The family that never saw any money from the company that bears their name has been recognized with a new grave marker.
It is often the way of the world that the founders of great companies don’t get the recognition and reward they deserve.
People like Louis Chevrolet. The Swiss-born racing driver founded what would become one of the biggest automakers in the world. But a falling out with business partner William Durant - who founded Buick and General Motors - led to Chevrolet being ousted from the company that bore his name.
Chevrolet went on to pursue other ventures, with varying degrees of success. Some involved his younger brothers Gaston and Arthur, who both joined Louis in America.
Louis died in 1941, not exactly in penury, but he never saw any of the vast wealth Durant would accumulate. And so he was buried in a modest grave in Holy Cross and Saint Joseph Cemetery in Indianapolis.
Other members of the family are also buried there: Gaston who died in a racing accident in 1920, and the sons of Arthur and Louis. Arthur himself lies in an unmarked grave in Slidell, Louisiana - he hanged himself in 1946.
All in all, hardly a fitting memorial to one of the most important families in the history of the auto industry. But the Indiana Racing Memorial Association has redressed the balance, unveiling a tribute at Holy Cross last weekend.
Brian Hasler, cofounder of IRMA, told Hemmings: “As we were looking into a historical marker for the Chevrolet brothers, we saw the sad state of the grave markers so we looked into a replacement for them.
“It’s such a sad story with the Chevrolet family. They gave so much in terms of racing and manufacturing, but they received no financial reward. We hope this will restore some appreciation of their legacy.”
The $15,000 marker was funded in part by Chevrolet Motorsport and the local Chevrolet dealers’ association.
IRMA has installed 17 memorials to motorsport and auto industry figures across Indiana, and 10 more are being planned. Demand is so high, the initiative may be rolled out across other states, as well.