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Emblem

Over the years, the Corvette has gone through many design changes; some subtle, some not so subtle. The Corvette's symbolic crossed flags emblem has also seen its fair number of changes. If you've taken a close look at the emblem over the five generations of Corvette, you'll notice that even though the design has changed dramatically from time to time, a few design cues remain. These include some form of a checkered flag and a bow-tie emblem. From time to time, a strange, maple leaf type of insignia, called a "fleur-de-lis" also shows up from time to time in the emblem. So what does all this mean and how did it get started?
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The original Corvette logo (Figure 1) was designed by Robert Bartholomew, an interior designer at Chevrolet in 1953. This emblem was destined to appear on the 1953 Corvette prototype which was introduced to the public for the first time at New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel in January of 1953. It had crossing staffs with the checkered flag on the right hand side, and the American flag on the left hand side. However, four days before the Corvette was to go on display at the show, Chevrolet management decided that it should be redesigned. The problem with the proposed emblem was that it included the American flag which is illegal to use on a commercial product. Right before the show, redesigned emblems were attached to the front hood and steering wheel of the Corvette. The new emblem contained the checkered flag on the right side as well as the white racing flag, red Chevrolet bow-tie symbol and a fleur-de-lis (Figure 2).
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Where did the fleur-de-lis come from? At the time, Chevrolet was conducting research on various emblem designs for the 1953 and 1954 passenger cars. They looked at the Louis Chevrolet family history in an attempt to discover a crest or some type of heraldry that they could utilize. Unfortunately, they came up empty, but they did realize that Chevrolet is a French name and the fleur-de-lis (flower of the lily) is a French symbol meaning peace and purity. They decided to use the fleur-de-lis along with the famous blue Chevrolet bow tie on a new flag which replaced the American flag on the Corvette. When the 1953 Corvette first appeared to the public at the Waldorf Historia Hotel, the redesigned emblems were in place.However, this emblem was temporary and used only for press photography at the show. A new emblem was designed prior to the 1953 Corvette going into production.

If you're wondering what ever happened to the original 1953 Corvette emblem by Robert Bartholemew, it's currently on display at the National Corvette Museum!

OriginalLogo.jpgfleur-de-lis.jpg
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"Save the Wave"

Have you ever wondered where the slogan, "Save The Wave" came from and what it means?  Below is an article that first appeared in the August/September 1969 issue of Corvette News.  The article was entitled "Save The Wave".  Remember, this article was written and published in 1969! .

Ever since Corvette No. 00001 first met Corvette No. 00002 on the road, their drivers saluted each other with waves.  Today, unfortunately, this grand and glorious tradition is wavering. There's one item of standard equipment that comes as a pleasant surprise to every new Corvette owner.  It's an instant wave of recognition he or she recieves when he meets one of their ilks on the road.  The first time it happens, they will be taken by surprise.  He immediately thinks: 1. He has been mistaken for a star.  2. His lights are on.  3. He has been given the bird.

Soon, however, the new Vette owner anticipates, indeed even relishes, encountering other Vettes as he drives.  During this period, he experiments with his waves, running the gamut from the gaping "yoo hoo" to the ultra cool "two finger flip."  He perfects his timing, making sure he affects neither a too-early wave, nor the jaded "oh brother" too-late variety.  Determined not to be one upped, he even develops a defense mechanism for non wavers, usually settling on the "Wave"?  My hand was just on the way to scratch my head" approach.  (This is especially useful when you're not driving your Vette, but you forget, and like a dummy, you wave anyway.).

Indeed, one of the most perplexing problems facing a would-be waver is what to do when driving next to a fellow Vette owner.  Passing him going in opposite directions is one thing. Greetings are exchanged, and that's that.  But what happens when you pull up next to a guy at a light, wave, nod, smile and then pull up to him at the next light, a block later?  Wave again?  Nod bashfully?  Grin self-consciously?  Ignore him?  Or take the chicken's way out and turn down the next side street?  If you're expecting an answer, you won't find it here.  Sad to say, some questions don't have any..

Girl-type Corvette drivers also have a unique problem:  to wave or not to wave.  This Miss or Mrs. who borrows her man's Corvette for the first time is immediately faced with this quandary.  Should she wave first and look overly friendly, or ignore the wave and look like a snob?  Most ladies who drive their own Vettes prefer to suffer the latter rather than take a chance of being misread.  For this reason, all girls are excused for occasionally failing to return a well-meaning wave.  So are new owners who are still learning the ropes..

There is no excuse, however, for a guy who refuses to return the wave, not out of ignorance, but of arrogance or apathy.  While this type of behavior is the exception to the rule, it seems a few owners of newer models refuse to recognize anything older than theirs, while some others simply won't wave, period.  Boo on them.  These ding-a-lings don't seem to realize that they are helping to squash a tradition that had its beginnings back when most of us were still driving tootsie toys.