Louis J. Chevrolet’s motto was “Never Give Up.” In his days as a race car driver and talented mechanic he never did.
As a teenager in the 1890’s, his competitive spirit was tested in bicycle races in France. Later, he found his calling as brilliant mechanic and race car driver. He won such prestigious events as the 395-mile Cobe Cup Race and then the inaugural 10-mile race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, both in 1909.
Yet his everlasting legacy is his name. The Chevrolet Motors Company was incorporated in November 1911. In late 1912, his Chevrolet Classic Six touring car debuted. Yet within a few years Louis moved on to other ventures, leaving his name behind to establish a long line of automobiles.
During the late 1910s and the early 1920s Louis and his racers had numerous wins across the country. He was second in AAA national point standings for the years 1909 and 1915. With the Chevrolet Brothers Manufacturing Company, he and his brother Arthur produced over 10,000 Frontenac high compression cylinder heads for Ford Model T engines for competition across America. The success of this business was largely due to the fame that he and his brothers had earned racing-especially in the Indianapolis 500.
During the late 1920s and the early depression years, he found it almost impossible to market his exceptional skills and talent. Louis Chevrolet joined the Chevrolet Division’s Detroit Gear and Axle Plant in 1934. Soon, his health began to fail. Louis retired from General Motors in 1938.
He lived with his son, Alfred, in Detroit until his death on June 6, 1941.
In all of his years racing and developing race cars he put his best effort forward and enjoyed much success. His legacy is nearly forgotten, but perhaps we should all live by his motto “Never Give Up.”
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Louis J. Chevrolet “Never Give Up”
9220 N. College Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46240
email (remove the spaces) dhorvath @ Cruise-IN.com
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