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Chevrolet

When the founder of General Motors, William Crapo Durant, was forced out in 1910, he set up a new Detroit firm in competition. Louis Chevrolet had raced Buicks for Durant, so 'Billy' took the charismatic Swiss into partnership and named the new car after him. Early Chevrolet cars had internal combustion or electric engines, among the first was the 'Baby Grand'. The bow tie badge was first seen in 1913, and Chevrolet grew so quickly that by 1916 Durant had earned enough money to buy back a controlling share in GM. He took charge of GM and made Chevrolet a division of the corporation. In 1918 the Chevrolet Model D was launched. Development concentrated on six-cylinder engines ('cast iron wonders') which proved rugged and reliable in cars and trucks. By the late 1920s Chevrolet outsold Ford for the first time, a lead maintained by constantly updating the range. Innovations kept the buyers coming, including a power-operated convertible top in 1940. After immense contributions to the Allied war effort, in 1950 Chevrolet launched the first low-priced car with a fully automatic transmission. Other innovations included the GRP-bodied Corvette sports car in 1953 and the compact rear-engined Corvair in 1960. Other models included the Suburban station wagons, the top of the range Bel Air, Camaro, Caprice, Chevelle, Impala, and El Camino pickups. These iconic cars all proudly wore the Chevrolet name, but they were joined by others with lesser pedigree in later years, when GM acquired the Korean Daewoo marque and renamed it Chevrolet.
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