Vauxhall Motors is a British automobile company. It is a subsidiary of General Motors Corporation (GM), and is part of GM Europe. Alexander Wilson founded the company in Vauxhall, London in 1857. Originally named Alex Wilson and Company, then Vauxhall Iron Works, the company built pumps and marine engines.In 1903, the company built its first car, a five-horsepower model steered using a tiller, with two forward gears and no reverse gear. This led to a better design which was made available for sale.
The Vauxhall logo is based on a mythical creature called the "Griffin".
The griffin is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the
head and often wings of an eagle. As the lion was traditionally
considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of the birds,
the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic
creature. Griffins are normally known for guarding treasure. In
antiquity it was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine.
The griffin emblem, which is still in use, is derived from the coat of arms of Faulke de Breaute, a mercenary soldier who was granted the Manor of Luton for services to King John in the thirteenth century. By marriage, he also gained the rights to an area near London, south of the Thames. The house he built, Fulk's Hall, became known in time as Vauxhall. Vauxhall Iron Works adopted this emblem from the coat of arms to emphasise its links to the local area. When Vauxhall Iron Works moved to Luton in 1905, the griffin emblem coincidentally returned to its ancestral home.
The logo as pictured used to be square, but it is now circular, to enable it to fit in the same recess designed for the circular Opel emblem. Since the 1920s the griffin has been redesigned and released 9 times (see below for the detailed changes). In 2008 Vauxhall released a revised version of the 2005 logo. Bill Parfitt, Vauxhall’s Managing Director, said, "While the new-look Griffin pays homage to our 100 year-plus manufacturing heritage in the UK, it also encapsulates Vauxhall’s fresh design philosophy, first showcased in the current Astra, and set to continue with Insignia."
Shown below is the history of the changes in the Griffin logo from the 1920's to 2008.