Chevy bowtie celebrates centenary

Chevy bowtie celebrates centenary

But exact origin of famous Chevrolet bowtie is still not known 100 years on.

Evolution of the Century-old Chevrolet bowtie
A Chevrolet car, crossover or truck is sold every 6.39 seconds in one of 140 countries!

Its one of the most recognizable nameplates in automotive history and now the famous Chevrolet ribbon is celebrating 100 years in existence.

In 1913, Chevrolet co-founder William C. Durant introduced the signature Chevy bowtie on the 1914 Chevrolet H-2 Royal Mail and the H-4 Baby Grand, since then the famous logo has appeared on 215 million vehicles!

While the bowtie has been present for 100 years, the details surrounding its origin are still uncertain.

Stories range from Durant being inspired by the wallpaper design in a Parisian hotel to a newspaper advertisement he saw while on vacation, but his widow and daughter have offered alternative explanations.

According to Margery Durant, in her 1929 book ‘My Father’, Durant sometimes doodled nameplate designs on pieces of paper at the dinner table. “I think it was between the soup and the fried chicken one night that he sketched out the design that is used on the Chevrolet car to this day.” she wrote.

But in a 1968 interview, Durant’s widow, Catherine, said the bowtie design originated from a Hot Springs vacation in 1912. While reading a newspaper in their hotel room, Durant spotted a design and exclaimed, “I think this would be a very good emblem for the Chevrolet.”

But that nugget of information inspired Ken Kaufmann, historian and editor of The Chevrolet Review, to search out its validity.

In a Nov. 12, 1911 edition of The Constitution newspaper, an advertisement appeared from by the Southern Compressed Coal Company for “Coalettes,” a refined fuel product for fires.

The Coalettes logo, as published in the ad, had a slanted bowtie form, very similar to the shape that would soon become the Chevrolet icon.

Did Durant and his wife see the same ad? The date of the paper Kaufmann found was just nine days after the incorporation of the Chevrolet Motor Co.

I guess we will never know, but never-the-less the famous Chevy symbol looks set to be with us for many, many more years to come.

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Joel Helmes