History’s Mystery | Bobby Price Relates Intriguing Stories Behind Chevy’s Iconic Logo

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History’s Mystery | Bobby Price Relates Intriguing Stories Behind Chevy’s Iconic Logo

Category : World News


The Chevy bowtie is perhaps one of the most recognized emblems in American automobile history, says car collector Bobby Price. However, its origins still remain a mystery.

Inspired by Wallpaper


Chevrolet cofounder William C. Durant was an avid traveler who spent many long nights lingering in Parisian inns. According to an official account published by Chevrolet in 1961, Durant claims the logo was patterned off wallpaper in an elite French hotel. The story goes that Durant became fixated on the design and could not resist removing some of the wall covering for himself. Durant claims to have kept the lining as inspiration for the nameplate, Bobby Price recounts.

However, according to accounts by the Durant family, there are many other explanations as to the origins of the symbol.

Dinnertime Doodles

Margery Durant, eldest daughter of William Durant, previously went on record stating that the outline originated during a late-night dinner. In a book published in 1929, Margery recalled how her father envisioned the design on a napkin “between the soup and fried chicken.” Though she failed to produce the elusive linen, Bobby Price reports that she maintained this account until her death in 1969.

Plucked from the Press

In 1986, Chevy Pro Management Magazine published a version of the design’s inception based on a decades-old interview with Durant’s widow, Catherine. Catherine recalled a 1912 vacation to Hot Springs, Virginia, where she claims her husband startled her by shouting that he’d just found his mission’s motif. Bobby Price says that the magazine’s editor, Ken Kaufman, decided to do some detective work before publishing the piece. What he found was an ad placed by the Southern Compressed Coal Company the previous year bearing similarly-shaped bowtie designs and promoting its newly released refined fuel product, Coalettes. Durant would have had access to this magazine during his trip, says Bobby Price.

A Swiss Miss

Did William Durant actually have any say in the archetypical design? Maybe not. Bobby Price says another explanation lies in Louis Chevrolet’s Swiss roots. The Swiss flag’s design may have been the true muse for Chevy’s ever-present insignia.

However the logo came to be, Bobby Price believes it will continue to grace the hoods and hinds of Chevy’s numerous lines.


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