Chevrolet

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Chevrolet

Brothers Louis, Arthur and Gaston Chevrolet migrated to the US from their native Switzerland as young men. Having worked for Mors, Louis was able to find plenty of work in the automotive industry, at the same time garnering a reputation as one of the countries leading race drivers. Building his own racer based on Buick running gear, the car would catch the attention of William Durant, founder (but no longer owner) of General Motors. The two quickly formed a partnership, which led to the development of the Classic Six in 1911.

Some 3000 had been manufactured by 1912, their popularity encouraging Chevrolet and Durant to expand their line-up, the Little Four based on Durant’s own Little Runabout, the first to carry the now familiar blue-and-white badge, while a single seat version was aptly called the Royal Mail. Forming the Chevrolet Aircraft Corporation with brother Arthur, Louis would have little to do with the company that bore his name, apart from a brief spell in the 1930’s, and would die in almost total obscurity in 1941. In the meantime the Chevrolet company had gone from strength to strength, first acquiring the Maxwell Motor Company factory in New York in 1914, then releasing the incredibly popular 490 – with a for the time bargain basement price of, you guessed it, $490.

By 1916 the company had manufactured 70,000 vehicles, and was quickly becoming a real challenger for Ford. In 1919 the company was absorbed by General Motors, who helped bolster production to almost 150,000. The depression would take its toll on the company, Chevrolet boss Pierre S. DuPont ignoring a consultants report to close the company, and helping it emerge from the depression in better financial shape than most. The post-war Bel Air was responsible for the company’s dominance of the US highways through the 1950’s, while the Corvette was every bit the match for the Ford Thunderbird. The one bump in the road came courtesy of investigative journalist Ralph Nader, his book Unsafe at Any Speed bringing about the demise of the Corvair, but being merely a blip on the radar of the now global giant.

Also see: Chevrolet Corvette | The History of Chevrolet
     
Chev Bel Air  

Chevrolet Bel Air


1954 - 1957
The 1950's are synonymous with young Americans enjoying rock 'n' roll, drive-in movies and cars that were fast and affordable. The Chevrolet Bel Air became one of the most popular American cars ever because of its unique style, engine modifications and affordable price. More >>
Chev Corvair  

Chevrolet Corvair


1959 - 1969
Controversy surrounded early Corvairs culminating in Ralph Nader to publish a book entitled "Unsafe at any Speed" which resulted in a change in government regulations and safety that continues even today. More >>
Chev El Camino  

Chevrolet El Camino


1959 - 1973
Many consider it unfair that the El Camino is so readily associated with ethnic and class stereotypes. Australia may be the birth place of the utility, but for the US market it was the Ford Ranchero and Chevy El Camino that introduced the notion of a vehicle offering car like comfort combined with truck like carrying capabilities. More >>
Chev Impala SS  

Chevrolet Impala SS


1961 - 1964
Most noticeable on the 61 Impala was the lack of tail fins, however the options fitted to the SS and the enormous size of the 6704cc V8 were what really put the car ahead of its time. More >>
Chev Corvette C2  

Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray

1963 - 1967
The Corvette Stingray was introduced in 1963 and, like its predecessors, had a fiberglass body but with styling that was all new with a mixture of muscled haunches and chiselled edges that resulted in unique appeal. More >>
Chev Camaro  

Chevrolet Camaro


1967 - 1969
The Ford Mustang can be credited with forcing other US car manufacturers to design and manufacture cars with personality and design flair. The AMC Javelin, Plymouth Barracuda and the now infamous Chevy Camaro were all created in response to the incredible popularity of the Mustang! More >>
Chev Camaro Z-28  

Chevrolet Camaro Z-28


1967 - 1969
Today, even the most ill-informed know the Z-28 designation referred to an engine option, a 302.4 cu. in., 290-hp V8, the heart of a sedan racing package. The option added US$437.10 to the Camaro's $2572.00 base price, but additional mandatory options, such as power disc brakes (front) and a four-speed close-ratio Muncie transmission, brought the sticker price up to a minimum of $3314.60. More >>
Chev Monte Carlo  

Chevrolet Monte Carlo


1970 - 1972
Equipped with all the creature comforts possible at the time, and finished with a Walnut dashboard to enhance its classy image, the car was most at home when cruising the highways. More >>
Chev Monza  

Chevrolet Monza


1974 - 1980
Chevrolet originally tried to obtain the Chaparral name from Jim Hall for their new subcompact – but when they were unsuccessful they turned to an old name that, to our mind, was much better anyway. The Monza 2 + 2 was born of thinking similar to that which inspired Ford's Mustang II. Chevrolet discovered, as Ford had, that the American car buyer was now interested in a small, sporty package with luxury features. More >>
Chev Citation

Chevrolet Citation


1980 - 1985
In order to contain the threat General Motors invested the unprecedented sum of 2.7 billion dollars in their 'X-Car' project. It was rated a worthwhile investment as it was estimated the new-generation cars would ultimately represent 60 per cent of the US market. More >>

 

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