Mr. William Durant, in 1904, became the General Manager of Buick. He was very successful at the Buick Motor Company and formed the General Motors Corporation four years later, in 1908. His reputation at Buick enabled him to sell $12M in GM stock in just a little more than 2 weeks.
Durant used this stock sale income from GM to purchase Buick, making himself the company President. He then used his position in GM to purchase Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Cadillac, and several parts companies. It was a whirlwind of automobile manufacturer accumulation.
Durant followed these purchases with others, accumulating over 25 automotive manufacturing companies and several parts manufacturers in just 18 months. In doing so, he heavily obligated GM finances. The investors at GM were angered over the accumulation of companies rather then the distribution of profits. GM bankers, acting under the instructions of investors, removed Durant from GM management in 1910.
This action infuriated Durant. He immediately formed a new company in a partnership with a former Buick racecar driver. He hoped to use the man's fame to generate interest in the new company, and to turn that public interest into a profit margin that would enable him to wrest back control of GM. His partner's name was Louis Chevrolet, and the new company was the Chevrolet Motor Company. Louis Chevrolet was also a machinist and had built a working model of his own engine. He wanted his design to compete with other engine designs available at the time. Durant, however, was not interested in creating another version of a car or engine. His single-minded obsession was the generation of enough capital to buy back a controlling interest in GM. Disillusioned by Durant's goal, Chevrolet sold his share of the company that bore his name to Durant.
Durant quickly achieved his goal. By 1915 he had generated sufficient capital to regain controlling interest in GM. He immediately named himself President of General Motors and two years later made Chevrolet a subsidiary of GM.
That same year, Chevrolet rolled out the Model 490 Light Delivery Truck. The name was a direct reference to the price of the vehicle, which happened to be exactly the same as the price of the popular Ford Model T. Durant intended the Model 490 Light Delivery to compete head to head with the Model T. Henry Ford immediately lowered the price of the Model T, but Durant felt that he could not match this move because of the truck's name. This sort of gamesmanship was common in early American corporate history, but Durant was especially aggressive. His ruthless pursuit of profit alienated investors and led, once again, to him being forced out of GM in 1920.
The first Chevy pickup truck was sold as little more than a motored chassis. Buyers at that time were expected to provide the cab and body of the truck as aftermarket purchases. Many owners built their own truck body from wood and went without a cab, but bodies and cabs were commercially available from independent companies.
Chevy truck wheels on the Model 490 Light Delivery were fitted with 30" x 3.5" balloon tires. At the same time, the one ton Model T Truck had 31" x 4" balloon tires in the front and 32" x 4" solid rubber tires on the rear wheels.