Upside down, your viper looks like a duck. That statement is reason enough to keep your ten cylinder Dodge Compensator shiny-side up. Regardless of its avian face doppelgänger status, the Viper’s badge, like the rest of the car, is pretty badass. That’s important because frequently a car’s badge has to do solo duty in expressing its carrier’s persona, appearing in ads, on posters, and the tramp stamps of overly ardent fans.
Cool automotive model badges go back to the dawn of cars when likely a one-lung quadracycle discovered that having a picture of a swooping hawk set in metal and ceramic on its nose more than made up for its 17 mph top speed. Ever since then the badge has defined the brand – sometimes even more than the car it adorns. Consider Jaguar’s Leaper, it’s adorned more than its share of truly craptacular cars – yes, I’m looking at you X-type – and yet it as escaped unscathed.
Actually any product is defined by how its positioned – otherwise there would be no explanation why the cat whiz that is Mountain Dew is still guzzled by the gallons – and that goes for cars as well. And part of that positioning is having a unique badge – not the maker’s mind you, but of the specific model. That’s something that can make or break a car’s success. Considering all that, which one do you think has been the most successful?