The Long and Shocking History of Chevy

May 30th, 2018 by

The Chevy Bowtie Logo
Chevy has been the star of the automotive world since 1911 when it was first founded. Over the years, Chevy as a manufacturer has engineered over two hundred million cars, trucks, SUVs, and every other type of vehicle on four wheels. That being said, the history of this giant is even more impressive than the vehicles it designs.

Bullet Point History of Chevy

The history of Chevy is just as shocking as it is long and extensive. Trying to follow every detail would seem impossible, but broken down by profession milestones, release milestones, and marketing milestones you can grasp the full essence of Chevy. Here is the brief and easy-to-follow history that spans almost a century.

Professional Milestones

In 1911, Bill (William) Durant working for General Motors was kicked out due to a failure to obtain a bank loan to purchase the rights to Ford. He then started working with a past Buick racer and shop owner in Detroit named Louis Chevrolet to set up a new shop in Flint. By November 3rd the Chevrolet Motor Company was born.

In late 1915 and early 1916, Durant regains control of General Motors once again by buying up stock with help from the DuPont family and a bank president from New York.

In 1922, Fords head manufacture, William Knudsen, leaves to work for Chevy.

In 1924, the first Chevy plant outside the U.S.A is opened in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In 1942, war causes a decrease and standstill of civilian Chevy vehicle models. Chevy was required to manufacture trucks for military use.

In 1945, civilian car production resumes with a renewed passion.

In 1947, compact vehicles are starting to be designed with a plan to create the Chevy Cadet, but it was halted due to the low desire for small vehicles in America.

In 1965, for the first time in the history of the United States, auto, and light truck sales top 15 million. The Impala accounted for an impressive 803,400 of that statistic.
In 1971, 1976, and 1980, Chevrolet again attempted to make smaller cars popular. They focused on Vegas as a location in 1971, the Chevette was made as an attempt in 1976, and the Citation was an attempt in 1980. Each time all efforts were scrapped.

In 1979, the 100 millionth Chevy, the 1979 Chevy Monza, was built.

In 1983, production stalled and this model year lacked a Chevy Corvette. The only missed year since its creation.

In 1992, the millionth Corvette is built.

In 1997, Chevrolet trucks outsell their cars.

In 2002, the Camaro is discontinued.

In 2010, the Chevy Camaro returns to outsell the Ford Mustang.

Release Milestones

In 1912, the luxurious Series C “Classic Six,” enters the market at just over 2K.

In 1914, the Royal Mail Roadster (recorded as Chevrolet’s first automobile) at $750 appears wearing the very first Chevy bowtie logo.

In 1915, to compete with the Ford Model T, the Chevy Model 490 emerges as Chevy’s value vehicle at a price of $490.

In 1918, Chevrolet becomes part of General Motors and produces its first truck, the Cowl Chassis.

In 1929, the Stovebolt Six makes an appearance with the catchy slogan “a six for the price of a four” to emphasize its 6-cylinder design.

In 1934, independent front suspension, nicknamed “knee action,” was first introduced by Chevy.

In 1935 and 1936, the Suburban Carryall was brought to life as the original Chevy SUV. The Suburban is currently the longest-running nameplate in the automotive industry.

In 1948, Chevy produced a new truck. In fact, the first since WW2 in an all-new “Advance Design.” This would eventually inspire the Chevy SSR, emerging in 2003.

In 1950, Chevrolet offers the first ever automatic transmission, the Powerglide.

In 1953, the first Corvette comes to life.

In 1955, the V8 finally makes it mark on the world in all 1955 Chevy vehicles. The Cameo Carrier made its debut as a pickup truck that would earn the nickname, the “gentleman’s truck.”

In 1957, Chevy Trucks finally get four-wheel drive, and fuel injection was introduced as an option on select Chevys and Corvettes.

In 1958, the Impala is born.

In 1963, the Corvette StingRay Coupe with split windows debuted.

In 1964, the Chevelle debuted.

In 1967, Camaro debuted in response to the Ford Mustang.

In 1970, the Chevelle SS 454 and Chevy Monte Carlo are born.

In 1979, the Chevy Monza was built.

In 1988, full-size Chevrolet pickup trucks with extended cab styles enter the market.

In 1997, the C5 Corvette debuts, and the Malibu nameplate makes a comeback.

In 2008, renaissance styling Malibu makes an appearance.

In 2010, the Chevy Camaro returns.

Marketing Milestones

In 1927, Chevrolet builds a reputation for style and annual updates. Chevrolet uses this reputation to overtake Ford for the first time, with sales of more than 1 million vehicles.

In 1954, Chevy introduced a gold 1955 Chevrolet Bel-Air as their 50 millionth General Motors car. Talk about showing off.

In 1956, “See The USA In Your Chevrolet” was first sung by Dinah Shore, who was the first woman to host her own TV show.

In 1957, the Chevrolet Bel-Air becomes an American icon.

In 1962, the Beach Boys record “4-0-9” to honor the iconic 409 cubic-inch V8 engine.

In 1975, the “Baseball, Hot Dogs and Apple Pie” ad campaign started airing.

In 1986, the “Heartbeat of America” ad campaign started.

In 1991, Bob Seger song “Like A Rock” inspired a Chevy truck campaign.

So, that only leaves one question left. If history does truly reflect the future, what does Chevy’s history say about its future?

Posted in Chevrolet, Chevy dealer