Chevrolet was co-founded by Louis Chevrolet, a race car driver, and William C. Durant. William Durant, founder of General Motors, had been forced out of GM in 1910 and wanted to use Louis Chevroletâ€™s designs to rebuild his own reputation as a force in the automobile industry. On November 3, 1911, Chevrolet entered the automobile market to compete with the Ford Model T. A year later, the â€œClassic Sixâ€ was introduced. The Classic Six was a five-passenger touring sedan equipped with a 299 in3 (4.9 L), six-cylinder engine capable of taking the car to a top speed of 65 miles per hour (104 km/h).
Chevrolet first used its â€œbowtieâ€ logo in 1913. This logo is said to have been designed from wallpaper Durant once saw in a French hotel. Reportedly, in 1908, Will Durant detached a small piece and kept it in his wallet, waiting for the day heâ€™d put it to use. The Bowtie became an advertising icon, and is still the marquee of todayâ€™s Chevrolet.
In 1916, Chevrolet was profitable enough to allow Durant to buy a majority of shares in GM. After the deal was complete in 1917, Durant was president of General Motors, and Chevrolet was merged into GM, becoming a separate division. In the 1955 model year Chevrolet introduced the small block V8 engine, the most famous and versatile V8 engine ever produced. This engine became a hit with hot rodders and almost overnight became the engine of choice replacing the flathead Ford engine as the hot rodders preferred motor. In 1955 the 265 cubic inch engine was the smallest V8 engine offered by the big three U.S. automakers, however, no other U.S. car could out perform it.
Famous Chevy models include the large and luxurious Impala (1958) and the innovative air-cooled rear-engined Corvair (1960-1969.) Chevrolet had a great influence on the American automobile market during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1963, one out of every ten cars sold in the United States was a Chevrolet.
Now letâ€™s take a peek at the 2007 line up of Chevrolet:
2007 Chevrolet Avalanche
Chevyâ€™s redesigned 2007 Avalanche retains its forebearâ€™s midgate magic, but the entire package has been overhauled as part of GMâ€™s full-size truck platform revamp. Three trim levels are available: LS, LT and LTZ; each can be equipped with rear, or four-wheel drive. At 221 inches long, the Avalanche is about the same length as its predecessor and just an inch short of Chevroletâ€™s extended-length Suburban. A coil-over-shock independent front suspension replaces the previous torsion bar arrangement. The 5.3-liter V-8 in the four-wheel-drive Avalanche LTZ makes 310 horsepower and 335 pounds-feet of torque. Two-wheel-drive models carry a different version of the engine with slightly higher output, while a 6.0-liter V-8 is optional across the board. All three engines come with a four-speed automatic transmission.
2007 Chevrolet Aveo
Longer, taller and wider than the outgoing Aveo, the new sedan has an all-new exterior and interior design that gives it a more upscale look. LS and LT trim levels will be offered and customers can look forward to a wide range of features, including a two-tone interior color scheme, a radio input jack for iPods, a power sunroof, a six-disc CD changer, and steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. Built to carry five 6-foot-tall adults, the larger Aveo also provides 12.4 cubic feet of trunk space, and thatâ€™s before the 60/40-split rear seats are folded down. A 103-horsepower, 16-valve DOHC four-cylinder engine is mated to the Aveoâ€™s standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission.
2007 Chevrolet Malibu
In the Malibu, a four-cylinder engine and two V-6s are offered. For 2007, the smaller V-6 gains variable valve timing for an 8 percent power increase. Other changes this year include standard side curtain airbags on all models (they were previously standard only on top-level Malibus), a passenger sensing system for the front airbags and available turn-by-turn directions with GMâ€™s OnStar service. Trim levels include the base LS, as well as the LT and LTZ. Compared with its predecessor, the current version has a slightly wider stance. Mounted on a 106.3-inch wheelbase, the Malibu is 188.3 inches long overall. LS models ride 15-inch tires, the LT gets 16-inchers, and the new LTZ rides on 17-inch rubber. LTZ models feature aluminum wheels.
2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer
The 2007 TrailBlazer offers a standard 4.2-liter inline-six-cylinder engine as well as an optional 5.3-liter V-8 both working with a four-speed automatic transmission. The latter engine includes General Motorsâ€™ Active Fuel Management technology, which deactivates four cylinders under light loads such as highway cruising. TrailBlazers come in base LS and step-up LT trim levels. A high-performance SS model packs a sport-tuned suspension and a 6.0-liter V-8 from Chevroletâ€™s Corvette sports car. The TrailBlazer rides a 113-inch wheelbase and measures 191.8 inches long.
Chevrolet is General Motorsâ€™ largest brand currently offering 19 vehicles and many different enhanced versions. The brandâ€™s vehicles range from compact cars to large SUVs.