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This Page is a collection of information on the History of Chevrolet.

In The Begining

Here are a few of the people that started Chevrolet. They are the foundation to the most popular Automotive Company in the World today.


William C. "Billy" Durant


Of all the people who were instrumental in establishing the foundation of the American Automobile Industry, William Crapo "Billy" Durant William Durantwas one of the more compelling and complex personalities. He was known for his determination, loyalty, honesty and flamboyant style. He was an entrepreneur on a grand scale who had the ability to sell anything to anyone, except the bankers. According to Walter Chrysler, "He could charm the birds right down out of the trees".

Begining with Buick, he added Oldsmobile and Cadillac and founded General Motors Corporation, in 1908. Due to his aggressive management style, the bankers removed him from control in 1911. Undaunted, he and Louis Chevrolet, a famous Buick race driver, started the Chevrolet Motor Car Company, later that same year. In september of 1915, Durant again took control of GM and brought Chevrolet into the fold.

Due to a serious recession, bad acquisitions and poor sales the bankers again removed him from control in 1920. He announced plans to form Durant Motor Co., but never again achieved the level of success he had enjoyed at Chevrolet and General Motors.


Louis Chevrolet


Louis Chevrolet had established himself as a succesful and well known race car driver with the Buick race team. William C. Durant, who had origanally organizedLouis Chevrolet General Motors Corp., was aware of Louis Chevrolet's interest in becoming an automobile designer. What Durant like most about Louis Chevrolet was his name. Together they incorporated the Chevrolet Motor Car Company in November 1911.

This is a rarely seen photo of Louis Chevrolet and a Model C six-cylinder which was introduced in November, 1911. It is actually a 1912 model and was the first car to bear the name Chevrolet.

Louis Chevrolet claimed that he hadsecretly tested the car at four in the morning on a road outside of Detroit and had reached a speed of 110 m.p.h. He had been stopped by a constable and fined thirty dollors - five for speeding and twenty-five for impersonating a famous race car driver.

In 1914, Louis left the company in a dispute with Durant and disposed of all his stock. In the later years of his life, he said the greatest source of pride was the two Indy 500 winners he designed and built. He died on June 6 1941 in detroit at the age of sixty-two. He was buried in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Chevrolet BOWTIES

Chevrolet "Bow Tie" Emblem



The famous Chevrolet "Bow Tie" emblem first appeared on the 1914 models that were introduced in lateChevrolet Bow Tie 1913. How William C. "Billy" Durant came up wth the idea for the emblem is still a source of conjecture. Heclaimed it was the motif on the wallpaper in his hotel suite that he had seen while on a visit to Paris, France.His thinking was that this would probably add a touch of class to the symbol and thereby enhance the image he wanted for Chevrolet. His widow later said he had seen it in the rotogravure section of a Sunday Newspaper.

Some advertisments in 1914 used only the "Bow Tie" emblem as an illustration with a legend above it reading, "By this sign, ye shall know it".






More info on Louis Chevrolet and William C. Durant


Born in Switzerland on Christmas Day in 1873, Louis Chevrolet had immigrated to America at the age of 27 with the idea of selling a wine pump he had invented in his homeland. His two brothers, Arthur and Gaston, joined him later in the United States. All three brothers got involved with the infant automobile industry and became well known racing drivers. Louis Chevrolet's driving record shows that he actually outran the great Barney Oldfield to the finish line three times in 1905.

William C. "Billy" Durant had hired Louis and Arthur as drivers for the Buick race team while he was heading General Motors the first time. After his departure from General Motors, Durant hired Louis to design the engine for a new automobile which he planned to build. The European sounding name (Chevrolet), along with the family's reputation in Auto Racing, added up to a winning combination for a new car as far as Durant was concerned.

The first Chevrolet a 1912 Classic Six Touring caar, was shown on November 3, 1911.

Louis Chevrolet circled in RED and William C. Durant circled in BLUE.

Louis Chevrolet left the company in 1914 over a dispute with Billy Durant. Chevrolet became part of General Motors in 1918 when Durant took control of the firm for the second time.


Detailed History of Chevrolet




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