Trace the 100-year evolution of Chevrolet’s ‘bowtie’ logo and the vehicles it has adorned (GALLERY)

|  July 29, 2013 |

Chevrolet-Bowtie-Evolution-mediumTo celebrate the 100th anniversary of its famous “bowtie” logo, Chevrolet has released a cool graphic and a ton of photos charting the symbol’s evolution, along with a bit of official history.

The 1914 Royal Mail is the first vehicle to bear the Chevy bowtie.

The 1914 Royal Mail is the first vehicle to bear the Chevy bowtie.

According to the automaker, the Chevy bowtie was introduced in 1913 by co-founder William C. Durant on the 1914 Chevrolet H-2 Royal Mail and the H-4 Baby Grand. The logo was placed at the front and center of both models. Since then it has adorned 215 million Chevrolet vehicles.

However, while we have a certain date of its first appearance, the logo’s origins are rather murky. Chevy says that one theory is that Durant was inspired by the wallpaper design during a stay at a hotel in Paris.

Then there’s the explanation offered by Durant’s daughter Margery in her 1929 book My Father. She wrote that the design was an original design of her father’s, explaining that he would doodle 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.

However, Durant’s widow Catherine disagrees, saying that the logo was inspired by a design from a newspaper ad in Hot Springs, Virginia. According to Catherine, William Durant exclaimed, “I think this would be a very good emblem for the Chevrolet.”

Thanks to recently discovered evidence, the final theory seems like the most likely. Ken Kaufmann, historian and editor of The Chevrolet Review, found an ad from the Southern Compressed Coal Company in the November 12, 1911 edition of The Atlanta Constitution. The ad was for “Coalettes,” a refined fuel product for fires and the product’s logo had a slanted bowtie form similar to the shape that would become the Chevrolet icon.

Regardless of its origin, the Chevy bowtie is a world-renowned brand now. Throughout the years, the design has undergone several minor changes to make it appear more current. The “Chevrolet” word mark was once present and then it was taken out. It’s put on weight only to lose it, and it’s even been surrounded by other shapes. Track its complete evolution below.

The original 1913 Chevrolet Bowtie

The original 1913 Chevrolet Bowtie

 

Closeup of the 1914 Royal Mail's grille and the bowtie.

Closeup of the 1914 Royal Mail’s grille and the bowtie.

 

The second iteration of the bowtie from 1936.

The second iteration of the bowtie from 1936.

 

1936 Chevrolet Standard sedan

1936 Chevrolet Standard sedan

 

1947

1947

 

1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster

1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster

 

1955-Chevrolet-Bowtie

1955

 

1955 Chevrolet BelAir

1955 Chevrolet BelAir

 

1969

1969

 

1969 Camaro SS

1969 Camaro SS

 

1974

1974

 

1974 Chevrolet Impala

1974 Chevrolet Impala

 

1982

1982

 

1995

1995

 

1995 Chevrolet Blazer LS

1995 Chevrolet Blazer LS

 

2004

2004

 

2013

2013

 

2014 Camaro SS

2014 Camaro SS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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