from Column B, but the point here is that Enzo Ferrari met his mother, Countess Paolina Baracca, in 1923. The countess suggested he should put the prancing horse logo on his race cars for good luck.
Francesco Baracca was shot down and took his own life behind enemy lines rather than be captured, so it looks like Enzo Ferrari didn't believe in luck but liked the horse, the countess, or both and used it. Either way, he put the Ferrari logo on his car and his race team before it eventually found its way onto the road cars.
When you saw the headline and thought of a car with a horse symbol, it was the Ford Mustang.
Initially, the Mustang horse logo was designed by Phil Clark with the red, white, and blue bars behind to signify the car and the brand's American heritage. A second version was designed by Charles Keresztes with the pony in a "Coral" for the Mustang II.
The Mustang is galloping from left to right because Lee Iacocca said after seeing it facing the other way, "the Mustang is a wild horse, not a domesticated racer." As far as cars with horse logos go, this is it unless you count the Dark Horse as a separate car.
"Oh yeah," we can hear some of you say, "Porsche's badge has a horse on it."
It does, along with the rest of a crest based on the Free People's State of Wurttemberg's coat of arms. At the time, Wurttemberg-Baden was a state in the Federal Republic of Germany with Stuttgart as its capital city, and Stuttgart is where Porsche is still headquartered.
There are two accounts of how the design became the Porsche logo. The first is that the legendary importer of German cars into the US, Max Hoffman, drew it on a napkin for Ferry Porsche, and the other is that it was designed by an engineer called Franz Xaver Reimpiess. What people tend to believe depends on their nationality, but the logo was introduced in 1952.
Carlsson is a German tuning, coachbuilding, and manufacturing company specializing in Mercedes-Benz cars.
The company was founded in 1989 by brothers Rolf and Andreas Hartge but hasn't had much luck yet building its name in the US - despite pushing hard with its modified CL500 at SEMA in 2006. If you're outside Germany and aware of the company and its leaping horse logo, it's likely through its custom wheels.
Not much is known of the logo's origin, but the Carlsson is named in honor of Swedish rally driver Ingvar Carlsson, who drove for Mercedes in the 1980s.
Kamaz is, at the time of writing, anyway, a Russian engine, truck, and bus manufacturer in Russia.
It was formed in 1969 while Russia was still part of the Soviet Union but was built as a state-of-the-art manufacturing site with over 100,000 personnel at its peak, and the small city it was built in has swelled to over half a million residents.
Kamaz has supplied machinery for brands as global and diverse as Hitachi and Renault and is owned in majority by a state-run organization.
Baojun is a Chinese automaker, and the name translates as "Treasured Horse," which explains the logo.
It's the only car company with a horse logo that relates directly to its name. Baojun appeared in 2010 as a cheaper Chinese alternative to Chevrolet and Buick. The logo on the left is the company's original emblem, but it was changed in 2019 for something a little more contemporary but keeping the original in mind.
Baojun already has 17 cars under its belt, some of them being rebadged models from other brands, including the ubiquitous Chevrolet Spark/Daewoo Matiz. In turn, Chevrolet sells a rebadged Baojun 510 compact crossover in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.
Hamann Motorsport is a German tuning and manufacturing company that just about makes this list with its Pegasus-based logo.
Hamann isn't loyal to one make of car and has a version of something from just about every higher and high-end automaker on offer ranging from BMW to Lamborghini and Aston Martin. The company was founded in 1986 by Richard Hamann, and its first project was based on the E30 generation BMW M3.
We don't know why Hermann uses a winged horse, exactly, but Pegasus is a winged divine stallion from Greek mythology and used a lot for logos, most famously by Mobil and its gas stations. In popular culture, it's often used as an emblem of inspiration.