History of the Chevy Bowtie

Chevrolet’s instantly recognizable logo has an interesting backstory, or maybe we should say, backstories. The history of the Chevy bowtie began when it was introduced by one of Chevrolet’s co-founders, William C. Durant, in late 1913. Let’s take a closer look at this interesting piece of Chevy history.

1916 Original Chevrolet Bowtie
1957-59 Chevrolet Bowtie
2004 Chevrolet Bowtie
2013 Chevrolet BowTie

Custom Wallpaper

According to Durant himself and The Chevrolet Story of 1961, issued in honor of Chevy’s 50th anniversary, he saw the pattern as part of a repeating design on the wallpaper in a French hotel. The story says he tore a piece of it off to keep, thinking it would make a good nameplate for a car.

Alternate Theories

Other family stories offer different origins for the bowtie logo. Durant’s daughter, Margery, wrote a book called My Father, and she said he doodled nameplate designs 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.”

Durant’s widow, Catherine, said he thought of the logo design while reading a newspaper at a hotel during a vacation in Hot Springs, Virginia in 1912. This story was written in a 1986 issue of Chevrolet Pro Management Magazine. Historian and editor of The Chevrolet Review, Ken Kaufmann, was inspired to research newspapers from that time period and discovered an ad for Southern Compressed Coal Company’s ‘Coalettes” that showed a very similar logo design to the bowtie.

And some say the design borrows its shape from the Swiss flag’s cross, since Louis Chevrolet was born in Switzerland.


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Look for This Nameplate

The history of the Chevy bowtie spans over 100 years, back to an advertisement in The Washington Post from October 2, 1913. The ad says, “Look for this nameplate,” and in spite of size, color, and other variations, the logo has stayed true ever since. In 2004, Chevrolet introduced the gold bowtie, which identifies the Chevy brand on every car and truck worldwide.

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Biggers Chevy is proud to represent the history of the Chevy bowtie and the enduring brand identity that is Chevrolet. Visit our dealership anytime to review our extensive inventory of new and used Chevy models. Contact us today!

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Biggers Chevrolet
Biggers Chevrolet
1385 E. Chicago St.
Elgin, IL, 60120 United States
Biggers Chevrolet 42.036516, -88.26361.