Who Was Louis Chevrolet?

Chevrolet Bowtie | Tacoma, WA

The Chevrolet brand is one of the most well-known names in the world. Do you know where the name comes from? Chevrolet was named after Louis Chevrolet, who was an early race car driver born in Switzerland in 1878. He moved to New York City in 1902 where he raced for Fiat.

Eventually, William Durant, the founder of General Motors, noticed Chevrolet’s racing skills. Durant hired Chevrolet to be his chauffeur and convinced him to create a car company with him. Durant and Chevrolet produced their first car, the Chevrolet Classic 6 in 1910.

Unfortunately, the partnership did not last. Louis Chevrolet wanted to focus on racing cars, while Durant wanted to build more economical cars like the popular Model T. In 1913, Chevrolet officially left the company, sold his stock, but let Durant keep the name.

After Louis Chevrolet split from Durant, he continued focusing on automotive design and co-founded the Frontenac Motor Corp. This company built high-performing race cars that competed all across the country and even won the Indianapolis 500 twice. The Frontenac Motor Corp. did not last long and Chevrolet eventually had to file for bankruptcy.

Chevrolet died when he was just 63 years old. He was buried in Holy Cross and Saint Joseph Cemetery, which is close to the brickyard in Indianapolis.

Pay homage to the man who started this American-made brand when you stop by Titus-Will Chevrolet to test-drive your favorite Chevy model.