- A rare example of an early V-8 engine.
- V-8s did not return to the Chevrolet line until 1955.
- It was the longest Chevrolet produced to date with a 120” wheelbase.
Chevrolet automobiles are named after Louis Chevrolet, one of three brothers of Swiss descent who came to America in 1900. Louis first drew public attention and praise in 1905 when, as a mechanic for the Fiat Motor Company of New York, he was sponsored by Fiat in a series of races, including the famous Vanderbilt Cup Race. Louis’ brothers, Gaston and Arthur, were also above-average drivers, and Chevrolet became a common name on the racing circuits of 1906-1908.
W.C. Durant, who founded (and subsequently lost) General Motors, hired Louis Chevrolet in 1909 to design an automobile for his new company. Durant decided to call his new automobile Chevrolet, not only to honor the designer, but he thought the name had a musical and romantic sound.
This 1917 Chevrolet is a very rare example of Chevrolet’s early attempt to produce an 8-cylinder automobile. The 120 inch wheelbase makes this the longest Chevrolet produced up to today. While Chevrolet records of this era are poor, it is believed only 511 of the V-8 models were produced during 1917. With the close of its first attempt at V-8 production in 1919, Chevrolet concentrated on making 4-cylinder automobiles until it introduced a 6-cylinder engine for the 1929 models. V-8s did not return to the Chevrolet line until 1955, 36 years after they were first tried.