Lot 216: Louis Chevrolet
Swiss-born race car driver and pioneering automotive engineer (1878–1941) who founded the company that bore his name and created one of the most familiar and durable brand names in history. TLS, one page, 8.25 x 10.75, Glenn L. Martin Company letterhead, January 19, 1931. Letter to W. C. Clayton of Pitcairn Aircraft. In part: “Since our pleasant visit at your factory we have designed a manifold to take care of the special condition on your plane. We are today ordering the pattern and the castings from the Alloys Foundry Corporation, and instructing them to ship one of those castings to you no later than January 26th…we are sending you inclosed a blue print to have this manifold machined in your shop. You will notice that the flange where the carburetor is bolted on shows a six degree angle on the facing. This should be kept right so as to keep the carburetor in a level position while in normal flight.” In fine condition.Clayton, the recipient of this letter, was an engineer who helped to develop the Pitcairn PCA-2 in the early 1930s—the first ‘gyrocopter’ design to sell in quantity. After developing a new type of aircraft engine in 1929, Louis Chevrolet left the automobile business altogether and formed the Chevrolet Brothers Aircraft Company. As this letterhead suggests, he sold the company to aviation pioneer Glenn Martin, but stayed on to help oversee production of his engine.
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