Dodge Electric Muscle Car’s Fratzog Logo Is a Blast From the Past
If you were paying attention when Dodge teased its upcoming electric muscle car (and if you weren’t, take a minute to click that link and catch up in another tab), you might have caught a strange triangular logo flash across your screen. Rendered in red on a black background, it looks kind of menacing, like a cross between the radiation warning symbol and the badge of the Klingon Empire. But this logo has existed before, and apparently, it will exist again. You’re looking at the fratzog.
Back in the mid-1950s, Chrysler (and its Dodge brand) adopted a styling language called “Forward Look”, which was developed by Virgil Exner. Think big tail fins and aerospace influence. To go with the general direction the brand was going, the company developed a unique logo to match for Dodge, with two swoopy interlocking boomerangs—very Jet Age.
But by the early 1960s, big fins were seriously uncool and the Space Age was in full swing. This was the era of Chrysler’s Turbine Car, with its sleeker and more modern sensibility. For this less-ostentatious era, Dodge crafted a new logo with three arrowhead shapes arranged in a triangle. It was still futuristic, but a little harder-edged and more modern than the Forward Look boomerangs. The negative space in the center sort of resembles a Wankel engine’s rotor, but that appears to be coincidental. Regardless, the fratzog fit the era, and the company’s crisper, cleaner cars that followed.
Yes, that’s this logo’s official name: the fratzog. What does it mean? The consensus is that it’s made up. Someone at Chrysler, during the period in which it was used (from 1962-1976), felt the logo should have a distinctive name. It’s not derived from any language, it’s not an acronym, it’s just an invented word for an interesting logo. While it wasn’t featured prominently in all cars of the era, it’s still a notable part of Mopar lore. (Note the large “DODGE” script on the below ’66 Polara pillarless sedan. The fratzog is resigned to the hubcaps.)
Dodge will clearly utilize it on its upcoming electric muscle car, but whether it will become its own sub-brand remains to be seen. From our vantage point, the fratzog is both a nod to Dodge’s own history and the era that birthed the logo—thinking about a future just around the corner.
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