Cars That Start With P: 2024 List (2024)

  • Emma Davies

Updated on September 27, 2022

Porsche is probably the first car you think of when someone says name cars that start with P but there are loads to choose from. We will be delving further into some of these brands by looking at their origin and why they are some of the best cars out there.

Porsche – Germany

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Porsche originated in Germany in 1931 and has since grown to be one of the best manufacturers of high-performance sports cars in the world and is owned by Volkswagen.

They did not originally manufacture cars under their own name but instead offered consultations, that is until the German government recruited them to create a car for the people. This is when the Volkswagen Beetle was created. Quickly after we see the Porsche 64 being developed in 1939 which contained many similar features to the Beetle.

Porsche and Volkswagen have a wide range of different factories across the globe that create different parts for different vehicles.

The main factory is located in Stuttgart, Germany, and covers a total of 614,000 square meters. This is where flat 6 and V8 piston engines are produced.

Leipzig is where the Cayenne and Panamera models are created and SUV parts are manufactured in Bratislava.

Everyone knows Porsche is a massively successful brand but their figures back this up. They reported selling 218,983 cars in 2015 making 21.5 million euros in revenue.

Hybrid vehicles have also been introduced to the extensive collection of models recently with the Cayenne S Hybrid and Panamera S Hybrid being launched in 2010. The Porsche 918 sports car was also launched in 2014 with a hybrid system.

Porsche currently sits as the world’s largest car manufacturer in the world and created 195 race cars in 2006 and has 19 wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. And there’s certainly a reason these cars are as admirable as they are as 97.4% of models from the last 25 years can still be seen on the road today showing just how reliable and well-made they are.

Packard – USA

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Packard was a company located in Detroit, Michigan that operated between 1899 and 1958. These were the luxury cars of their time with models still being seen in car shows and museums showing just how prestigious and classy they were.

They were massively ahead of their time as they included things such as the modern steering wheel and air conditioning.

A contract with Roles Royce allowed Packard to manufacture 55,523 Merlin V-12 engines during World War II. The larger models made helped power the United States Navy PT boats.

Due to the fact that General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler became so popular after the war, Packard struggled to survive and merged with Studebaker in 1953 in order to combat this. The Studebaker-Packard Corporation was then formed.

No more Packards were built in Detroit but during 1957 Studebaker continued to manufacture the Packard Clipper. Packard was completely dropped from the company name in 1962.

The engineering staff made well-built and reliable 12-cylinder engines but never ventured to a 16-cylinder. They were however one of the last US auto companies to create a V8 engine as they waited until 1955 post-war.

You can now see the brilliant works of art that were Packard vehicles and engines in The National Packard Museum in Ohio. They work to preserve the legacy but also bring the recognition that is deserved. General Motors also made great use of the company’s electrical connectors.

Pontiac – USA

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Pontiac was owned and manufactured under General Motors but supplanted them by 1933. They were placed above Chevrolet in the hierarchy but were discontinued before many of the lower brands.

Oakland Motor Car Company began in 1907 in Pontiac with General Motors being founded in 1908 and the two merging by 1909.

The first car made with the Pontiac badge was the Oakland Four, later replaced in 1916 by the Oakland Six. Following the success of these two models, Pontiac took over as its own division when Oakland was canceled in 1931.

The introduction of the Hydramatic automatic transmission in 1948 created a boom in sales as the models were reaching the end of their lives.

A completely new look was in store for 1955 with new bodies and chassis. V8 engines were introduced and the six-cylinder was discontinued in order to keep up with the ever-changing motor industry. Four-cylinder and overhead-cam six-cylinder engines were also an addition to the company.

Pontiac began producing many vehicles similar to others of General Motors in the 60s and 70s but kept its own name. The next major re-design was in 1982 with the wedge-shaped Firebird, and the 1984 Fiero was an even bigger step away from Pontiacs original design.

General Motors’ Oldsmobile was discontinued in 2004 allowing a complete rework of Pontiac to take place. This unfortunately couldn’t save the company from discontinuation as GM was hoping for a $25 billion loan from Congress meaning they had to eliminate many of their brands.

It was announced in 2008 that Pontiac would stop manufacturing by 2010 with the last vehicle being made in January. Pontiac was renamed Matiz and sells only the Matiz G2.

Pininfarina – Italy

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Pininfarina was founded in 1930 and is an Italian company with headquarters in Cambiano. They are employed by many manufacturers to design vehicles and tend to be electric sports cars. Some of the brands they’ve worked with include Fiat, Cadillac, and Rolls Royce.

World War II lead to difficult times for the brand as automobile production came to an end. The 400 employees at the time were producing 150 cars a month and during the war switched to manufacturing ambulances and searchlight carriages.

1945 brought the Cisitalia 202 Coupe and there began Pininfarina’s reputation. However, only 170 were produced.

