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Louis Chevrolet co founder of Chevrolet

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With Chevrolets 100th anniversary here and being talked about in the news I thought

it would be nice to learn a little about this great brand and how it was started.


Chevrolet (more info after the jump)


Chevrolet ( /ˈʃɛvrəleɪ/), also known as Chevy ( /ˈʃɛvi/), is a brand of vehicle produced by General Motors Company (GM). Founded by Louis Chevrolet and ousted GM founder William C. Durant on November 3, 1911,[1] Chevrolet was acquired by General Motors in 1917. Chevrolet was positioned by Alfred Sloan to sell a lineup of mainstream vehicles to directly compete against Henry Ford's Model T in the 1920s, with "Chevrolet" or "Chevy" being at times synonymous with GM. In North America, Chevrolet offers a full range of automobiles, from subcompact cars to medium-duty commercial trucks.


On November 3, 1911 a racecar driver and automotive engineer Louis Chevrolet cofounded the Chevrolet Motor Car Company with William C. Durant (ousted founder of General Motors) and investment partners William Little (maker of the Little automobile) and Dr. Edwin R. Campbell (son-in-law of Durant).

Durant from the management of GM in 1910. Durant took over the Flint Wagon Works, incorporating both the Mason and Little companies. As head of Buick Motor Company, prior to founding GM, Durant had hired Louis Chevrolet to drive Buicks in promotional races.[2] Durant wanted to use Chevrolet's name as a racer to rebuild his own reputation.

Actual design work for the first Chevy, the costly Series C Classic Six was drawn up by Etienne Planche, following the instructions of his old friend Louis. The first C prototype was ready months before Chevrolet was actually incorporated.

Chevrolet first used its "Bowtie emblem"[3] logo in 1913. It is said to have been designed from wallpaper Durant once saw in a French hotel. More recent research by historian Ken Kaufmann presents a compelling case that the logo is based upon a logo for "Coalettes".[4] Others claim that the design was a stylized Swiss cross, in honor of the homeland of Chevrolet's parents.[5]

Chevrolet logo, ca. 1943Louis Chevrolet had differences with Durant over design and in 1915 sold Durant his share in the company. By 1916, Chevrolet was profitable enough to allow Durant to repurchase a majority of shares in GM. After the deal was completed in 1917, Durant was president of General Motors, and Chevrolet was merged into GM, becoming a separate division. In 1917 Chevrolet factories were located at New York City; Tarrytown, N.Y.; Flint, Michigan; Toledo, Ohio; St. Louis, Missouri; Oakland, California; Fort Worth, Texas, and Oshawa, Ontario.[6] In the 1918 model year, Chevrolet introduced the Model D, a V8-powered model in four-passenger roadster and five-passenger tourer models. It also started production of an overhead valve in-line six. Most cars of the era had only low compression flat head engines. These cars had 288in3 55 hp (41 kW) engines with Zenith carburetors and three-speed transmissions.......

Louis Chevrolet (more info after the jump)


Louis-Joseph Chevrolet (December 25, 1878 – June 6, 1941) was a Swiss-born American race car driver of French descent, co-founder of the Chevrolet Motor Car Company in 1911 and later, the Frontenac Motor Corporation in 1916 which made racing parts for Ford's Model T. [1]



Louis Chevrolet was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. In 1886, Chevrolet's family left Switzerland to live in Beaune, in the Côte-d'Or département of France. It was there as a young man Louis developed his mechanical skills and interest in auto racing.

[edit] Early careerHe worked for the Roblin mechanics shop from 1895 to 1899, at which time he went to Paris, where he worked for a short time before emigrating to Montreal, Quebec in Canada in 1900 to work as a mechanic. The following year, he moved to New York City, where he worked briefly for a fellow Swiss immigrant's engineering company, then moved to the Brooklyn operations of the French car manufacturer de Dion-Bouton...........


1911-1913 Chevrolet Series C Classic Six Facts

Some other threads I have posted about Chevrolets 100th anniversary.

Equipe’s “100th Big Block” Chronograph Watch Celebrates Chevy Turning 100


2012 Chevrolet Corvette (& Centennial Edition Z06 ), gets upgraded interior, new tires and options [w/video]



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Nice piece. The Sloan Museum/Buick Gallery in Flint Michigan is where "The Pontiac" resides. It also has a Little, a Whiting, a Flint, a Dort, and the most valuable Chevrolet in existence. It is the 1913 Chevrolet. It is the last Chrevolet that Louis Chevrolet had anything to do with the design. The Buick Gallery officials tell me that it is one of only two in existence. This is the only one assembled. It is insured for nearly $10M!

The Vintage Chevrolet Club of America (VCCA) is having it's national meet in Flint, MI from July 17-22, 2011. The VCCA has its national meet every 5 years. It is being held in Flint to commemorate the 100th annversary of Chevrolet since Chevrolet and GM were started in Flint. Their activities are outlined in their event flyer below:


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