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Chevrolet Company History

Published: 24th Mar 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!


Chevrolet Archive

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Chevrolet has been America’s top selling and best known marque within General Motors for generations, and as quintessentially Uncle Sam and Stars and Stripes as it’s possible to get.

Paradoxically, Louis Chevrolet was actually Swiss born at La Chaux de Fonds, Neuchatel on Christmas Day 1878, the son of a watch and clockmaker Josef Chevrolet. The family moved to its native France when Louis was 10 years old and settled in Beaune. Louis induction into the automotive world was working for Darracq, De Dion and Mors in Paris, prior to him emigrating to the USA in 1901 aged 23. He linked up with William Durant who was then running Buick and Louis became race driver and road tester for the firm while his brother Arthur became Durrant’s chauffeur.

On November 8th 1911 the Chevrolet Motor Company was founded by Louis Chevrolet and William Durant. The first car to bear the Chevrolet name was the Classic-Six in 1912, a large five passenger car powered by a 299ci six-cylinder engine and cost a pricey $2150. The famous Bow-Tie logo was introduced in 1913 and is said to have been adopted from the Swiss cross, paying homage to the country of Chevrolet’s birth. Louis Chevrolet left the company in 1914 and started the Frontenac Motor Company, became a US citizen in 1914 and the Chevrolet Motor Company became part of General Motors in 1917.

Louis Chevrolet later became vice president and chief engineer for the short lived American Motors Corporation, and after several more less than successful businesses he died almost penniless on June 6th 1941. However, his name lived on to become an institution within the US automotive industry. One of the most endearing legacys has been the famous, venerable, most versatile, 265ci small block V8 introduced in ‘55 available in 165, 185 and 195bhp options and became the most massed produced V8 engine in the world.

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