The Ford/Chevy Rivalry

The Ford/Chevy Rivalry

Cars were a luxury items for the rich and famous in the early 1900s. However, when Henry Ford started to build his Model T in 1908, automobiles instantly became “affordable.” The first ones were modest with only 22-horsepower and a top speed 40 miles per hour but as the ad touted: “No car under $2,000 offers more.”

In 1911, a new player emerged. William Durant started to manufacture his own car—a low-priced auto named for his partner Louis Chevrolet. Durant was a brilliant engineer and his first Chevrolet automobiles were well received.  The profits from this Durant’s Chevrolet venture enabled Durant in 1917 to purchase General Motors.

Before long, Chevrolet automobiles challenged Ford’s Model “T” on its own low-cost turf. The Chevy was well made and inexpensive and the public loved them. For the first time Ford now had some serious competition.

In the mid-1920s, Ford realized that it’s Model T was getting a bit stale. It was nearing almost 20 years of sales without very much new in the styling. In 1927 Ford shut down for 6 months to tool up for a radically new styled car called the Model A. In 1928, the new Ford Model A took the market by storm. It had 40 HP compared with the Model T’s 20 HP and it came in four colors.

As Ford celebrated producing a winner, Chevrolet was working on a project of their own. In 1929 Chevy’s famous 6 cylinder OHV engine hit the market. With 50 HP, it one-upped the Model A and was the start of Chevrolet’s claim of “More Car for the Same Money.” Sales figures responded and for several years, Chevrolet sales figures topped those of Ford.

In the early 1930s, the large and more powerful Chevy outsold Ford, but Henry Ford had one more trick up his sleeve. Henry’s plan depended on finding an inexpensive way to produce a V-8 engine. His metallurgy team found a way to cast the engine blocks in one piece. That was the trick that made feasible the production of the famous Ford flathead V-8. When it debuted in 1932, it made Ford the unchallenged horsepower leader, and again Ford sales figures surpassed those of Chevrolet.

But the advantage was short lived. In the early 1930s, the Ford Company at Henry’s insistence offered fewer accessories and choices for features than Chevrolet. He just didn’t believe in it. And, throughout the 1930s, the folks at Lynch Chevrolet of Mukwonago, a local Chevrolet dealer in Mukwonago, WI are proud to point out, Chevrolet continued innovate with industry-first features such as hydraulic brakes, independent front suspension, column gear shifts, and -gasp- radios. These innovations made Chevrolet the sales leader through much of the 1930s.

The competition between the two companies was extinguished when World War II began. Both Ford and GM contributed greatly to the war effort. Edsel Ford designed a new plant at Willow Run to build the B-24 four-engine bomber. By 1944, it was producing an amazing one plane per hour on its Ford-style assembly line. GM also built planes, plus other military vehicles, and was the largest single producer of wartime hardware. The competition for building civilian cars wouldn’t begin again until 1945 when World War II ended.

 

Related posts

Packard Bell Valentino Rossi notebooks

Great news from Packard Bell for all Valentino Rossi fans. The nine-times world champion of Moto GP will sign a new and exciting line of Packard Bell products designed for the on-the-go lifestyle of all those who love exclusive, unique, top-performance objects. Under the agreement a new...

Panasonic releases Toughpad 4K UT-MA6 tablet

Panasonic releases Toughpad 4K UT-MA6 tablet

The Japanese company Panasonic has released a new giant tough tablet that goes by the name of Toughpad 4K UT-MA6. The device comes with a huge 20-inch sensor display based on IPS Alpha technology and working at 4K resolution (3840 x 2560 pixels, 230 ppi, 3:2 aspect ratio). The new tablet...

AMD quietly unveils Radeon R7 350 card in Asia

AMD quietly unveils Radeon R7 350 card in Asia

Advanced Micro Devices, also known as AMD, has quietly unveiled a new video card under the brand name Radeon R7 350. The new card is available on the Chinese market only as of now and currently there are just two models made by XFX and Sapphire. Judging by the name the Radeon R7 350 is a...

Leave a comment