Chevrolet was founded back in 1911 in Detroit, Michigan, which should come as no surprise as it is the epicenter of car manufacturing. The company has a long history filled with secrets that led to their continued success. They have managed to survive through wars and depressions, even though the odds were against them, and they continue to create outstanding vehicles.
We have created a list of some things you might not have known about this old car company. These facts are mind-blowing and will help you see this company in a new light as you learn more about them. Keep reading to learn ten surprising facts you didn't know about Chevrolet.
10 There are Several Rumors About the Bow Tie Logo
This infamous logo was introduced back in 1913 by William C. Durant, the co-founder, but the story behind the logo changes depending on who you ask. There are three different stories, which come from the man himself, his wife, and his daughter.
Durant has stated that the inspiration came from the wallpaper at a hotel he stayed at during his time in France. His daughter, on the other hand, said it was the chosen design of one of his many doodles at the dinner table. There are those who give credit to his wife's story, as her hints led people to believe he more or less stole the design from the Coalettes, a compressed coal company.
9 They Tried Selling a Dial Steering Wheel
The Chevrolet Turbo Titan II was a concept vehicle that was put on display for the public in 1965. The first American spacewalk happened during this year, so many car companies encourage people's passions by creating vehicles with space-themed interiors. They had what was called "astronaut seats," but what was even more strange was the dial steering wheel.
They created it in an effort to best the other companies trying to sell similar vehicles with gas turbine engines. The entire project eventually fell through thanks to government programs and clean air initiatives, but we will forever remember this time because of this iconic steering wheel.
8 The Camaro Was Originally Called the Panther
Chevy had originally made 50 of these vehicles back in 1967 and they called them the Black Panthers. Ford had just come out with their Mustang, and Chevrolet wanted to compete, but it meant keeping this special car a secret for many years.
The first name was something the public could talk about and remember, but they changed the name of the car the following year to the Camaro. This change was prompted, as they wanted to draw less attention to themselves and the safety of this vehicle. The new name is roughly translated as "warm friend," but Chevy has always defined it as a vicious animal that eats Mustangs.
7 Louis Chevrolet Was Only With The Company 3 Years
Louis Chevrolet started as a mechanic and eventually became a racecar driver for Buick as well. William C. Durant, the founder of General Motors, saw his talent and decided to team up with him to create this new company bearing his last name.
Durant had the vision to create affordable cars that everyone would be able to afford, but Louis Chevrolet had a desire to make high-end vehicles. Due to their differences, Chevrolet left the company but couldn't take back his name. He did, however, found several other car companies over the span of his lifetime, but never was able to build a company as grand as the one bearing his name before he passed.
6 They Built the First SUV
The Chevrolet Suburban Carryall was the first SUV to hit the market, and it holds the record for the longest-running line of SUVs. It was introduced back in 1933 in order to compete with Studebaker's popular wagons.
The first generation of the SUVs we know and love today came in 1935 and had some key features, like removable seats and plenty of space to transport passengers or cargo. It was iconic for the time period and has inspired the creation of some of our favorite SUVs that are on the market today.
5 The First Model Was Unsuccessful
These were the only cars at Chevrolet that Louis himself saw leave the production line. The goal was to create a car that rivaled Ford's Model T, and it was released back in 1911. The entire venture went horribly wrong as the car didn't sell, partly due to the $2,250 price tag, but they didn't give up.
They kept working on improving the vehicle, which only became better once Chevrolet finally left his own company. Today, you can see a complete version of this car at Sloan Museum in Flint, Michigan, which is where these vehicles were made.
4 The Chevrolet Corvette in the 1978 Indy 500 was Painted to Look Good in Black-and-White
The 1978 Chevrolet Corvette was made to celebrate and mark this car company's 25-year milestone. They created two vehicles for this iconic occasion, and one of them was the Indy 500 Pace Car. The car was given a two-toned paint job with black and metallic silver, as well as a red strip in between the two.
The company knew this car would be photographed and they wanted it to be, so they had to make sure it looked good. Color photos were a thing during this period, but most newspapers and magazines still printed pictures in black and white. They delivered a car that would stand out despite the lack of color and we couldn't agree more that it looks sharper than ever.
3 During World War II They Stopped Producing Civilian Vehicles
When World War II rolled around Chevrolet decided to stop producing civilian vehicles so they could focus on helping the war effort. They easily converted their plant into an industrial factory for everything war-related.
They focused on building T-17 Staghound armored scout cars, but they also helped by creating airplane engines, artillery shells, irons castings, and so much more. They still had one plant making replacement parts for existing civilian vehicles, but otherwise, they had their eyes set on the gold the war promised to put in their pockets.
2 The Rarest Chevy Truck is the 2006 Silverado Intimidator SS
This was a special edition truck that was created in honor of Dale Earnhardt, a racecar driver. He passed during a race back in the 2001 Daytona 500, so Chevrolet named this truck in his honor. There were only 1,333 ever released to the public and they coms with plenty of logos and other mementos to remind the driver why this truck is so special. It is currently on the market for $45,000, but this steep price is worth a lifetime of happiness as you stare at this beauty day in and day out.
1 They Created a New Way to Ship Cars
When Chevrolet was ready to sell the Vega, they needed a way to make shipping more affordable. They found a way to ship these cars vertically, rather than horizontally, which allowed them to fit double the amount of vehicles on a train car as they raised the number from 15 to 30 vehicles.
This allowed them to keep costs low and more affordable for all consumers. The car was designed around this transportation method, as things had to be positioned in such a way so no liquids would leak out.