Louis Chevrolet (11878 - 1941) built bicycles during his childhood years in his native Switzerland. In 1900, he emigrated to Canada, and then to the United States, where he participated in a new sport called automobile racing. He would earn international fame both as a driver for Buick and as a mechanic.
His fame helped capture the attention of William C. 'Billy' Durant, the founder of General Motors, of which Buick was a part. Durant split from GM in 1911 and privately hired Chevrolet to design a car for the public. This lead to Durant, Chevrolet and two other individuals incorporating the Chevrolet Motor Car Company on November 3rd of 1911, with headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. Two prototypes soon followed with the first production car being produced in late 1912, called the Classic Six.
Louis Chevrolet resigned from the company in 1913, but before he left he produced the 'Baby Grand' model. This particular example, currently on display in the Swigart Museum, is one of the first examples made.
Powering the 'Baby Grand' is a four-cylinder, valve-in-head engine cast en block. It has a three speed selective transmission with a cone clutch. The lubrication is splash system with positive pump. There is a thermo-syphon cooling system with a fan, and a double-jet carburetor. This car has the optional electric lighting and starter, with coil and distributor ignition, instead of magnet.
The car has a base price of $875, plus $125 for the electric options, bringing the total to $1,000.By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2016
The Chevrolet Series C, classic known as the Classic Six, was the first Chevrolet model produced. It was one of the only models to be produced while Louis Chevrolet, the record-setting Buick race car driver, was still with the company. Part of the reason that Louis Chevrolet left the company was that he was extremely happy with the large and powerful automobile, while William Durant wanted a smaller and cheaper vehicle. This disagreement led to Louis Chevrolet leaving the company.
The Series C Chevrolet was powered by a six-cylinder engine and mated to a three-speed gearbox with a cone clutch mounted at the rear axle. The Chevrolet models that followed, under the management of Durant, were more inexpensive and powered by a 4-cylinder engine, which put them in direct competition with the Model T from Ford.
The Series C Classic Six was capable of speeds of 65 mph and came equipped with a starter, four doors, a folding top, a tool box, a cowl light, and electric headlights.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2011