Though it’s been about 75 years since Oliver Clark last punched a time card at Chrysler, his influence on Chrysler Group LLC can still be felt today. How can that be? Here’s a short lesson in Chrysler history:
Oliver Clark was one of eighteen men comprising Walter P. Chrysler’s original team. In 1924, that team rolled out the Chrysler Six, a groundbreaking vehicle and forerunner to future Chrysler successes like the current 300. Not only did Clark play a role in vehicle engineering, but he was responsible for designing the original Chrysler logo as well as the silver-winged radiator cap, two iconic symbols that Chrysler fans from all generations now associate with their favorite brand.
Clark’s original designs have undergone a fascinating transformation since 1924. Sometimes favoring the seal and ribbon, sometimes the silver wings, the logo is always, no matter what the year, a tribute to pioneers like Oliver Clark, who helped set things in motion with that first Chrysler Six.
The Chrysler logo and wings, 1928-1929.
While designing the radiator cap for the Chrysler Six, Oliver Clark found his inspiration in Roman mythology. The wings are said to symbolize the speed of the Roman god Mercury. As for the original Chrysler logo, it’s comprises a “seal of approval” and a state-fair-like ribbon, two things Clark considered symbols of quality.
Chrysler emblem circa 1936. Seal and wings together.
Chrysler badging, 1946-48.
Winged bird hood ornament, 1949.
This winged emblem from 1951 is a not-too-distant relative to the present day Chrysler logo.
Chrysler Imperial emblem from 1955.
The combination of seal and wings was revived in the 1990s.
The current Chrysler logo is, in our opinion, one of the most striking to date.