For a mass-market brand, Chevrolet has a rather formal logo. Exactly how General Motors’ largest brand came up with its bowtie emblem is a matter of long-running debate. But what’s clear is that the logo is about to celebrate its 100thanniversary.
According to GM, the bowtie first appeared in the October 2, 1913 edition of The Washington Post in an ad advising car buyers to “Look for this nameplate.”
The brand itself had been registered two years earlier – Chevy celebrating its own centennial in 2011 – by the Swiss émigré Louis Chevrolet. The son of a watchmaker, he left his home in the Jura Mountains in 1898, at the age of 20, to pursue a career in racing and auto manufacturing.
Chevrolet went on to partner with William C. “Billy” Durant, the founder of General Motors, but the two soon had a falling out and in 1915, the man who gave the brand his name left for new ventures. His racing career petered out, he lost almost everything in the 1929 stock market crash and, ironically, Louis Chevrolet’s final job was on an assembly line building – you guessed it – Chevrolets.
But where did the bowtie logo come from?