November 13, 2016

CHEVROLET

Chevrolet Motor Co. (1912-1918)

Chevrolet Motor Co. Div. General Motors Corp. (1918-present)

Detroit, Michigan


This is the first Chevrolet radiator emblem used from 1913 to c1915   mjs
Size: 110mm   MM: Shepard
 


William C. Durant planned the Chevrolet as the car to allow him to regain control of General Motors, the corporation he had founded in 1908 and lost in 1910. Billy Durant did succeed in regaining control of General Motors in 1915 but by 1920 he had lost everything again. However, General Motors kept the Chevrolet, which was to become one of their most successful cars.

The first Chevrolet, designed by Louis Chevrolet for Billy Durant, was the six-cylinder Type C Classic introduced in 1912. It was too expensive and Durant wanted a smaller, lower cost car to compete with the Ford Model T. He attempted to do this by combining the best features of the Chevrolet and the Little car (see Little), which he had also started in 1912 , to produce a new Chevrolet. Louis Chevrolet left to build the Frontenac. The new Chevrolet models were introduced in 1914, in particular the four-cylinder Royal Mail and Baby Grand models. These were the first cars to carry the famous Chevrolet bow-tie emblem. They were immediately successful and Chevrolet sales grew. However, very low production costs allowed Ford to keep reducing the price of his Model T below the price of a Chevrolet.

In the early 1920's, after Durant had departed from General Motors, it was planned to keep the Chevrolet as a lower cost car but to add improvements and refinements that the Ford Model T did not have to make the higher cost of the Chevrolet more acceptable. This policy was successful but did not happen immediately. A new specially designed air-cooled Chevrolet was introduced in 1923. But, the Chevrolet Copper-Cooled, as it was called, was a disaster. Of the 759 cars built, 239 were scrapped before leaving the factory and those that were delivered to dealers were recalled. Only two Chevrolet Copper Cooled cars survive, one of which is displayed at The Henry Ford in Dearborn.

Fortunately, there were other Chevrolet models that were successful and after a few years Chevrolet had become a really serious competitor to Ford and a highly successful automobile. By 1928 Chevrolet was the best selling automobile in America and after World War II Chevrolet became the best selling car in the world. Chevrolet continued to introduce new models like the Corvette sports car in 1953, as well as the Camaro, Corvair, Bell Air and Impala, and became one of America's best selling automobiles in history.

Chevrolet also started to produce commercial vehicles in 1918, including a wide range of trucks and delivery vans, which together with Chevrolet passenger cars, continue today.

The Emblems

There are several stories about the origins of the well known Chevrolet bow tie emblem design. The most well known story is that William Durant was on vacation in Paris in 1908 and saw the bow tie design in the wallpaper in his hotel room and thought that this "would make a good nameplate for a car".

However, his wife has since said that she and William were on vacation in Virginia around 1912, when he saw the bow tie design in a local newspaper and said "I think this would be a very good emblem for the Chevrolet". It has since been discovered that in November 1911, the Southern newspaper "The Constitution" carried an advertisement for Coalettes, which incorporated a bow tie design, see below:

Part of the Coalettes ad showing the bow tie design ("The Constitution" Nov 1911)

Whether or not this advertisement was the real inspiration for the Chevrolet bow tie emblem design may never be known.

The first Chevrolet car, the Type C Classic Six, introduced in 1912 did not carry a radiator emblem but had a small sterling silver cast "Chevrolet" script attached to the dash board.

The bow tie radiator emblem first appeared on a Chevrolet in 1913. The emblem was finished in deep blue enamel with white letters. This Chevrolet emblem is rare, see example at the top of this post. 

A short time later, the bow tie emblem was given a wide white border, see example below, which was used for many years thereafter, even though the original bow tie emblem was used as the Chevrolet logo in advertising into the 1940's.


This is the second bow tie Chevrolet radiator emblem used from c1915   mjs
Size: 103mm MM: Unknown

The Chevrolet Copper-Cooled radiator emblem of 1923 shown below is extremely rare, as very few survived after Chevrolet recalled and destroyed these cars. 


This is the extremely rare Chevrolet Copper Cooled radiator emblem used briefly in 1923  mjs
Size: 103mm  MM: D.L.Auld 

Examples of some other Chevrolet emblems are shown below:

This is a Chevrolet radiator emblem (dates of use unknown, assumed 1920's)   mjs
Size: 91mm  MM: Unknown

This radiator emblem was used on Chevrolet trucks built in Canada in the 1920's     mjs
Size: 76mm   MM: D.L.Auld 

This Chevrolet radiator emblem was used in 1928 only    mjs
Overall size: 114mm  Bow tie: 75mm  MM: Unknown 

This Chevrolet radiator emblem was used on commercial vehicles in 1928   mjs
Overall size: 114mm  Bow tie: 91mm  MM: Unknown


This Chevrolet radiator emblem was used from 1929 to 1931   mjs
Bow tie size: 75mm  MM: D.L.Auld 

This Chevrolet radiator emblem was used on commercial vehicles from 1929 to 1931  mjs
Bow tie size: 75mm  MM: Unknown

This radiator emblem was used on Chevrolet trucks built in Canada from 1929 to 1931   mjs
Size across width: 75mm  MM: D.L.Auld 

This Chevrolet radiator emblem was used from 1931-1932    mjs
Size: 75mm  MM: D.L.Auld 

This Chevrolet emblem was used on a pointed radiator in 1933     mjs
Size: 72mm (75mm flat)  MM: Grammes 

This Chevrolet radiator emblem was used in 1934   mjs
Size: 167mm  

This Chevrolet radiator emblem was used in 1935    mjs
Size: 165mm  

This Chevrolet radiator emblem was used in 1936    mjs
Size:  197mm  

This Chevrolet radiator emblem was used in 1937   mjs
Size:  187mm  

This Chevrolet radiator emblem was used in 1938   mjs
Size: 175mm high  

This Chevrolet emblem was used as the truck hood side emblem (1937-1939)   mjs
Size: 192mm wide

Chevrolet hood side emblem (1937-1939)   ms

This Chevrolet radiator emblem was used in 1940    mjs
Size: 137mm high 

This Chevrolet radiator emblem was used in 1942    mjs
Size: 250mm wide 

This is a Chevrolet truck radiator emblem (1940-1942)   ms

This Chevrolet radiator emblem was used in 1945    mjs
Size: 

This Chevrolet radiator emblem was used in 1946   mjs
Size: 140mm high 

How this small enameled Chevrolet emblem was used and when are unknown    mjs
Size: 50mm  MM: D.L.Auld 

How this enameled Chevrolet emblem was used and when is unknown   mjs
Size bow tie: 63mm MM: none

How this painted Chevrolet emblem was used and when is unknown    mjs
Size: 72mm  MM: Fox 








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