The company made its first appearance in the US in 1952 when the founder visited to unveil his design of the Nash Ambassador and Statesman models. This helped Farina gain popularity and reputation in the states.

1951 was even bigger for the company as they began a partnership with Ferrari where they designed all vehicles that were sold by the company bar the 1973 Dino 308 DT4 and 2013’s LaFerrari. We have yet to see any Ferrari designed by Pininfarina since 2018.

The Alfa in 1954 was the first of the companies to be produced in bulk. 20 Spiders were created a day until 1,000 were completed. This reached 1,025 and then eventually 4,000 in 1959.

Pininfarina hit hard times come 2008 as they announced the need to sell the family stakes in the company in order to save it. The Finpiemonte factory was sold in 2009 and the company as a whole was bought by Mahindra in 2015.

Peterbilt – USA

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Peterbilt was founded in 1939 and manufactures heavy-duty and medium-duty trucks. It’s always easy to spot one of these vehicles as they have been branded with a red oval emblem since 1953. The bird hood ornament is also a fairly easy way to distinguish the brand.

One of the main purposes of Peterbilt trucks was the modernization of the lumbar industry. Before this, they were transported by steam tractors but Peterman planned to make the move far more efficient.

Peterman bought 30,000 acres in Washington in 1934 accompanied by a fleet of White Motor Company trucks from the U.S army. The hand cranks were switched out for electrical starters and the vehicles were reinforced to improve durability. Air brakes and air-cooled brake drums were also added for the safety of drivers.

The fa*goel plant opened under the Peterbilt name in 1939 and truck drivers were brought in in order to develop trucks that were the best they could be.

That April is when we see the first Peterbilt vehicles for public sale which were the single axel Model 260 and the tandem axel Model 334. These were both offered with gasoline or diesel engines.

These were not only good for the job but they were also very stylish as they featured all-steel cabs and plywood trim sourced from the Peterman lumber mills. 16 vehicles were manufactured in 1939 but this number reached 83 in 1940.

The Model 364 was originally created for the logging industry but was turned into a military vehicle during the second world war.

By 1993, all Peterbilt operations had seized in Newark and more manufacturing happened at the Denton location. They continued to introduce more models well into the 2000s with at least 9 new vehicles by 2020, some of which are electric.

Pagani – Italy

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Pagani was founded in 1992 and manufactures both sports cars and carbon fiber components. Horacia Pagani was originally the manager of Lamborghini’s composites department but in 1988 founded Pagani Composite Research.

The two companies worked alongside one another on many projects. Some of these included the restyling of the Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition, Lamborghini LM002, and P140.

Pagani began designing cars under his own name in the 1980s which was named the C8 project. Juan Manuel Fangio was a good friend to Pagani and there were plans to honor him with the renaming of this project to Fangio F1.

A new company was created by Pagani himself in 1991 under the name Modena Design which was created to meet the high demand for his services. The Fangio F1 was built and testing started in 1993. The Dallara wind tunnels were used and there were many positive results.

1994 was the year of the Pagani and Mercedes Benz partnership as the latter supplied the company with V12 engines. Fangio unfortunately passed in 1995 and therefore the Fangio F1 name was changed to show respect. The new and final name was Zonda C12.

2007 is the year Pagani entered the US market and planned on tripling their production by 2008. There was originally only supposed to be one of the 2010 Zonda Tricolore, the vehicle manufactured for the Italian Air Forces aerobatic squadron’s 50th anniversary, but eventually, 3 were made.

Paccar – USA

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Paccar, originally Seattle Car Manufacturing Company, was founded in 1905 and today manufactures heavy and medium-duty vehicles. The company’s original focus was railway and logging equipment.

Orders started picking up by 1909 and a new factory was built in Renton.

Its only competition at the time was Twohy Brothers but the two merged in 1917 and the Pacific Car and Foundry Company were formed. Here they built specially designed vehicles that could navigate the complex forest through which they would have to travel.

The need for steel was at an all-time high during the war and so Pacific Car and Foundry’s sales skyrocketed. They built M4A1 Sherman tanks for the army between 1942 and 43 and also worked with Boeing.

The company had sworn to use 100% of its resources and factories to aid the military if there was ever another national emergency and therefore helped massively during the Korean War.

A factory was then built in Australia in 1970 and the trucks are still used for trade in the markets today.

1992 saw the opening of Paccar Parts and a new factory in Washington. The company was growing at rapid speeds and started trading in New Zealand, Asia, and South America in 1994.

Today we see the trade of Paccar trucks in over 40 countries and they bought Leyland Trucks which is a UK-based company. They have also acquired Peterbilt, Kenworth, and DAF nameplates and rank third globally for big rig truck production and second in the US.

Panoz – USA

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Panoz was founded in 1989 and mainly manufactures sports cars. The company has competed in many race events around the world including the Team Panoz Racing and the Panoz Avezzano. They also had great success in 2018 and won the Manufacturer’s Championship.

