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The History of Chevrolet, An American Product

Few products have come to symbolize the American lifestyle like the Chevrolet automobile. Within the 1950s, singer Dina Shore urged us to “See the united states, inside your Chevrolet”, while Don McLean’s despondent teenager drove his “Chevy to the levy” in McLean’s 1971 classic hit, “American Pie”. While Americans’ love affair with Chevrolet vehicles cannot be denied, it should be noted that Chevrolet cars and trucks are produced around the world, and have been since 1923. For the reason that year, Chevrolet’s parent company, Vehicle, opened its first European assembly plant in Copenhagen, Denmark. Americans ought to know that Chevrolets are just as popular on the streets of Manila and Sao Paulo, as they are on the freeways of La or even the byways of Albuquerque.

Any discussion of Chevrolet history must start with the vehicle’s founder and namesake, Louis Chevrolet. Chevrolet, of French descent, was created the son of a watchmaker in Switzerland in 1878. Young Chevrolet cared little for school, preferring to tinker with all things mechanical. Like a young man, Chevrolet repaired and raced bicycles, developing a local reputation like a competitive racer. As Chevrolet honed his mechanical skills, his interest in bicycle racing waned in favor of automobile racing, a sport then in the infancy. We have spent as a mechanic in Paris, after which in Montreal, Chevrolet found its way to New York City in 1900. Chevrolet was eventually hired like a race car driver by Fiat, and he started to achieve an impressive quantity of victories on the racing circuit. Chevrolet’s reputation as a race car driver continued to grow, as well as for a short time he held the earth’s land speed record of 119 miles per hour.

Sands Chevrolet

A number of victories with the Fiat racing team catapulted Louis Chevrolet to celebrity status in America, capturing the interest of William C. “Billy” Durant, an effective horse drawn carriage manufacturer and founding father of General Motors. Durant hired Chevrolet as lead race car driver to promote a brand new type of motor cars called Buicks, and Chevrolet, although often injured in crashes, continued to win races.

Automobile manufacturing was considered a risky investment in the first many years of the twentieth century, as well as in 1910, Durant, over extended and unable to obtain credit, was ousted from his management position at General Motors. Free to pursue other endeavors, he teamed with Louis Chevrolet, William Little, and his son-in-law, Edwin Campbell to form the Chevrolet Motor Company, in November of 1911. The company was so named in order to capitalize upon the well-known name of Louis Chevrolet. The Chevrolet automobile they designed and built was an expensive 6-cylinder luxury vehicle, intended to reflect the rate and European elegance associated with the name Chevrolet. The Chevrolet Series C Classic Six automobile was capable of speeds of up to 65 mph – an amazing speed in those days. Louis Chevrolet was happy with the sleek, fast, but expensive vehicle built on European design. Billy Durant, however, had different plans for that Chevrolet.