By on November 26, 2012

David Dunbar Buick's final resting place, Woodmere Cemetery, Detroit. Photo courtesy of Cars In Depth. No, I'm not suggesting that Buick is dying. I happened to have the photo of Buick's grave and the monument maker used the same Buick script as graced the cars.

According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, GM North America President Mark Reuss has suggested that Buick might be revising its “tri-shield” logo, which dates to the 1950s. The current all chrome version has been in use for the past decade or so.

The current Buick logo/badge

The current Buick logo/badge, in use since 2002

Buick has been using a shield in its logo since the 1930s. The tri-shield was introduced in the late 1950s and is said to represent the LeSabre, Invicta and Electra models, popular then but discontinued at the present.


The change could involve a return to the red white and blue color scheme that the shields used to wear. As seen in the picture above, the Buick logo has a long and confused history, where proponents of spelling the name “Buick” (or “BUICK”) wage war with friends of medieval heradldry. Sometimes, an eagle soars as a compromise, only to be shot down for Red, White & Blue shields. With China a big part of Buick’s (GM sells 4 times as many cars with a Buick brand in China than it does in the U.S.), one might think that the Detroit automaker would be reluctant to wave the colors of the American flag on its products there. But it’s not as it seems – knee-jerk reactions often reduce us to jerks on knees.

Ironically, China is where the initiative for the red white and blue Buick logo seems to be coming from. In China, Buick never gave up the Red White & Blue.

The red white and blue Buick logo is a familiar sight in China, as this badge on an all chrome Excelle, sighted at last year’s Shanghai Auto Show, proves.

All this just goes to show how much influence China wields on GM. So much that it might even reintroduce the Red White & Blue to America.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS


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14 Comments on “Buick Bringing Back The Red, White And Blue – From China?...”

  • avatar

    A true friend of medieval heraldry would not routinely create a coat of arms, “Argent, a bend sinister quarterly sable and argent.” for the middle shield.

  • avatar

    Remember in the 1990’s or early 2000’s when Toyota was reshaping it’s logo every few years? The Tri-shield sure beats Ford’s old fashion cursive logo.

    • 0 avatar

      They got their rounded lasso logo starting in 1990, and it hasn’t changed since. What are you talking about?

    • 0 avatar

      You must be thinking of Mazda, the only real change Toyota’s made to their logo in decades is when they started adding that stupid faux neon bluish tinge around the edges a few years ago.

      Mazda, on the other hand, did go through quite a few totally different designs before finally settling on the one they have now. The went from a stylized lower case “m” in a circle in the 60’s and ’70s to a super creative “mazda” block lettered badge in the ’80s to a diamond in a circle in the early ’90s to a softer, rounded version a few years later, then finally to the winged M in a circle.

  • avatar

    I’ve always dug the colored tri-shield logo. Definitely one of the better logos GM came up with.. (and Pontiac IMO).

  • avatar

    “Sometimes, an eagle soars as a compromise, only to be shot down for Red, White & Blue shields.”

    I think thats supposed to either represent the Sky Lark or the Sky Hawk given the time it was used. My mother bought a SkyHawk Hatchback in ’76 that was pumpkin orange with Rallye package. My four year old brain at the time remembers seeing the bird badge cause it was shiny and the black plastic buckets cause in the summer, they would rip the skin off the bak of my legs when I wore shorts.

  • avatar

    In the mid 70s after the Skyhawk came out the bird logo came into play. Also in the commercials there would be a hawk noise at the very end along with it. They were trying to push the new V6’s during that period as well.

    My father’s 81 Skylark had a logo more like the one you guys have listed under 1959, so I think in a lot of cases there are exceptions. I think the original Tri-Shield is the best one, followed by the 80’s – 90s variant for its sheer patriotic simplicity, usually seen along with the slogans “Premium American Motorcars” or “The New Symbol for Quality in America” (as if it hadn’t been already…)

    Some other strange slogans have gone along with these logos too…I remember in the early 2000’s when trying to market the horrendous Rendezvous, I read “Buick: Its all Good” at the bottom of a magazine ad…ugh. My favorites were (see username) and the jingle for “The Great American Road Belongs To Buick”

    Interestingly enough, the infamous Grand National had no Tri-Shield in sight, and simply had the BUICK type-face on the grill and rear. The only commercial they ever had for it was a cheesy re-written version of Bad To The Bone by George Thorogood in an excellent example of 80s advertising. “200 horsepower, no time for chrome, they could tell right away, I was bad to the bone…”

  • avatar

    Well, that settles it, ‘inside every g*** is an American, screaming to get out…’-quote from Full Metal Jacket

  • avatar

    My family had several Buicks in the 70s and 80s. They all has the tri-shield logo on the hood ornament and in the center of the wheels. I don’t think the hawk or eagle actually showed up on the cars. It was just in the ads and brochures.

  • avatar

    About time. The plain chrome logo always looked way too bland – every automaker has a chrome circle or oval, very few bother to give them a splash of color. Buick actually has a model range they can be proud of now, might as well give them a badge that stands out.

  • avatar

    God I hope so. It’s about time an American brand didn’t run from it’s heritage.

  • avatar

    it was a hawk not an eagle. regardless, success at The Buick came from styling, power, comfort, and size. the “Great American Road Belongs to Buick’, the division known for being “Bad to the Bone”…surviving in spite of the mistakes by the mother ship known as the General.

  • avatar

    It wouldnt work today, but the 1913 script is my favorite.

  • avatar

    If they’re going to put the colors back onto the tri-shield, can they please restore the stags and crosses while they’re at it?

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