Louis-joseph Chevrolet was born in Switzerland in 1878, his family moving to France when he was just a boy. When he joined the workforce he trained as a mechanic, moving from Paris to Canada in 1900. Chevrolet soon found himself hired by Fiat as a race driver and, in later years, he raced Buicks. Setting up his own machine shop in Detroit, he established the Chevrolet Motor Company in 1911, and became a successful car racer and speed-record holder who designed and built cars bearing his own name. He walked out and sold his shares in the company just as the first model became successful, ending his working days as a mechanic at the Chevrolet plant. Along with his brother, he went on to found the Frontenac Motor Corporation in 1916, but that company was taken over in 1923. Louis was a regular Indianapolis 500 competitor, racing at the brickyard four times — his highest placing being seventh in 1919. Sadly, Louis died almost penniless in 1941, but his name has since become an American motoring icon.