Chevrolet Bowtie 100th Anniversary | Find New Roads

Chevrolet Bowtie Logo Anniversary
By Jeff Voth, Toronto Sun
The bowtie as a men’s fashion accessory is for the most part relegated to history. It still looks stylish in the right setting, but when compared to the necktie, it languishes behind in use. This is not the case for the Chevrolet bowtie as it remains stronger than ever and celebrates a 100th anniversary in 2013.
Mr William C. Durant, co-founder of the company, first introduced the Chevrolet Bowtie in 1913. He placed it centered on the front of the 1914 Chevrolet H-2 Royal Mail and the H-4 Baby Grand. Both models were equipped with 3-speed transmissions and developed 26 horsepower. One hundred years later, the new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray develops twice that in every one of its 8 cylinders.
“The Chevrolet bowtie is recognized around the world and has become synonymous with American ingenuity,” said Chevrolet Chief Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney. “Whether you’re pulling thousands of pounds through rocky terrain in a Silverado pickup or commuting in a Spark EV, Chevrolet’s bowtie will always be at the very front of your travels.”
Just how it was that Mr. Durant came up with the concept of a bowtie as the Chevy symbol is still up for debate. Some claim it was inspired by the wallpaper design in a Paris hotel, others say he first saw it in a newspaper ad while taking a holiday in Hot Springs, Virginia. It was noted by Durant’s widow in a 1968 interview that while on vacation, Mr. Durant saw the design and stated, “I think this would be a very good emblem for the Chevrolet.”
Of course, other stories persist, including one from his daughter, Margery Durant. She claims in her 1929 book “My Father” that he sketched the design on a piece 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.
Historian Ken Kaufmann claims to have the real story. As the editor of The Chevrolet Review, he found an ad in the November 12, 1911 edition of the Atlanta published Constitution for Coalettes, a refined fuel product used for fires. It too bore a slanted bowtie similar to Mr. Durant’s drawing. According to his findings, 9 days after the ad appeared, Chevrolet used the bowtie symbol for the very first time.
Coincidence or fact, no one knows for sure. Either way, when it comes to Chevrolet lasting 100 years as an automobile manufacturer, you can put a bow on it.