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OFF-ROAD LIVE! Celebrates Chevrolet 100 Years Of Automotive Excellence

Chevrolet Celebrates 100 Years Of Automotive Excellence

The early years

Swiss-born Louis Chevrolet (1878-1941) was a racer, mechanic and pioneering engineer. William C. “Billy” Durant (1861-1947) was a visionary automotive marketer. Durant founded General Motors in 1908, as Chevrolet’s reputation as a daring driver – he established a land-speed record in 1905, attaining 111 mph in a special open race car – continued to grow. Durant hired Chevrolet for high-profile races and promotional drives.

In 2008, spotlighting 1908, OFF-ROAD LIVE! worked with the original management team at GM, to produce, "100 Off-Road Years", the start of Desert Off-Road Racing's Living History, here ONLINE.

In 1910, Durant was forced from the company he founded, but wouldn’t be deterred from the burgeoning auto industry. He regrouped with other partners, including Chevrolet, to develop a new car. Durant believed Chevrolet’s reputation as a racer would help sell the car, so it was named for him. The Chevrolet company was founded in 1911 and its first car, the Series C Classic Six, was a large, finely crafted motorcar. Its large, 4.9L (299 cubic inches) six-cylinder engine produced 40 horsepower and enabled a top speed of about 65 mph. It sold for $2,150 or the equivalent of nearly $50,000 today, when adjusted for inflation.

In 2010, spotlighting 1910, OFF-ROAD LIVE! produced more celebrations of the Desert Racing Lifestyle of the West Coast of the United States. "Celebrate Los Angeles" focused on the revival of the actual events and modern race recreations, surrounding the incredible history of the desert southwest.

For 2012, spotlighting 1912, OFF-ROAD LIVE! is producing the Largest FREE, Open To The Public "Ride", from Los Angeles To Phoenix, the Capital of Arizona, celebrating its 100th Year!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND JOIN US!

Despite its high price, the Chevrolet was well regarded for its style, precision and comfort. Durant was also producing a smaller, more affordable car called the Little. Sales of both were strong, but Durant recognized the strength of the entry-level field and steered his company in that direction. The Chevrolet Series C and the Little were produced through 1913. In 1914, the basic Little platform was remade as the Chevrolet Model L and later that year, the Model H was introduced.

The refocused Chevrolet line was immediately successful, thanks to a value-driven price and a tough four-cylinder engine that proved very durable. Despite the company’s early success, Durant and Chevrolet differed on the philosophy of the company’s products. The gulf between them resulted in Durant buying out Chevrolet’s interest in the company in 1915. Customers ultimately validated Durant’s vision and Chevrolet sales continued to grow. The success enabled Durant to buy a controlling interest in General Motors in 1916. By 1917, Durant was back at the helm of GM and Chevrolet was a division of it.

Durant left General Motors in 1920. He established another car company and became a prominent Wall Street investor. The stock market crash of 1929 proved fatal for both endeavors. He was bankrupt by 1936. He died in 1947 and was buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York.

Louis Chevrolet also lost his fortune during the Great Depression. He returned to his vocational skills and worked as a mechanic at a Chevrolet factory in Detroit. He died in 1941 and was buried in Indianapolis, near the famous speedway where he forged his reputation as a fearless racer and innovator.

Chevrolet Centennial Link Here

100 Years Of Chevrolet Here

Hendrick Motorsports Merch Here

Cruisin' Sports Chevy 100 Merch Here

Chevy Gear USA Merch Here

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