100 Chevy Factoids

History of Chevy

1. Louis and William C. co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Company on , 1911. Chevy celebrates its 100th birthday on November 3, 2011.

2. A seasoned automobile racer and highly respected self-taught engineer, was born in on Dec. 25, 1878 and moved to with his family as a child. He immigrated to in 1900. By 1902, his younger brothers, Arthur and Gaston, had joined him. As early as 1905, Louis Chevrolet was winning notice as a fearless driver of the brutally primitive racing of the period. He became a member of William C. Durant's famed racing team in 1909. Working with a designer in a rented loft in during 1910, Louis Chevrolet began to lay out the plans for the that would bear his name.

3. The grandson of an early , William C. “Billy” Durant was born in 1861. By the 1890s, he was a highly successful manufacturer of horse-drawn carts that were distributed globally. Durant moved into auto when business associates convinced him to manage the fledgling Buick Motor Co. late in 1904. Spectacular success at Buick gave him the wherewithal to found in 1908. Durant added , , Oakland and other to the GM roster, before a 1910 banking crisis forced him out.

4. Looking to build a new automobile after leaving GM, the irrepressible Billy Durant made a deal with Louis Chevrolet to produce the well-known racer’s dream car. In 1912, Louis Chevrolet‘s $2,150 Series C “Classic Six,” a luxurious high-performance six-cylinder model, hit the streets of Detroit.

5. In late 1913, Louis Chevrolet parted company with Billy Durant, leaving behind the rights to produce cars bearing his name. Louis moved to , where he and younger brothers Arthur and Gaston would become legends in the lore of Indy 500 racing. The Chevy bowtie logo, designed under Durant's auspices, appeared for the first time in an ad before 1913 was out. The bowtie badge first appeared on Durant's new, more moderately priced, for 1914.

6. The Model H line launched with a durable four-cylinder that helped build Chevrolet’s reputation as a dependable car. The basic design would power Chevrolets through 1928.

7. Billy Durant had his eye on the value-priced market from the very start of his involvement with Louis Chevrolet and, in late 1915, introduced the Chevrolet 490 into the low-priced field. Its $490 list price made it a direct competitor to the Model T Ford of the time. During 1916, Durant leveraged the success of his Chevrolet car to regain control of General Motors.

8. In 1916, Louis Chevrolet drove a Frontenac racecar designed by the Chevrolet brothers in the . Four years later, wheeled a -Frontenac to victory at Indy. After Gaston was killed in a racing accident, Louis and Arthur formed a company to produce equipment for racers that were essentially forerunners of today’s sprint cars. Louis also designed aircraft in the late 1920s. Along with millions of others, Louis suffered heavy losses in the 1929 Wall Street Crash. Returning to Detroit, he worked for several years in a Chevrolet factory. Louis Chevrolet died in Detroit, of complications from diabetes, on , 1941. He was 63.

9. In 1918, the first Chevrolet were introduced; they were a light-duty model based on the Model 490 chassis and a heavy-duty 1-ton chassis. Commercial body builders provided bodies.

10. Chevrolet formally became part of General Motors Corporation in 1918, while the company was under the direction of founder Billy Durant for a second and final time. After departing GM in late 1920, Durant created . The company produced Durant, , and Locomobile automobiles, plus Mason trucks, before falling victim to the in 1933. In 1940, Durant, nearing 80 years of age, built and managed a Flint, Michigan bowling alley that was a prototype for a proposed chain. After suffering a while on a business trip in 1942, Durant moved with his wife to , where he died on , 1947.

11. In 1921, Billy Durant's successor at General Motors, Pierre S. duPont, turned to future GM chairman Alfred P. Sloan to help him evaluate Chevrolet’s prospects. Ignoring naysayers who thought otherwise, Sloan’s research convinced him that Chevrolet could become a globally successful value-priced . William S. Knudsen was brought in to run Chevrolet in 1922 and immediately set out to introduce a much-improved Chevy. The result was the well-received Superior model of 1924. By this time, GM was assembling new Chevrolets at a new plant in Copenhagen, —the first of a number of plants GM would establish to build cars in the regions and countries where they were sold.

