The History of Chevrolet: American Classic

The History of Chevrolet: American Classic

It’s a bit ironic, perhaps, that an iconic American car like Chevrolet should have a French name, but it’s true! In 1909, a buggy manufacturer from Flint named William Durant asked the famous French race car driver Louis Chevrolet to help design a new kind of automobile designed specifically for American drivers. The first car began to be manufactured in 1911; it was meant to be Durant’s less expensive alternative to Ford’s successful Model T. This model was called the “Classic Six.” It was a relatively large auto that could seat five comfortably, had four doors, electric lights, and could reach a top speed of 65 mph.

In 1914, Chevrolet adopted its famous “bowtie” logo that is still in use today. No one’s exactly sure how that particular design came to be, but the legend has it that Durant himself saw it on a French wallpaper pattern, liked it, stole a piece of the wallpaper, and duplicated the design later! By 1917, Chevrolet was seeing success in the marketplace and sales hit 100,000. Over the next ten years, Chevy was the first to sell a car with a radio, joined forces with the GM Corporation, introduced a truck, and outsold the Ford Company for the first time. In all but just a few of the next 55 years, Chevrolet would be the number one name in American car companies.It’s hard to remember what roads were like in 1934, but it’s safe to assume that they were nothing like the smooth freeways we enjoy today. So imagine the public’s delight when Chevrolet was the first to introduce independent front suspension. It made the automobile cruising experience much more comfortable for everyone! The following year, the Suburban Carryall became the first station wagon-type vehicle and was a big hit with families.

Because of the demands of World War II, Chevrolet halted civilian production of its automobiles in 1942 and actually did not produce any new models for another four years. Its plants were converted into buildings for the manufacture of war products instead. The post-war years saw an absolute explosion in automobile technology and a modernization of chassis design. Among the innovations brought to the marketplace by Chevrolet were automatic transmission, power brakes, fuel injection, and bucket seats. The introduction of the sexy and sporty Corvette in 1953 created a sensation, and a design was put into place for its mass production. It was the first automobile to have a fiberglass body.

In the 1960’s, Chevrolet produced more models that became classics in American car manufacturing: Corvair, Impala, Nova, Stingray, and Camaro. In 1964, Chevy was the first to produce over 3 million cars and trucks in a single year.

In more recent times, Chevy has been an innovator in modern SUV design and tough utility trucks. “Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet” is a slogan that aptly describes the effect this truly all-American auto company has had on our history and love affair with driving!

About the Author
Find your all-American Chevrolet in Provo Utah at Brent Brown ( Their experts will help you find the right model at the right price for you and your family.
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