On November 3, 1911, Swiss race car driver and automotive engineer Louis Chevrolet co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Company in Detroit with William C. Durant and investment partners William Little (maker of the Little automobile), former Buick owner James H. Whiting, Dr. Edwin R. Campbell (son-in-law of Durant) and in 1912 R. S. McLaughlin CEO of General Motors in Canada.
Durant was cast out from the management of General Motors in 1910, a company which he had founded in 1908. In 1904 he had taken over the Flint Wagon Works and Buick Motor Company of Flint, Michigan. He also incorporated the Mason and Little companies. As head of Buick, Durant had hired Louis Chevrolet to drive Buicks in promotional races. Durant planned to use Chevrolet's reputation as a racer as the foundation for his new automobile company. The first factory location was in Flint, Michigan at the corner of Wilcox and Kearsley Street, now known as "Chevy Commons" along the Flint River, across the street from Kettering University.
Actual design work for the first Chevy, the costly Series C Classic Six, was drawn up by Etienne Planche, following instructions from Louis. The first C prototype was ready months before Chevrolet was actually incorporated. However the first actual production wasn't until the 1913 model. So in essence there were no 1911 or 1912 production models, only the 1 pre-production model was made and fine tuned throughout the early part of 1912. Then in the fall of that year the new 1913 model was introduced at the New York auto show.
Louis Chevrolet had differences with Durant over design and in 1914 sold Durant his share in the company. By 1916, Chevrolet was profitable enough with successful sales of the cheaper Series 490 to allow Durant to repurchase a controlling interest in General Motors. After the deal was completed in 1917, Durant became president of General Motors, and Chevrolet was merged into GM as a separate division. In the 1918 model year, Chevrolet introduced the Series D, a V8-powered model in four-passenger roadster and five-passenger tourer models. Sales were poor and it was dropped in 1919.
Chevrolet continued into the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s competing with Ford, and after the Chrysler Corporation formed Plymouth in 1928, Plymouth, Ford, and Chevrolet were known as the "Low-priced three".
In 1929 they introduced the famous "Stovebolt" overhead-valve inline six-cylinder engine, giving Chevrolet a marketing edge over Ford, which was still offering a lone flathead four ("A Six at the price of a Four"). In 1933 Chevrolet launched the Standard Six, which was advertised in the United States as the cheapest six-cylinder car on sale.
The Chevrolet Deluxe was a trim line of Chevrolet automobiles, marketed from 1941 to 1952, and was the volume sales leader for the market during the 1940s. The line included, at first a 4-door sedan, but grew to include a fastback 2-door "aerosedan" and other body styles.
The original series ran from 1941 to 1948, after which a new body style was introduced for 1949, running through 1952. During the post-war years and continuing through the early 1950s, the Deluxe range was Chevrolet's sales leader, offering a balance of style and luxury appointments unavailable in the base Special series; and a wider range of body styles, including a convertible, Sport Coupe hardtop (starting in 1950), two- and four-door sedans and four-door station wagons.
This very nice example was acquired by the seller in 2002 out of long term ownership in Alabama. After performing a brake job and suspension overhaul, the car has needed nothing other than tune ups and oil changes along the way. The car remains in excellent running and driving condition and can be driven cross country without concern. Ther paint, chrome, and interior are all in very good to excellent condition, and overall the car presents quite well.
The rugged reliability of these post war GM cars make them an excellent choice for the first time collector as parts are readily available on the rare occasion that they need service. These affordable cars provide years of driving enjoyment and are a most welcome sight anywhere they appear.