History With a Mystery: the Chevrolet Bowtie


The Chevrolet logo is one of the most recognized in the world. However, most people don’t even know what it is or what the recognizable, crisscrossed logo means. The Chevrolet bowtie was introduced in 1913 by the automobile company’s founder William C. Durant, and it has remained the symbol of the brand since.

Have you ever wondered about the origin of the Chevrolet bowtie? The following four stories are just a few of the countless legends surrounding the fabled Chevrolet logo.

1. It was inspired by a French hotel. Durant explains that he developed the logo from a unique wallpaper in a Paris hotel. An official Chevrolet publication issued for the company’s 50th anniversary in 1961 backed Durant’s story and explained that the world traveler tore off a piece of the hotel’s wallpaper to later use as a nameplate for his company’s vehicles. Conflicting accounts of Durant’s story, from Durant and others, have stirred even more mystery into the pot.

2. It was a dinner-table sketch. William Durant’s daughter published a book about her father in 1929. The book described how Durant sketched the Chevrolet logo while waiting for his meal at the family dinner table one evening.

3. It was taken from a newspaper ad. Another story regarding the Chevrolet bowtie emerged in 1986. A story based on an interview with Durant’s widow (Catherine) explained how she and her husband saw the design while reading a newspaper in a Hot Springs, Va., hotel room. Historian Ken Kaufmann later searched for a similar edition of The Constitution newspaper, and found a logo resembling the Chevrolet icon used for a coal company named “Coalettes.”

4. It was borrowed from the Swiss flag. Another version of the Chevrolet bowtie mystery explains the logo as an altered version of the cross seen on the Swiss flag. Louis Chevrolet was born at La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland on Christmas Day of 1878. The striking similarity of the logo and the flag’s emblem has led many historians and Chevrolet fans to agree that this must be the logo’s true origin.

No matter what the origin of the Chevrolet bowtie may be, the logo has certainly stood the test of time. In fact, despite slight changes in color and detail, the true shape of the logo hasn’t changed since the day it was created in 1913. Vehicle owners always know they can trust any vehicle donned with the famous Chevrolet bowtie.

Find your dream Chevrolet right here at Classic Chevrolet in Grapevine, Texas.

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