Almost exactly 100 years ago Louis Chevrolet, a Swiss-born mechanic and racecar driver, founded Chevrolet Motor Car Company on November 8, 1911. He competed in the Indianapolis 500 and after working for Buick for a little more than four years, began designing his own cars while racing. He raced with his brother and a few close friends before making a name for himself in the early 1900’s racing scene. With his brother, together they founded Chevrolet Motor Car Company before his brother would be killed in a racing crash ending both of their careers in professional racing. This car company however, unbeknownst to him at the time, would live on for a century to come and become a famed competitor in the history of motorsports. Unfortunately for Mr. Chevrolet, the stock market crash of ’29 took a harsh toll on his previous earnings and upon needing work, took a job at the Chevrolet factory as a line mechanic in 1931. On June 6, 1941, Louis Chevrolet died almost penniless in Detroit, Michigan after founding one of America’s most recognizable car brands. The Chevy bowtie emblem that we all associate with the company seems to have two stories as to how it came about. The first is that the bowtie is actually a stylized Swiss cross emblem Chevrolet created to honor his parents birthplace and homeland. The second story is that William Durant, Louis Chevrolet’s partner and the founder of General Motors saw the shape in a French wallpaper and clipped a piece of it to save and recreated the shape with the Chevy namesake. Regardless of which story is true, the man and the legend of Chevrolet have been honored this year as a tribute to his life and racing spirit.
The sinister look of an all black (particularly in September of this year in New Zealand) car has long since been an enthusiast favorite with its dark features, and the Centennial Edition Corvette plays to that crowd. The Centennial Edition is an all black edition of the Corvette relishing the 100 year history of our favorite automaker. The Centennial edition is available for every line of Corvette (from the Base model to the ZR1), and is expected to run an extra $4,995 for the package. The package features exclusive Carbon Flash Metallic paint on the exterior, coupled with a set of special black aluminum spun Centennial Wheels lined red on the lip, with red calipers and carbon-ceramic brakes. The absolutely awesome Magnetic Selective Ride Control will also be available with the package. A special badge that bears the resemblance of Louis Chevrolet and the number 100 will be located on the B-pillar, the steering wheel, and the Chevy bowtie logo with the number 100 will be embossed on the headrests. The wheels also say “Centennial” on the rim just barely visible with a gloss/matte contrast. The interior has also been remodeled and finished in Ebony leather contrasted with red stitching. The steering wheel, seats, shifter and armrests get microfiber suede accents similar to those found on the Z06 Carbon Edition.
The entire package has an extremely sharp looking finish on the Corvette, being almost black with red accents either in stitching, or pin striping on the wheels and calipers, provides a very crisp look to the car. The overall effect is there, and having a sinister look to the car will be an especially daunting look on the Z06 and ZR1. If the man himself could see the 100 year anniversary of his company, I think he’d be proud. The 100 year anniversary, celebrated by the Corvette is nothing short of memorable and should be a point of pride for all Chevy owners.