Panoz cars have helped win many other championships and games, including the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 2006 12 Hours of Sebring, and the 2006 Petit Le Mans, to name a few.

Panoz introduced the American Le Mans Series in 1999 and had a partnership with the Automobile Club de L’Ouest.

NASCAR bought Panoz Motor Sports Group in 2012 which included both Panoz Racing School and the American Le Mans Series. A Canadian company then purchased the Mosport International Raceway. Panoz however still to this day owns Elan Motorsports and Panoz LLC.

Praga – Prague

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Praga was founded in 1907 in Prague, Czech Republic. Not only do they manufacture cars but also karts and planes.

The company’s original purpose was to create cars as an agreement between Frantisek Ringhoffer and company 1. Ceskomoravska Tovarna Na Strije. The name Praga came about in 1909 when Ringhoffer left the company.

In 1929 we see the merge of Praga and one of Czechoslovakia’s biggest engineering companies, CKD. Praga rebranded CKDs BD motorcycle under its own name and then added a second to the collection.

The BC had a pressed steel frame and shaft drive as well as an engine of 350cc. Neither were manufactured again after 1933.

The war brought great loss for the company as the factory was destroyed in 1945. They did however continue manufacturing trucks and buses in the following years. Government officials had also requested mid-sized passenger cars which were made until 1947.

International Truck Alliance purchased Praga in 2006 in order to manufacture in Poland. The company began to create gearboxes and hydraulic machinery in 2007 before they returned to Praga Exports s.r.o.

The Praga R4 made its first appearance in 2011 at the Supercar Challenge in Belgium. The eight-cylinder 520 hp engine can not yet be used on normal roads but Praga is working so that we will see their vehicles on both racetracks and roads.

The Dutch Supercar Challenge and Britcar sports car racing saw Praga’s first road-legal car in 2016. The Praga R1 competed in both events but a limited edition was later brought out, the Praga R1R.

Proton – Malaysia

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Proton was founded in 1983 in an attempt to increase Malaysian Industry. The 1983 Mitsubishi Lancer Fiore was the biggest inspiration for the Proton Saga which included the 1.3 liters Mitsubishi Orion 4G13 engine. You can now visit the Muzium Negara to see the first edition of this vehicle to mark the beginning of the Malaysian Automotive industry.

Proton struggled to meet demand by 1986 but introduced the Proton Saga Aeroback in 1987. This was the hatchback version of the Proton Saga.

The Proton Saga Iswara made its first appearance in 1992 with a new exterior and interior. This specific Proton was used frequently as taxicabs during the 90s and 2000s in Malaysia. Proton brought out another car the following year with the name Proton Wira which was larger than previous models.

The 2000 Proton Waja still contained the Mitsubishi 4G18 engine as their first own brand engine was not finished. This is the end of Proton relying on Mitsubishi to manufacture.

Perodua took Proton’s spot as Malaysia’s top auto vehicle seller in 2006 after Proton Waja sales decreased. Proton reclaimed its spot at the top in the second half of the 2000s with an increase of 37% in 5 years. This is thanks to the Persona saloon which was launched in 2007 to replace the Proton Wira saloon which was very quickly becoming outdated.

Proton sold a 49.9% stake in the company in 2017.

PGO – France

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The French manufacturer was founded in 1980 and manufactures a series of sports cars. Three brothers, Patrick, Gilles, and Olivier Prevot launched the company as they were big automobile fans. The initials of the three names were the inspiration for the brand’s name.

They did not initially manufacture vehicles under their own name and instead made replicas but did later venture into own-brand cars.

The first PGO brand car was the Speedster II which was a two-seater sports car with a retro feel but all the modern specs. This was first introduced in 2000 at the Paris Motor Show.

The Al-Sayer Group purchased 51% of the brand in 2005 which allowed for better research and production to be done in the company. This is where the Cevennes roadster came from. The Hemera was then launched at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.

Premier – USA

Premier Motor Manufacturing Company was founded in 1903 in Indiana. The first vehicle was produced in 1904 and was a four-cylinder engine. This could seat up to six passengers and be sold for the equivalent of $42,223 in 2021.

The company produced only 25 cars in 1903 which increased every year until they hit 250 cars in 1907. Premier had a reputation for producing amazing touring cars and had finished three Glidden tours by 1910.

A new car was produced in 1918 which was advertised as ‘The Aluminum Six with Magnetic Gear Shift.’

A contract in 1923 for 1,000 Premier taxicabs brought the end to the company as this was the only vehicle they then manufactured. Premier was purchased by National Cab & Truck Company which then went out of business and Premier shut its doors for the last time.

And that brings an end to our list of cars that start with P for now. There are some amazingly well-known brands on our list as well as those that are not so well known but without them, the car industry may not be where it is today!

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Cars That Start With P: 2024 List (2024)


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