Chevrolet: An American Icon

Chevrolet Motors is an American Icon. Anybody on any street in America can tell you what a Chevrolet is or at least recognize their signature bow-tie emblem used on their vehicles since 1913. With strong minded founders wielding a will and a way over a century ago, Chevrolet has grown to become a driving force in the automobile industry all over the globe. From classics such as the Corvette, to new innovations such as the Volt and EcoTec engines, Chevrolet is a staple in American Culture, one that is here to stay.

The beginnings of Chevrolet Motors came about in early 1911 when William Durant was ousted from GM motors and enlisted the help of well-known race car driver, Louis Chevrolet to build his own automobile. Durant was aware of Chevrolet’s ambitions to build a car of his own, and the name Chevrolet was already well known in motorsports. With Durant’s financial backing Chevrolet hired a French mechanic names Etienne Planche, who had previous experience in the field, and mechanic Henry Winterholf whom he had met on the Buick Racing Team. Chevrolet rented the second floor of the D.

M. Schulte & Sons garage in Detroit, Michigan to start plans on the car. On May 30th 1911 Flint Daily Journal leaked news of the Chevrolet car coming from Durant. Headlines also read that Bill Little would be running operations. Little was a veteran in the industry. He knew not only the importance of building a trifecta of low, medium, and high priced cars, but he knew also how to do it. Durant and Little made negotiations and the headquarters for the operations were set up in the Corcoran Light factory building in Detroit, Michigan.

In August of 1911 the “Chevrolet Car Company” put out an order of 2,500 four cylinder engines from Flint Wagons Work by years end. But soon after deals were made, and Durant purchased Flint Wagon Works from President C. M. Begole for a total of ten dollars cash and stock shares in Durant’s new company. Finally in November of the same year, the Chevrolet Motor Car Company was incorporated by William Durant, Louis Chevrolet, William Little, and Edwin Campbell – Durant’s son-in-law. Headquarters was at the West Grand Boulevard plant in Detroit Michigan.

That was over a century ago, and Chevrolet has grown into an internationally successful company, with sales all over the globe, and with an ever growing and ever evolving and advancing line up of vehicles. One such vehicle is the legendary Corvette. For over sixty years the Corvette has been one of the most sought after sports cars on the market, and in recent years has become more than any ordinary sports car. In the year 2005 the Corvette C6 was released with a groundbreaking base engine busting out 430 horsepower. While the high end Vette, the ZR1 had an astonishing 638 supercharged horsepower.

At this time Corvette had become a world class super car, competing with cars such as the Porsche 911 and the Ferrari F430. While cars such as the Ford GT and the Dodge Viper come and go throughout the decades, Corvette has been steadily marketed for the past 60 years. Chevrolet has effectively stamped its name next to those such as Lamborghini, Porsche, and Ferrari. While even more impressively, at half the price and even a third of the before mentioned competitors. For the past century, Chevrolet alongside every other automobile manufacturer in the world, have been at the mercy and limitations of gasoline/diesel powered engines.

In recent years, with the worlds dwindling fuel sources and escalating costs, automakers have started to develop more fuel efficient engines to meet these new issues. Chevrolet has taken it a step forward, and is leading the way with new innovative electric cars. Namely, its flagship vehicle the Volt. With its advanced Lithium battery backing two electric motors, and the gasoline engine serving as a backup generator, the Chevy Volt offers a 98mpg equivalent, alongside a 40mpg average while running only the gasoline powered motor. The Chevy Volt is ahead of the competition in all categories.

Outlasting competitors such as the Toyota Prius, with its gasoline engine’s mpg, and technically all other competitors. It also receives high appraise for its familiar feeling powertrain, which is much like any other gasoline ran vehicle on the road. To compete in an emissions and mileage conscious market, Chevrolet has developed a motor with fewer emissions, and with greater mileage, dubbed EcoTec. In past years, this technology has been developing slowly but surely, and working its way across every engine Chevrolet has to offer, with end results being increased fuel economy and lower emission ratings.

In recent years EcoTec Gen. III has made its way into Chevrolet’s engines. Boasting a A direct injection, straight-4 combustion chamber, delivering a powerful output of 272 horsepower with 266 lb-ft of torque. These new motors have unique features, such as variable valve timing and cam phasing. These features applied to an engine can offer the consumer a powerful V8 when needed and a complete valve shutdown resulting only four cylinders running, increasing fuel economy and efficiency dramatically. Chevrolet started in humble beginnings, one man with a dream in Detroit, Michigan over a hundred years ago.

And has grown into a prominent role in the automobile industry, with classic cars such as the Corvette, competing on a global scale as a dominant supercar, and new models such as the Volt, innovating the automobile as we know it, and the EcoTec engines, creating an ever more earth and wallet friendly motor. Chevrolet is a staple in American Heritage, and is an icon that is here to stay. Works Cited Wilkinson, Tom. “The Birth of a Wildcat (Chevrolet in the post-war years). ” . N. p. , 19 Dec 2010. Web. 26 Nov 2013. Burns, James W. “Chevrolet’s First Steps: In the Beginning.

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