Louis Chevrolet

New Zealand Classic Car - - Feature Car Chevrolet Speedster -

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.

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