Behind the Badge: Hidden Meaning of the Abarth Logo’s Scorpion
If there’s one logo that grabs everyone’s attention wherever it’s seen–whether at auto shows, races, or on the street–it’s the Abarth badge. Bold and ferocious, it features a stylish scorpion with its pincers outstretched. But where did Abarth get this logo and what does it mean?
Abarth & C. S.p.A. was founded by Italo-Austrian Karl (aka Carlo) Alberto Abarth in Turin, 1949, along with his driver friend Guido Scagliarini. The visionary engineer became interested in motorsports at a young age, building and racing his own motorcycles. After moving from Vienna to Italy, Karl formed a company to produce aftermarket parts for production cars: Abarth & C. S.p.A.. He gained fame in 1955 when he turned the FIAT 600 into the Abarth 750 GT, which broke numerous records. In the 1970s, the company merged with FIAT and has been part of the brand’s legacy ever since.
What Does the Abarth Logo Mean?
- The fierce creature—the focus of the logo—represents the astrological animal of founder Karl Alberto Abarth, who was born on November 15, 1908, under the Scorpio zodiac sign. According to rumors, he chose it because it was an ugly creature that wasn’t likely to be imitated in other logos.
- The shield is a common part of automotive logos, representing victory and prestige. Its red and yellow colors are often seen in the racing world, emulating immense passion and energy.
- The red, white, and green stripe across the top represents the colors of the Italian flag. Although Abarth himself was born in Austria, he identified strongly with Italy’s automotive heritage, where he moved to and founded Abarth & C. The badge sometimes features a lightning bolt of these three colors behind the shield.
The Abarth logo has remained largely unchanged over the years, mostly rendering the scorpion more polygonally and with less detail.
Love thinking about the secrets behind automobile logos like Abarth’s? Check out the rest of our Behind the Badge series examining automotive brand logos!
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- Aaron WidmarSenior Editor
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing... See more articles by Aaron.