12. In 1927, Chevrolet overtook Ford for the first time, with sales of a million-plus —more than double the 1925 tally. Colorful Duco finishes helped attract buyers to the popular Chevrolet models.

13. By the late 1920s, Chevrolet was a leading global brand, with assembly operations in numerous countries. General Motors was established in 1928, and assembly of Chevrolet cars, trucks, and soon commenced at a new assembly plant on the outskirts of Bombay (now ). That same year, new Chevrolets began rolling out of a new GM assembly plant in , Poland.

14. The 1929 Chevrolet Six was called “a six for the price of a four,” because major American competitors at the time offered only four-cylinder engines, at about the same price.

15. Chevy introduced “Knee-Action” independent front suspension to value-priced American cars when the feature debuted on the series for 1934.

16. GM de was established during 1935, with a plant built in what had then been a rural field outside . Soon, the Chevrolet brand in particular was a favorite among Mexican car and aficionados. (Employees shown with 1938 Chevrolet pickup.)

17. The 1935 Chevrolet Master’s new GM-developed all-steel Turret Top was a first among value- priced American cars of the period.

18. The Carryall truck, introduced in 1935, was the first American -type truck-based to have a body made of steel.

19. In 1940, ’s , who later became a world-renown Grand Prix driver, guided his 1940 Chevy to victory in a 13-day event from Buenos Aires to Lima, and back.

20. Civilian production of Chevrolet cars ceased on January 30, 1942, for the duration of WWII. Production of trucks for military use, including Carryall Suburbans, continued throughout the war years. Car production for civilian use was resumed on October 3, 1945

21. The new 1948 Chevrolet “Advance Design” trucks introduced during the summer of 1947 marked the first significant redesign of Chevrolet’s truck line since before World War II. New flow-through ventilation for the cabs of the 1948 trucks improved driving comfort.

22. Chevrolet became the first low-priced American car to offer an automatic , when was introduced as on an option on 1950 models. The first introduced styling to the value-priced field that same model year.

23. Chevy introduced the Corvette in 1953, marking the industry’s first production fiberglass body.

24. Bel Air became the top-line series designation for the restyled 1953 Chevrolets. GM E-Z Eye tinted glass was offered for the first time in Chevrolet cars and trucks that year.

25. On November 23, 1954, the 50 millionth General Motors car, a gold Bel Air, was featured in a nationally televised parade.

26. Chevrolet Chief Engineer Edward N. Cole introduced the legendary small-block V-8 in the all- new 1955 models. Since then, the Chevrolet small-block V-8 has powered more winning race vehicles than any other production engine. It ranks as one of the most significant engineering developments in Chevrolet’s 100-year history.

27. Capping one of the greatest years in its history, Chevrolet introduced an all-new line of light- duty Chevrolet trucks in March 1955. The Cameo Carrier, a limited production “gentleman’s pickup” that sported a uniquely styled pickup box, was one of the new models. The new trucks were available with Chevrolet's standard six, or the new small block V-8 engine.

28. In 1956 the “ Chevy Show” launched as a one-hour TV show, with Shore singing, “See the USA in your Chevrolet” at the close of each show. The show grew out of Shore’s earlier 15-minute programs and she was the first woman to host her own TV show. Shore had sung, “See the USA” since the early 1950s and the song was used in Chevrolet after her show ended in 1963.

29. Chevrolet introduced Ramjet mechanical in 1957 as an option on Chevrolet and Corvette models. It was the first fuel-injection system available on a regular production American car.

30. In 1957, the Chevy trucks offered factory-installed four- drive for the first time, with the famous NAPCO-supplied “Powr-Pak” system.

31. The Impala was introduced for 1958, and would go on to become the best-selling traditional full-size car ever, with more than 13 million vehicles carrying the nameplate sold by the time the final rear-wheel-drive Impalas were built in 1996. The Impala name was revived for Chevrolet's largest modern in 2000 and continues in production today.

32. The first El Camino passenger car pickup was introduced as a derivative of the full-size Chevrolet for 1959. Starting in 1964 and continuing into early 1987, the El Camino was based on contemporary intermediate Chevelle/Malibu platforms. There were five design generations of the El Camino produced—1959-60, 1964-67, 1968-72, 1973-77, and 1978-87.

