The story behind the Porsche badge

Posted 2nd November 2018

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Iconic, classic and legendary

Handmade and hand painted since 1952. The Porsche crest is as distinctive and revered as the brand itself. Each badge is gold-plated and hand-enamelled using colours true to the original crest.

An emblem steeped in history

At the heart of each crest is a ‘Rossle’ or horse which has been taken from the official coat of arms of Porsche’s home city of Stuttgart. The city’s name is also written above the distinctive black stallion.

Stuttgart’s coat of arms has had horses on it since 1286.  The word 'Stuttgart' is a mix of the Old High German word 'Stuotengarten', where 'stuoten' means 'stud', referring to the breeding of horses. 'Garten' naturally translates as 'garden'.

The Story Behind The Porsche Badge

The Story Behind The Porsche Badge

The horse on the crest is surrounded by the red and black state colours of the former German state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern. On each side there are three antlers taken from the former state’s coat of arms.

Württemberg-Hohenzollern was later incorporated into the merged state of Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart remains the capital of the merged state to this day. The word ‘Porsche’ sits across the top of the badge as a protective ‘roof’.

However, the first Porsche cars rolled off the production line with just the word ‘Porsche’ spelt out across the bonnet in extended capital letters, five years before the iconic badge was born. And while the lettering has remained, so has the crest.

A timeless origin story

It was US importer Max Hoffman who suggested to Ferry Porsche, the son of founder Ferdinand Porsche, that he should have a badge for the Porsche 356, just as other manufacturers had at the time.

Ferry had enjoyed drawing coats of arms as a child so was naturally drawn to the idea of using heraldry in the design when he quickly made a sketch of what he thought the crest should look like.

His sketch was then refined by designer Erwin Franz Komenda before finally appearing on the Porsche 356 in 1953 - but only on the steering wheel hub. The bonnet continue to feature ‘Porsche’ lettering.

It took the arrival of the 911 in 1963 for the Porsche crest to be proudly placed on the bonnet. A place it has claimed ever since.

Modernisation, with heritage in mind

The crest has changed very little over the years although some of the finer details have been altered. The original Porsche lettering on the logo was only embossed and it remained that way until 1995 when it was made thinner and finished in black to make it stand out on the gold background.

The badge also disappeared from the steering wheel hub from the Porsche 911 in 1984 with the introduction of the Porsche Carrera 3.2 but made a welcome return in 1993 with the roll out of the Porsche 911 993.

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The Story Behind The Porsche Badge

The Story Behind The Porsche Badge

And just to make sure it’s of the same meticulous quality as every other inch of the car, it was subjected to rigorous testing, including stone impact simulation at a ballistic firing range. Of course, it passed with flying colours making the crest as exceptional as the German engineering behind every Porsche car since 1948.

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