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Grace
Hagerty Employee

17 of our favorite American car emblems

Part of the charm of vintage cars lies in tiny aesthetic details that showcase the dedication of their designers. Modern cars may be faster, more reliable, and more likely to sip fuel than to guzzle it, but they often lack the personality of their retro predecessors. Emblems are one way that even run-of-the-mill economy cars were once given a splash of pizzazz—not to mention the high-power, stylish coupes that came packed to the gills (grilles?) with flashy trim.

 

Here are 17 of our favorite emblems from America's Big Three, from the '50s to today.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/17-of-our-favorite-american-car-emblems/

120 REPLIES 120
MMC
New Driver

Pontiacs hood ornament where the Amber Indian head lit up.

Plymouth 1966 B Bodies deck lid emblem "HEMI", also the front fender lower rear "426 HEMI" emblems

davis
Passenger

The Negative comments on these are starting to get old. Hagerty does a great job finding different car related  content to keep their customers engaged but many of you still finds a way to complain in the comment section. Maybe next time your car, brand or opinion doesn't make their list you should wait for the next article and stop complaining. 

 

Good job Hagerty with all your content, Keep it up. 

 

stevecobb45
Detailer

The Corvette drag flags were some of the first emblems I looked for on a Chevy of any model. They meant something special under the hood besides a 6 or a 283. I'm thinking the fuel injection emblem on the first gen Corvette's front fender would be, not just my favorite, but yours too.

1969AMCAMX1
Passenger

You forgot the 1968-70 AMC (American Motors Corporation) AMX (American Motors Experimental) logos.  Not to be forgotten is the limited run of 52 SS/AMX Hurst-modified race cars.

gdwriter
Pit Crew

Not sure why the arbitrary choice of 17 emblems, and while there are plenty of good ones here (I had never seen the Ford I6 before), I'm surprised to not see one that's probably been on more cars than anything other than the galloping horse on the Mustang: the leaping Impala.

930Flachbau
Intermediate Driver

How about Hemi, L-88, ZL-1, Fuel Injection(Chevrolet in the 60's), but the I-6(?) and F-100(?)? C'mon that's a stretch.

terryjudd
Intermediate Driver

Two Chrysler Corp. emblems deserved mention — the “Forward Look” emblem from the ‘50s and the Dodge triangle logo from the ‘60s and ‘70s. The Forward Look emblem, dubbed the Flookerang, featured a V-shaped arrow overlapping a less rakish boomerang shape and captured the spirit of the company’s Virgil Exner cars. The Dodge logo, dubbed the Fratzog, featured three Vs arranged in a triangle formation and was much more distinctive than today’s logo featuring block Dodge letters accented with two hash red hash lines. 

jwinn55
New Driver

481542.jpgOne of my favorites!

doctorofmotors
New Driver

WHAAAT? NO GTO? The letters in the grill and on the rear deck lid. Rear quarters of the '68.

RA
New Driver

The I6 made it but not the 442 from '67 or any of the Firebirds? No love for the Roadrunner either?

nynick66
Navigator

Great list!   So many to choose from.  I always loved the "4-4-2 W-30" badges on those monster Oldsmobiles.  I have a '71 K-5 Blazer and I love that emblem along the front quarter.   One of my favorites of all time -- Cadillac stuck "8.2 Litre" on the old Eldorados.  No one knew what the hell that meant in those days so I always thought it was a nice subtle way to say "f'ing huge motor inside."  Great job, Hagerty.  You make loving cars even better.

bobmannel
Passenger

Fairlanes in 1963 and 1964 received a special high performance 289 emblem on the fender when that engine was installed. The emblem was unique to those two years and made a simple statement.

 

BADA55401
Passenger

what about American Motors products

Papa-tony
Intermediate Driver

Demon?  How 'bout Duster... especially the Duster 340!  I know its not an "emblem", more of a "sticker"... but still one of my favorite Tasmanian Devils.

mwmyers91
Detailer

Love  and remember them all up.

 

Miketheump
Pit Crew

The statute of limitations is long over but have to admit acquiring emblems back in 50's and 60's for my collection, the Impala was nice but one of my favorites was the VW emblem, there were  few of us that did it, later on realized how wrong it was. Wish I still had them and have no idea what happened to them. 

bechap
Pit Crew

1951 - 1956 Trunk emblem on the Oldsmobile "Rocket 88" See Fusick catalog #600 page 12. Who can forget this factory "hot-rod" well before the "muscle cars" ?

Dcl4us
Passenger

How about any X Buick. GSX, GNX.  Go fast with class!

 

And though Cougar got mentioned, the greatest American driver of his time, Dan Gurney, had his own Cougars the Xr 7 G.  