33. The original , the first (and only) American car to feature an air-cooled, rear- mounted, six-cylinder engine, was named “ ” in 1960.

34. For 1961, the Corvair 95 panel and Greenbrier Sports Wagon were introduced. The Greenbrier could be fully accessorized for camping.

35. Chevrolet introduced the Chevy II, a more conventional than the Corvair, for 1962. Topping the Chevy II line were a bevy of deluxe “Nova 400” models, which included a . After the compact Chevrolet was redesigned for 1968, only sedan and styles were offered. All of the ’68s were “Chevy II Nova” models, while subsequent 1969 through the final 1979 editions were badged simply as Nova models. The Chevrolet Nova nameplate reappeared in spring 1984, on a 1985 front-wheel drive subcompact. Produced at a GM- plant, it would be built through the 1988 model year.

36. In 1962, The Beach Boys recorded “409” – an ode to Chevrolets powered by the 409 engine, which were burning up the quarter-mile at drag strips across the country.

37. 1963 marked the first and only split window Corvette Sting Ray Coupe. The popular Sting Ray design was produced through 1967, but the 1964-67 had a single-piece rear window.

38. The Chevelle, an “intermediate” size Chevrolet introduced for 1964, was priced and sized between the full-size traditional Chevrolet of the era and the compact Chevy II/Nova. Available with six-cylinder or V-8 power, the Chevelle was offered in base “300” and uplevel Malibu series. Sporty SS versions of the Malibu Sport Coupe and Convertible were also available.

39. In late 1966, the entered production as a 1967 model. In May, 1967, a specially detailed Camaro SS Convertible served as the Pace Car for that year’s Indianapolis 500. Two years later, Chevrolet returned to pace the Indy classic with a 1969 Camaro SS convertible that is today treasured as an iconic Indy Pace Car. In 2011, as Chevrolet and the Indianapolis 500 celebrated their shared Centennial anniversaries, a new Camaro SS Convertible Indy Pace Car—created in the spirit of the 1969 edition—paced the historic race. Since 1948, Chevy has paced the Indy 500 a total of 22 times, making more appearances than any other brand. Camaro has paced the 500 race seven times, including this year’s running.

40. Chevy’s all-new 1967 half-ton trucks included a new Suburban, which featured a unique three- door arrangement with a single door on the driver’s side, and front and rear doors on the passenger side. The configuration made the Suburban popular with ambulance companies, and the new design was also favored for towing RV equipment.

41. In late 1967, the third-generation Corvette was introduced as a 1968 model. The 1968 Corvette coupe featured America’s first regular production “T-top” removable roof panels.

42. On November 14, 1969, the three Apollo 12 astronauts parked their custom-painted 1969 Corvettes and blasted off on the second U.S. moon mission.

43. The street-legal muscle-car era reached its zenith in 1970, with that year's Chevelle SS 454 offering the legendary RPO LS-6 V-8, rated at 450-hp.

44. In February 1970, a longer, lower and wider second-generation Camaro debuted. The new model’s Rally Sport appearance package included a popular split- design at the front. The “RS” option could be ordered in combination with the RPO Z28 Special Performance Package, as shown here.

45. The Monte Carlo, a luxury-oriented Chevrolet “personal coupe,” made its first appearance in Chevrolet showrooms as a 1970 model. The new car’s hood measured six feet in length, making it the longest hood on any Chevrolet ever.

46. Already a drag-racing legend, Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins won the very first NHRA Pro Stock race at the Winternationals in 1970, driving a 1968 Camaro.

47. Chevrolet was among the first to benefit from GM's pioneering use of biofidelic (“human-like”) crash test dummies for automotive crash testing in the 60s and 70s, named Hybrid I. In 2010, GM donated a retired Hybrid III test dummy to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

48. One of America's most warmly remembered commercials, “Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie & Chevrolet,” appeared for 1975.

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie & Chevrolet

49. The Chevette—the smallest Chevrolet ever at that time—was introduced for 1976, in response to consumer interest in ultra fuel-efficient vehicles. Marketed as a subcompact in the U.S., the Chevette was built to metric measurements and was Chevrolet's first “.”

