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Dina Shore with the 1954 Chevrolet Corvette Corvair

Dina Shore with the 1954 Chevrolet Corvette Corvair

Since it was founded on Nov. 3, 1911, Chevrolet has produced more than 200 million cars and trucks. At the time of its founding a century ago, 270 American automotive brands existed. Today, only four of those survive: Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and Ford. (The GMC Truck brand also debuted in 1911, with its first offering arriving as a 1912 model.)

Here is an historical timeline of the Chevrolet brand.

1911: Race car driver Louis Chevrolet and GM founder William C. "Billy" Durant co-found the Chevrolet Motor Company in Detroit on Nov. 3.

1912: Louis Chevrolet‘s $2,150 Series C "Classic Six," a luxurious high-performance six-cylinder model, hits the streets of Detroit.

1913: Louis Chevrolet parts company with Billy Durant, leaving behind the rights to produce cars bearing his name. The Chevy bowtie logo, designed under Durant's auspices, appears for the first time in an ad.

1914: The first car wearing the Chevy bowtie logo appears. It's the Royal Mail Roadster.

1915: The Chevy Model 490 debuts as a 1916 model with a list price of $490. The first "value-priced" Chevy, it puts Chevrolet in direct competition with Henry Ford's Model T.

1916: Billy Durant, who had been forced out of General Motors in 1910, regains control of the company he founded.

1918: Chevrolet introduces its first truck, based on the Model 490 car chassis. Also this year, Chevrolet becomes part of General Motors.

1924: A Chevrolet plant is opened in Copenhagen, Denmark. It's the first Chevy plant outside the U.S.

1927: Chevrolet overtakes Ford for the first time, with sales of more than 1 million vehicles.

1929: The Chevrolet Six debuts. It's called "a six for the price of a four" because major American competitors at the time offered only four-cylinder engines at about the same price.

1934: Chevy introduces the "knee action" independent front suspension on its 1935 model Master Series. It's revolutionary engineering for a "value-priced" car.

1935: Chevrolet introduces the Suburban Carryall, the original SUV. It invents a new segment. Today the Suburban name is the longest-running continual nameplate in the industry.

1942: Production of civilian Chevrolets ceases due to the war effort. Production of trucks for military use continues.

1945: Chevrolet's civilian car production resumes.

1948: The all-new "Advance Design" pickup trucks are introduced, Chevy's first all-new truck since before World War II. This classic eventually would become the design inspiration for 2003-2006 Chevy SSR.

1950: Chevy becomes the first manufacturer to offer an automatic transmission on a low-priced American car when the Powerglide transmission debuts on 1950 models.

1953: Corvette debuts with the industry's first regular-production fiberglass body.

1954: The 50 millionth General Motors car is a gold, 1955 Chevrolet Bel-Air.

1955: Chevy's legendary small-block V-8 debuts on the all-new 1955 Chevrolet. Also that model year, the Cameo Carrier pickup - a "gentleman's truck" - debuted with its unique and highly styled cargo box.

1956: Dinah Shore, the first woman to host her own TV show, concludes her opening broadcast singing "See The USA In Your Chevrolet." The song subsequently closes each show.

1957: The Chevrolet Bel-Air of 1957 goes on to become an American icon. Also, Chevy introduces fuel injection as an option on some Chevys and Corvettes, a first for an American production car, while Chevy trucks for the first time offer four-wheel drive.

1958: The Impala nameplate debuts.

1959: The car-based El Camino pickup debuts on the full-size Chevy sedan chassis. Also arriving in 1959 as a 1960 model is the Corvair, the first and - to this day - only American car boasting a rear-mounted, air-cooled, six-cylinder engine.

1962: The Beach Boys record "4-0-9," an ode to Chevys powered by the brand's 409 cubic-inch V-8.

1963: The now-legendary Corvette Sting Ray Split-Window Coupe debuts. The only model year for the split rear-window design, the car is highly coveted today by collectors.

1964: The Chevelle debuts. It's an "intermediate" car slotted between the full-size Chevys and the compact Chevy Nova.

1967: Camaro debuts. It's Chevy's answer to the Ford Mustang.

1970: The 450-hp 1970 Chevelle SS 454 arrives. Today it's considered by some car buffs the greatest muscle car ever. Also that year, the "personal luxury coupe" Monte Carlo debuts. Its 6-foot-long hood secures its fame as the car with the longest hood in Chevy history.

1975: The "Baseball, Hot Dogs and Apple Pie" Chevy ad campaign is born.

1979: The 100 millionth Chevy - a 1979 Monza - is built.

1983: This year is significant for what it was missing: a 1983 model-year Corvette. The all-new C4 Corvette was to debut in the fall of 1982 as an '83 model, but production delays prevented the car from bowing until January 1983, so Chevy dubbed it an '84 model. 1983 is the only model year with no Corvette since the legendary icon debuted in 1953.

1986: The "Heartbeat of America" ad campaign debuts.

1988: The first all-new Chevy full-size pickups since 1973 arrive with a newly available "extended cab" body style.

1991: Chevy trucks launch a new ad campaign based on the Bob Seger song, "Like A Rock."

1992: The millionth Corvette is built.

2009: The 638-hp Corvette ZR1 is the fastest and most powerful production car in GM history - a distinction it retains today.

2010: The reborn Chevy Camaro, which had been discontinued after the 2002 model year, arrives and soon outsells Ford's Mustang.

2011: The Chevrolet Volt "extended range" electric car debuts. Also, the Chevrolet brand celebrates its 100th birthday on Nov. 3, 2011.



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