Chevrolet is the auto equivalent of a gene-boosted steroid-pumped feline. The ferocious cat was groomed by Swiss born racing driver Louis Chevrolet and business whiz Buick resurrector and former GM head William Durant, as a joint venture that started in 1910. Shortly after Durant was forced out of GM, he partnered with Chevrolet, whom he had previously employed at his Buick racing team, to regain the popularity he had lost.
The Chevy headquarters was set in Detroit and the newly formed brand was baptized, receiving its famous "bowtie” logo in 1913. There are several hypotheses as to how the logo design came to be, two of them being the closest to unanimous acceptance. One of the theories hints at the logo having been designed after a poster Durant had seen in a French hotel while the second claims the "bowtie” is actually a stylized representation of the Swiss flag cross.
No matter how it originated, the golden Chevy logo persisted. In fact, the brand grew at such a fast pace that it allowed Durant to regain ownership of GM in 1916. After having become wealthy enough, Durant bought a smashing 54.5 percent of GM's shares, reinstating himself as head of the auto empire.
Soon after the takeover, Chevrolet was absorbed into GM, becoming a separate division. Having gained even more strength after the merger, the newly formed entity was quick in starting off production and launched the model D in 1918. The V8 35 hp engines fitted on these cars were replaced by smaller 6 cylinder ones, that proved particularly successful on commercial vehicles. The engine gained reputation due to its high durability and earned the "cast iron wonder” nickname.
Only a few years later, Chevy revealed the SUV in its archaic form: the Suburban Carryall. Sporting rough terrain riding capabilities, seating for 8 and weighing around 1½ tons, it marked the beginning of Chevy's future SUV line-up.
The American producer continued its successful innovations streak by introducing the Powerglide transmission in 1950, becoming the first low-price competitor to equip its vehicles with automatic shifting. Shortly after the introduction of the fully automatic transmission, the legendary Corvette was born.
The Vette had such a good reception that it remained the longest running Chevy model in the brand's history, having also been the first American sports car to enter mass production. The Vette also premiered the usage of lightweight construction materials for the car's body, like plastic, at that time.