50. Debuting for 1977, new, “downsized” Impala and Caprice models were introduced with the slogan, “Now that’s more like it!” Overall length was reduced by 11 inches and weight was down by 550 lbs., yet passenger room and luggage space were uncompromised. Motor Trend magazine named the new 1977 Caprice its “Car of the Year.”

51. Corvette celebrated its 25th anniversary and paced the Indianapolis 500 for the first time in 1978. In total, has paced the Indy 500 ten times.

52. A 1979 Monza became the 100-millionth Chevrolet built.

53. Chevrolet introduced its first front-wheel drive car, the mid-size Citation, in mid-1979, as a 1980 model. Named Motor Trend Car of the Year for 1980, the Citation was offered with a 2.5L four or 2.8L V-6; both were mounted transversely.

54. In 1981, the first Cavalier was introduced, as a 1982 model. The version of the new front-wheel drive subcompact was considered the line's sport model. Also debuting for 1982 was the , a mid-size front-wheel drive Chevrolet.

55. The third-generation Camaro came to market for the 1982 model year. Seven inches shorter than its predecessor, the new Camaro was available with engines ranging from a 90-hp 2.5L four-cylinder to a 165-hp 305-cid V-8 that was optional in the Z28. A 1982 Z28 paced that year’s Indianapolis 500.

56. The compact S-10 Blazer, destined to become America’s #1 , was introduced in the fall of 1982, as a 1983 model.

57. Completely redesigned, the fourth generation Corvette was originally slated for introduction in the fall of 1982, as a 1983 model. However, production delays resulted in the new car being held back until January 1983—when it was released as a 1984 model. No “1983” model year Corvettes were sold.

58. The Camaro IROC-Z first appeared for 1985. The car was named for the International Race of Champions, which featured champions from various racing series competing against each other in identically prepared stock cars that were all of the same make and model. Camaros were used in the IROC races during 1975-80 and 1985-1989.

59. “The Heartbeat of America” Chevrolet advertising campaign debuted in 1986.

60. For 1986, Corvette became the first Chevrolet with anti-lock brakes, a feature that would soon spread to almost all Chevrolet models.

61. A Chevy Indy V8 racing engine powered the winning car at the 1988 Indianapolis 500. The victory marked the first of six consecutive Indy wins by Chevy Indy V-8 powered cars. The winning drivers were (1988 and 1991), (1989 and 1993), (1990) and , Jr. (1992). In 2002, Hélio Castroneves gave the Chevy Indy V8 its seventh victory at the Brickyard. During 2012, Chevrolet will compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series with a new twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V-6 racing engine powered by renewable .

62. In April, 1987 Chevrolet introduced its 1988 model-year C/K Pickups—the first all-new Chevrolet pickups since 1973. New Extended-Cab models broadened the appeal of Chevy's new, “leaner and meaner,” pickup line.

63. The import-inspired line of cars and trucks were introduced for 1989. In mid-1989, the Lumina Coupe and Sedan, along with the Lumina APV, also appeared—as 1990 models.

64. A new Caprice Classic was introduced for 1991. The Caprice Classic LTZ became Motor Trend's 1991 Car of the Year.

65. The Corvette ZR-1 smashed a trio of speed-endurance records during 1990, including averaging more than 175 mph for 24 hours (including pit stops).

66. In 1991, the “Like A Rock” advertising campaign was launched for Chevrolet trucks, with ’s song of the same name serving as its foundation. The campaign ran through 2004 and is regarded as one of the auto industry’s most successful.

67. Chevy put standard antilock brakes on more 1992 car and truck models than any other manufacturer.

68. In 1992, the one-millionth Corvette was built.

69. The fourth-generation Camaro debuted as a 1993 model—and Camaro paced the 1993 Indianapolis 500, marking its fourth appearance as the official pace car for the famed race.

70. The fifth-generation Corvette appeared for 1997. Its standard 350-hp RPO LS1 Gen III small- block V-8 introduced the design architecture of the GM “LS”-series V-8 engine family.

71. In 2004, the sixth-generation Corvette debuted as a 2005 model, with a 400-hp RPO LS2 V-8 standard. Former Secretary of State, General Colin L. Powell paced the in a new Corvette convertible.

