Behind the Badge: Origin of the “Shocking” Lightning Bolt on Opel’s Emblem
You’ve probably never seen the Opel badge adorning any vehicles on the road here in the United States; the German brand’s products are usually only sold in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. However, this General Motors subsidiary is becoming increasingly recognizable in the States, as models like the Opel Cascada are arriving on American shores with different badges.
So have you ever taken a close look at the Opel emblem and wondered what exactly it’s design means? Is that the letter “Z” or a lightning bolt? Or something else entirely?
History of the “Z” Opel Logo
The Opel Company was founded in 1862 by 25-year-old Adam Opel, who established the production of sewing machines in Rüsselsheim, Germany. Some years later, bicycles were being constructed by the company, followed by automobiles at the turn of the century once Adam’s son took over. During these transitions, and the years following, the company’s logo design received many reinventions.
So where did the idea for the current lightning bolt design come from? The early-used German word “blitz” (from “Victoria Blitz”), which was later used on the famous Opel Blitz truck, means “lightning” in English. The reason it’s horizontal is so that it resembles the two stripes on the first Opel trucks. Its color is typically silver, representing sophistication and ingenuity.
Certainly this is a much cooler and more modern design than a zeppelin!
Enjoy learning about the Opel logo? Check out the rest of The News Wheel’s “Behind the Badge” series to learn about other auto brands.