Bigger’s Chevy History

Two founding fathers of the automotive industry can be credited with the existence of a car brand that, today, is a giant among automakers.

The father of the Chevy brand, Louis Chevrolet, lived by the motto “never give up.” A racecar driver born in Belgium, Chevrolet formed the Chevrolet Motor Company in 1911 inside a Flint, Michigan garage with the help of General Motors founder William Durant.

The very first Chevy automobile, known as the Classic Six, was a financial failure, but neither of these enterprising men gave up on the dream of creating a car that was both stylish and affordable – and could give the stalwart Ford Model T a run for its money.

Come along with us on a journey through Chevrolet’s history and explore the path that led to the creation of the automotive giant the world knows today.

1911-1940

  • 1912: The original Chevrolet, known as the “Classic Six,” is released to consumers at the premium price of $2,500.
  • 1914: Chevrolet’s “bowtie” logo shows up for the first time, as does Chevy’s valve-in-head engine design.
  • 1917: Chevrolet joins up with General Motors as GM’s low-price brand.
  • 1923: Chevrolet manufactures its 1 millionth car.
  • 1929: Chevy shakes up the auto industry with the innovation of a six-cylinder engine.
  • 1932: Chevrolet introduces its Chevrolet Roadster with a two-person rumble seat, priced at just $445.
  • 1935: The granddaddy of today’s popular Chevy Suburban is born: the Chevrolet Suburban Carryall.
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1941-1980

1953 Chevrolet Corvette

  • 1941: Civilian car production is halted following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Chevrolet’s factories are converted to support the war effort, producing military equipment, trucks, ambulances, and armaments.
  • 1946: Car manufacturing begins again for the 1946 model year.
  • 1952: Design commences on the very first Chevrolet Corvette – an American sports car with a fiberglass body.
  • 1956: Zora-Arkus Duntov, creator of the Corvette, agrees to race in the annual Pikes Peak Hill Climb behind the wheel of a preproduction car that hadn’t been revealed yet. He conquers the dangerous course fully camouflaged with no roll bar, winning his class and also setting a new record.
  • 1959: The Chevy Impala takes on Daytona, participating in its very first race since hitting the automotive market and winning.
  • 1960: An unofficial factory racing ban prompts the legendary Briggs Cunningham to take the Corvette to France, where this American race car makes its international debut and achieves the first-ever Chevrolet victory at Le Mans.
  • 1963: The Corvette Sting Ray, complete with “Split-Window” design, makes its debut and even stars in a TV show.
  • 1970: The SS454 Chevelle is introduced to the market at the peak of the muscle car era.

1980-Present

  • 1980: The 1980 Chevy Citation is marketed as the “First Chevy of the Eighties.”
  • 1989: Twenty-four Chevy Corvette ZR-1 preproduction models are taken on a press tour in the south of France.
  • 1997: Zora Arkus-Duntov’s historical 1956 Pikes Peak test run is revisited when Larry Ragland achieves a historical win in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb behind the wheel of a special electric Chevy S-10.
  • 2008: The Chevy Corvette wins its eighth Manufacturer’s Championship in a row, claiming the title of most successful team in American Le Mans history.
  • 2011: The game-changing electric Chevrolet Volt hits the market, receiving numerous accolades within the auto industry.
  • 2012: Chevrolet releases the Chevy Corvette Centennial Edition.
1989 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1
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Biggers Chevrolet
Biggers Chevrolet
1385 E. Chicago St.
Elgin, IL, 60120 United States
866-431-1555
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Biggers Chevrolet 42.036516, -88.26361.