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Iconic Chevy Bowtie Origin Still Under Debate

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Theories Abound Where the Bowtie Originated

Although William Durant, cofounder of Chevrolet, allegedly once confirmed that the iconic bowtie logo came from a French hotel, other theories have emerged as to the origin of the logo. Durant’s daughter says it came from a sketch Durant made during dinner, while Durant’s widow says it was “borrowed” from a newspaper ad for a coal substitute. One other popular theory claims the bowtie is a modified version of the Swiss flag cross. Wherever it comes from, the bowtie has stood for innovation and quality for more than 100 years. See all the new 2016 Chevrolet models and find out what the latest innovations are with a trip to your Phoenix Chevy dealer, Freeway Chevrolet.

Wallpaper Swatch Started It All

Durant was famous for being a world traveler. The wallpaper rumor is based in 1908 when he was in France. The hotel he was staying in had a version of the bowtie marching of into infinity on the walls, so Durant tore off a piece of the paper and brought it home, thinking it would be a good badge for his car company. That’s the official version of the story, but time has a way of changing all things and other theories have now arisen.

Family Members Have Own Versions

Margery, Durant’s daughter, wrote a book about her famous dad in 1929. In it she recounts the story of how the bowtie came to being one night at dinner. She said her dad was famous for doodling during the family meal, and one night he sketched the bowtie “between the soup and the fried chicken.” However the bowtie originated, it is a symbol of an automaker that holds an important place in the American auto industry. The new Chevrolets all rank high in J.D. Power Initial Quality surveys. See why the fit, finish and performance all come together by taking a test drive at Freeway Chevrolet.

Widow Recounts a Newspaper Ad Was Inspiration

In a 1973 interview, Durant’s widow Catherine recalled they were on vacation in Virginia when her husband ran across a logo in an ad that he thought would make a good car emblem. A Chevy historian did some research and found an ad in a 1911 newspaper in the area for “coalettes,” a fuel that was made from coal. The ad featured a bowtie logo very similar to the one that Durant adopted for Chevrolet. One other version of the history of the bowtie ties the logo to the cross on the French flag based on the theory that Louis Chevrolet was born in Switzerland.

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