MoparMan
Advanced Driver

MoparMan_2-1606935571078.jpeg

@ Jaguarman:  Speaking of gas caps, I prefer this one...simple, direct, nothing hidden! 🙂

Jaguarman
Pit Crew

Yeah, no question what it's for.  🙂

HowardSue
Intermediate Driver

Olds Globe Emblem

Punk
Detailer

One of my favorites is the six pointed star of the Dodge Bros used from the 1920s up until about 1938. The reason for the Star of David is unclear although some have speculated it was to piss off Henry Ford I, who was a notorious Anti-semite. 

Goes2fast
Pit Crew

What about the famous tri5 Vs?

Silver 57.jpg

BillHanlon
Intermediate Driver

My favorite, but I'm prejudiced.  My '57 GMC 1/2 ton with factory Pontiac V8 and Hydra-Matic.  Unfortunately, It was hit, rolled and totaled 8 years ago.

https://talk.classicparts.com/media/bhanlon_7_.3830/

 

cassman66
Pit Crew

I can only say . . . SS

Charlie
Pit Crew

I did not see my most admired car emblem of all time in your list, it was, and i the 1932 Ford V-8 chrome emblem that was on in the middle of the headlight bar !!

jenola
Passenger

Corvairs had several nice Turbocharged, Corsa and Spyder emblems along with the crossed flags and bowtie engine horsepower badges.

mightyjoe
Passenger

Z/28 says it all

BIGHOCK
Pit Crew

Missing logos ------ HEMI, GTO, ROADRUNNER, ZL1

 

JohnGalt
Pit Crew

JohnGalt_0-1606944780105.jpeg

 

I had a 64 Hawk

 

JohnGalt
Pit Crew

JohnGalt_0-1606945020319.jpeg

I currently drive an AMC Eagle Wagon

Brandan
Hagerty Employee

That thing means business!
zachary
Pit Crew

The 1966 426 HEMI emblem was special.

 

3Deuces
New Driver

1964 Pontiac "421" emblem ...

 

 

warrene
Intermediate Driver

The Y-Block V8 emblem came first on '54 Fords, my '54 has one on each side.

Elanfhc69
New Driver

Pontiac TriPower - oh hell yes. 

Elanfhc69
New Driver

Dad worked at The Plant in Van Nuys Ca in 1951 when I was born. He was a brilliant mechanic and fabricator and passed his adopted daughter The Car Gene. Took my driver’s license test in our ‘62 Catalina - but had been siphoning gas out of his Chevy work truck starting when I was 12 and already 5’ 7”. I absolutely loved that gorgeous Catalina. When that big girl hiked up her skirts and took off when you put your foot down, it was beyond exciting, even with a factory motor. Fast forward many years, had a ‘79 Trans Am with a factory Hurst four speed and 6.6 liter motor. It was a bloody beast, a real handful. 😈 Just ask the Porsche drivers on PCH in 1980. 

farna
Detailer

I was actually expecting badges from makes that have passed on, or at least somewhat obscure, not the real popular, pretty well known ones.

TeeeeJayyyy
New Driver

I have a 68 Cougar and love you included it in the group here but where is the SS logo or the full Super Sport logo?  

VJBMichigan
Passenger

There are several from Pontiac but you missed probably the most iconic and one that drove the muscle car craz. The GTO emblem. It even create new subnames "Goat". When someone pulls up to a 60's Pontiac their eyes go right to behind the front wheel well. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JLFS
New Driver

You blew it again.... The best is an opinion of course, but what makes an emblem great? By far the best is the 64-67 GTO. It is a substantial size, unique shape & a great design. It is complex & colorful. Come on -  the Cyclone? The car should never have been made in the first place. 

Billthecat707
Detailer

Read the title again, "17 of our favorite..."
DUB6
Technician

First thing added to my LeMans/GTO clone!First thing added to my LeMans/GTO clone!

Obviously, a bit more work was done after this...

PaulSS
Passenger

The oft forgotten 80s muscle cars, and rightly so. But one of my favs is the Grand National emblem on 86 & 87 models that also had “INTERCOOLED” boldly announced underneath.  

PaulSS
Passenger

The oft forgotten 80s muscle cars, and rightly so. But one of my favs is the Grand National emblem on 86 & 87 models that also had “INTERCOOLED” boldly announced underneath.

Jost
Intermediate Driver

Great selections and also the additional ones from other readers.  I never cought the Y in the Ford V8 emblems in the mid 50's denoting the Y block.. Shame on me and I'm a self professed Ford guy

Steveamx1
Passenger

How about the blocky, straightforward AMC "THE MACHINE"......

sclin10
Detailer

I remember reading somewhere that when AMC was readying the AMX for production, someone on the design staff suggested using crossed flags like on the Corvette. He was immediately fired.

flycy
Passenger

I always liked the Impala emblem my 62 had.  

 

Maestro1
Instructor

I like the I6, the Thunderbird, the Corvette flags and the Mustang.