72. GM introduced the Chevrolet advanced in 2007. The forward- looking design incorporated new and materials, as well as an innovative rechargeable electric drive system.

73. The 2007 blockbuster movie “Transformers” introduced , a character that transformed into a yellow Camaro concept car. Chevrolet later introduced a TRANSFORMERS Special Edition of the newly introduced production 2010 Camaro in 2009.

74. The Corvette ZR1, introduced as a 2009 model, was the most powerful and fastest production car in GM history—and with 638-hp, the 2011 version retains that distinction. The ZR1 is also the first car to feature exposed weave carbon fiber on the exterior, with the benefit of a sunscreen-like protective coating developed by GM engineers.

75. The Traverse, Chevrolet’s first full-size , debuted in 2008 as a 2009 model.

76. In 2009, the second-generation 2010 Equinox crossover debuted with EPA-estimated 32 MPG highway.

77. In 2009, the fifth-generation Camaro debuted as a 2010 model.

78. In 2010, the Chevy Cruze debuted in the U.S., as a 2011 model—with the Cruze Eco version offering EPA-estimated 42 MPG highway, with .

79. is the first car in the compact segment to feature 10 standard and achieve a 5-star overall vehicle score for from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's New Car Assessment Program (www.SaferCar.gov). The 2011 Cruze achieved 5-star U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) ratings in every individual frontal and side crash test and is the first car, in any market segment, to achieve these crash ratings everywhere it is rated and sold in the world—including, in addition to the , , , and .

80. Chevy Volt, Chevy’s innovative extended range , debuted in December 2010. The Volt has been named Motor Trend Magazine’s 2011 “Car of the Year,” was “North American Car of the Year” at the North American International Auto Show, and was picked by Automobile Magazine as their “2011 Automobile of the Year.” It was also honored as “2011 ” by Green Car Journal, and was included in ’s 10 Best Awards for 2011.

81. The 2011 Silverado HD was named 2011 Motor Trend “Truck of the Year,” at the same time that the was honored as the magazine's 2011 “Car of the Year."

82. Chevrolet announced in 2011 that MyLink, an in-car infotainment package that builds on the safety and security of OnStar, will be available in the 2012 Chevy Volt and Equinox.

83. On June 12, 2011, Corvette Racing’s new C6.R ZR1 car won the GTE Pro Class during the 2011 race. The win marked the seventh victory for Corvette at the legendary French course since 2001. Making the achievement even more worthy of celebration was that it came on the 10th anniversary of Corvette Racing’s first win at Le Mans, and occurred during Chevy's 100th anniversary year.

84. In 2011, Chevy launched the Corvette Centennial Special Edition as a 2012 model, with a nod to founding father Louis Chevrolet. A graphic logo featuring an iconic image of Louis Chevrolet appears on the B-pillars, the center caps of the , and the center of the wheel. The headrests also carry an embossed centennial logo.

Present Day

85. Only four of the 270 American automotive brands that existed when Chevrolet was founded in 1911 are still going a century later. They are Chevrolet, its GM sister brands Buick and Cadillac, and Chevrolet's traditional competitor from Dearborn, Ford. The GMC Truck brand was also established in 1911, with the nameplate first appearing on 1912 models.

86. Since 1912, Chevrolet has produced more than 200 million cars and trucks. In North America, Chevrolet has produced 180 million cars and trucks since 1912 (passenger Cars: 111 million; trucks: 69 million).

87. More than 40,000 employees, working in 30 General Motors manufacturing and assembly plants, help produce Chevrolet cars and trucks in the United States. Largest of the plants is the massive (six million sq. ft.) Lordstown Complex in Warren, , where 4,500 employees build and assemble the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. The smallest is the Wixom, Michigan, Performance Build Center, where 23 employees hand-build Corvette’s highest performance engines.

88. Current GM Vice-President of Global Design, Edward T. Welburn, is only the sixth executive head of GM design activities since founded the GM Styling section in 1927. Earl directed the design of the original Corvette Motorama dream car in 1953 and his successor, William L. Mitchell, designed the 1959 “Stingray” concept that inspired the production 1963 Corvette. Ed Welburn provided the design impetus that resulted in the 2006 Camaro concept coupe becoming a production reality for 2010. He is shown introducing the 2012 Camaro ZL1.

