Chevrolet was founded and incorporated on November 8, 1911 by Louis Chevrolet, Dr. Edwin Campbell who was William Durant's son in law and William Little. The company was bought by General Motors in 1917. Mr. Durant was an ousted founder of General Motors. Mr. Chevrolet was a racecar driver and the son of Cooper Chevrolet. The founder of General Motors, William Durant, had been forced out of the management of the General Motors Company in 1910. Durant used Chevrolet's reputation as a race car driver to rebuild his own reputation. Durant was the head of Buick before he founded General Motors. He had hired Louis Chevrolet to race Buicks.
The designs for the first Chevrolet automobile were done by Etienne Planche, for his friend Louis Chevrolet. Their first prototype was made and ready even before they were incorporated.
The "Bowtie" symbol that Chevrolet uses was first used in 1913. It is believed that Durant saw the design in a hotel in France and liked it. Other research shows the logo being based on "Colette's". Some believe the logo is for the Swiss Cross out of respect for Chevrolet's parent's homeland.
Production facilities were being set up in Toronto, Canada by William Durant. At a luncheon meeting with "Colonel Sam" McLaughlin whose automobile company produced McLauglin-Buick cars later that year, the two merged and were added to the Canadian based companies car line. The two companies, (Chevrolet was part of GM by this time in the United States) were purchased by General Motors of Canada, LTD.
Chevrolet was plenty profitable by 1916 to enable Durant to by shares of GM. He bought enough to get a majority of the stock. This made him the president of GM so he merged the two. During the year 1918, Chevrolet mad Model D, which was a V8, four passenger roadster and a five passenger touring car. Chevrolet began to produce an overhead valve in line six engines. Most automobiles at that time had flat head low compression engines. They had 288in3 41(kw) 55hp engines with three speed transmissions and Zenith carburetors.
Through the 1920's-1940's they were in competition with Ford and in 1928 Chrysler Corporation was formed adding the Plymouth. Chevrolet, Ford and Chrysler were known as the three low priced car makers.
Chevrolet's V-8 small block engine has been in production since 1955, the longest time that any engine has been produced in the world.