On November 3, 1911, Swiss race car driver and automotive engineer Louis Chevrolet co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Company in Detroit with William C. Durant and investment partners William Little (maker of the Little automobile) and Dr. Edwin R. Campbell (son-in-law of Durant) and in 1912 R. S. McLaughlin CEO of General Motors in Canada.
Durant was cast out from the management of General Motors in 1910 for five years. He took over the Flint Wagon Works, incorporating the Mason and Little companies. As head of Buick Motor Company prior to founding GM, Durant had hired Louis Chevrolet to drive Buicks in promotional races. Durant planned to use Chevrolet's reputation as a racer as the foundation for his new automobile company.
Durant cofounded a truck-making subsidiary, Mason Truck, and also acquired numerous ancillary companies to support Durant Motors. In 1927, the Durant line was shut down to retool for a brand new modernised car for 1928, re-emerging in 1928 with Durant, Locomobile, and Rugby lines in place, and dropping the Mason Truck and Flint automobile lines and top-selling Star car in April 1928. In 1929, Locomobile went out of production.
Actual design work for the first Chevy, the costly Series C Classic Six, was drawn up by Etienne Planche, following instructions from Louis. The first C prototype was ready months before Chevrolet was actually incorporated. However the first actual production wasn't until the 1913 model. So in essence there were no 1911 or 1912 production models, only the 1 pre-production model was made and fine tuned throughout the early part of 1912. Then in the fall of that year the new 1913 model was introduced at the New York auto show.