89. Performance is steeped in Chevrolet’s history, dating back to Louis Chevrolet’s passion for racing. Chevrolet is the most winning name in NASCAR history and has won the NASCAR Cup 34 times, more than any other brand. Counting Corvette Racing's June 2011 GTE Pro Class win, Corvette has won the coveted “24 Hours of Le Mans” trophy seven times. And, Chevy V-8 racing engines won the Indy 500 seven times between 1988 and 2002. These victories make Chevy one of a very few brands to have won at Le Mans, Daytona and Indy—auto racing’s .

90. Chevrolet sold 4.26 million vehicles globally in 2010, an average of one every 7.4 seconds. Around the world, one in every 1,616 people on this planet bought a Chevrolet last year.

91. If you lined up all of the Chevrolets purchased in 2010 bumper-to-bumper, the line would stretch 12,940 miles – 52 percent of the circumference of the earth.

92. Chevrolets are on the road in two thirds of the world, with the brand sold in 140 countries worldwide.

93. Top 5 Chevrolet Nameplates, according to 2010 Global Vehicle Sales: - Silverado - Cruze - Aveo - Malibu - Spark

94. Eight of the top-10 selling markets for Chevrolet 2010 are emerging markets – , China, , Mexico, , India, Argentina and . The shift to Emerging Markets is causing a fundamental shift in the global segment mix to “entry level” vehicles. (Chart shows 2010 sales growth in U.S. and “BRIC” nations.)

95. Chevrolet has been in Brazil for 87 years. Today, the country is the third largest market for GM globally and GM has 24,000 employees there. In 2010, GM sold 658,000 Chevrolet vehicles in Brazil. This 1928 photo celebrates the 50,000th Chevrolet produced in Brazil. It shows the very first Chevrolet built in Brazil, a 1924 commercial model, posed with a 1928 National Series AB . The 1928 photo at left celebrated the 50 thousandth Chevrolet produced in Brazil.

96. Chevrolet has been leading the South American market for 10 years. In 2010, GM sold 1.026 million units in that region, achieving a 19.9 percent market share. In and , the GM market share is 40 percent. Chevrolet is the market leader in six countries in : Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, , Uruguay and Paraguay. The whole market in the region reached five million cars for the first time ever in 2010. At the 2011 Buenos Aires International Auto Show in Argentina, Chevrolet revealed the Colorado Rally, the most recent show truck version of its next generation global midsize pickup—a truck segment that is of huge importance to consumers in many countries around the world.

97. In , Chevrolet’s share of the passenger market has increased from 4.3 percent May 2010 YTD to 7.2 percent May 2011 YTD. The Chevrolet Corsa Utility has occupied the number one position in the three-quarter ton segment of the market for over six years. The next generation vehicle promises to be an even bigger success, with its new styling and added features. Chevrolet has been in the South African market since 1916. Captiva SUV shown here was new for 2010.

98. On March 1, 2011, GM Auto & Technology Co. (GM Daewoo) announced they would be replacing their current nameplate with Chevrolet. Additionally, GM Daewoo changed its company name to GM Korea Co., which is globally consistent with all other GM country operations. The Korean company produces the , introduced into the U.S. market for 2004.

99. In the Middle East, the addition of new passenger cars, such as the Cruze and Malibu, have added to Chevrolet’s already strong offering of SUVs, crossovers and pick-ups, and is helping to grow Chevrolet’s sales in the region. In 2010, Chevrolet sold 83,187 vehicles, representing nine percent sales growth. In the first five months of 2011, Chevrolet sold 38,760 vehicles, representing 31 percent year-on-year growth. Chevrolets have been sold in the Middle East since the 1920s. A special display honoring Chevrolet’s 2011 Centennial features Chevrolet models that are popular in the region.

100. Chevrolet has a proud heritage in China dating back to the 1920s. In 2010, Chevrolet sales in China rose an unprecedented 63.4 percent to 543,709 vehicles – an all-time high. China ended the year as Chevrolet’s third-largest market behind the United States and Brazil. A Chevrolet Volt was recently displayed at GM China headquarters in , and its capabilities were demonstrated on Chinese roads.