Louis Chevrolet

Inducted 1969

Building on his racing expertise, designed the first Chevrolet (1910) and the Frontenac (1914)

Designed the “Fronty-Ford” aftermarket cylinder head and racing package, enabling owners to enhance their car’s performance

What Louis Chevrolet learned on the race course became part of many popular cars on America’s highways. Born in Switzerland and raised in France, Chevrolet enjoyed racing bicycles, but lost his heart to the automobile at first sight. “What makes it run? How does it go? Can’t it go faster?” he asked aloud at the family dinner table. Later, a job with the Dion Bouton Motorette Company brought him to America were he met William Durant. Chevrolet and his brother, Arthur, became part of a successful team that designed and raced “Buick Bugs” for Durant and David Buick. Chevrolet then designed the first car bearing his name, the Chevrolet Classic 6, which was manufactured by Durant. After a falling-out with Durant, Chevrolet formed the Frontenac Motor Company in partnership with his brother. Their firm designed and produced cars that won many races, including the Indianapolis 500 in 1920 and 1921. Although his business was not a financial success, Chevrolet continued to make his expertise available to other manufactures. He later turned to designing airplanes and aircraft engines. Chevrolet’s personal motto was: “Never give up!”

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