As American as Apple Pie and Route 66

Published by The Bee News

June 16, 2023

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For more than a century Chevrolet has led the industry with innovation and styling. That tradition continues today with the stylish and durable Equinox, Silverado, Camaro, Blazer and Trailblazer models sold at Findlay Chevy, Buick and GMC.

Founded by Louis Chevrolet and William Durant in 1911, Chevrolet has always been driven by a passion for excellence and customer satisfaction. And beginning with the 1917 Seried D powered by the first Chevrolet V8 engine, the company has been a global leader that pioneered technological advancements, new manufacturing methods, and the development of a styling department.

The list of Chevrolet innovations is lengthy.

The Overhead Valve Engine

The first practical mass produced overhead valve head engine for automotive application was used in the 1904 Model B Buick. It was developed by David Dunbar Buick.

In 1929, Chevrolet leaped ahead of its competitors that used four cylinder valve in block flat head engines. With the introduction of an overhead-valve inline-six cylinder engine that displaced 194 cubic inches (3.2L), Chevrolet was able to expand its line of trucks with work load ratings from 3/4 ton to 1.5 tons.

As the overhead valve engine allowed for higher compression ratios, Chevrolet passenger cars had a horsepower rating exceeding that of competitor models. They were also more fuel efficient.

The Powerglide Transmission

With the introduction of the Powerglide transmission in 1950, Chevrolet became the first low-price manufacturer to offer customers the luxury of automatic shifting. The Powerglide transmission was a two-speed automatic gearbox that offered smooth and effortless driving, especially in city traffic. It was initially available only on deluxe models, but soon became an option for all Chevrolet cars. Attesting to its durablity, the Powerglide transmission was also used in some performance applications, such as drag racing and NASCAR.

The Small-Block V8 Engine

Perhaps one of the most famous and influential innovations that Chevrolet produced after WWII was the small-block V8 engine, which debuted in 1955. This engine was a masterpiece of engineering that combined compact size, light weight, high performance and reliability.

The small-block V8 engine revolutionized the automotive industry, as it was widely adopted by other manufacturers and used in various applications, from sports cars to trucks. The small-block V8 engine also spawned many variants and generations, such as the 283, 327, 350 and 400 cubic-inch versions.

The Corvette

The Corvette is not only a car, but a legend. It is the quintessential American sports car. Linked with America’s most famous highway as the Corvette figured prominently in the Route 66 television program, it is one of the most recognizable symbols of Chevrolet.

The Corvette was born in 1953, as a concept car designed by Harley Earl, who wanted to create a low-cost and stylish two-seater that could compete with European sports cars. The Corvette was initially powered by a high performance version of the six-cylinder engine dubbed the Blue Flame Six.

It was the first mass produced fiberglass bodied car. This made it lighter and less expensive than its rivals. In 1955 the Corvette was equipped with the new small-block V8 engine, which boosted its performance and its popularity.

The Corvette has evolved over the years with the offering of new features and improvements, and distinctive styling. The Corvette has also been successful in racing, winning numerous championships and awards. The Corvette is still in production today, with the latest model being the mid-engine C8.

The Volt and Bolt EV

Continuing the company’s tradition of being at the forefront of innovation and technology, in 2010, Chevrolet launched the Volt, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that combined an electric motor with a gasoline engine. The Volt offered drivers a new perfect blending of electric driving for short trips and gasoline backup for longer journeys. The Volt also utilized a regenerative braking system that captured energy from braking and stored it in the battery.

In 2016, Chevrolet introduced the Bolt EV, a fully electric vehicle that offered an impressive range of 238 miles on a single charge. The Bolt EV also had a fast-charging capability that allowed it to replenish 90 miles of range in just 30 minutes. The Volt and Bolt EV are examples of how Chevrolet is committed to providing customers with innovative solutions that are both efficient and enjoyable to drive.

The Modern Diesel Era Begins

New for 2001 in Chevy’s HD trucks was the revolutionary Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel, with overhead valves and 520 lb-ft of torque. The second-generation iteration available in the 2018 Silverado HD lineup represented  a major advancement in technological development. This engine provided 910 lb-ft of torque, a 75 percent increase in torque from the same 6.6L displacement as the original.

Findlay Chevy, Buick and GMC is your one stop shop for durable, innovative, stylish transportation be it a work truck or family hauler. And after the sale you can count on our professional technicians to ensure miles of trouble free driving.

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