Chevrolet Series 490

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Chevrolet Series 490
1922 Chevrolet 490 Touring.jpg
1922 Chevrolet 490 touring car
Manufacturer Chevrolet Motor Car Company (pre GM)
Chevrolet Division, GM
Also called Chevrolet Four-Ninety
Production 1915-1922
Assembly Oakland Assembly, Oakland, California
North Tarrytown Assembly, Tarrytown, New York
Flint Assembly, Flint, Michigan
Norwood Assembly, Norwood, Ohio
St. Louis Assembly, St. Louis, Missouri
Arlington Assembly, Arlington, Texas
Oshawa Assembly, Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Body and chassis
Class mid-size
Body style 2-door roadster
2-door special roadster
4-door touring
chassis "cowl" truck added (1918)
Layout FR layout
Related Chevrolet Series D
Engine 171 in3, 26 hp (19 kW)(1916), I4
Transmission Selective-sliding 3-speed cone clutch[1][2]
Wheelbase 102 in (2,591 mm)[1]
Predecessor Chevrolet Series L
Successor Chevrolet Superior

The Chevrolet Series 490 (or Four-Ninety) is a Brass Era American automobile, made from 1915 to 1922. The June 1915 introduction of the $490,[3] Chevrolet 490 was an immediate success and established the brand as a big player. The name would not denote the price for long (in 1921, the average price was $820[4]), but it would stay low enough to take a chunk out of the Model T market. The Model T started at $495 at the time. Chevrolet was soon so profitable that Billy Durant began buying shares of GM stock with his Chevrolet stock. Electric horns were standard.[3] And by 1921, standard equipment included a speedometer, and ammeter, dome lights (closed-body cars only), and headlight dimmers.[5]


All 490s were only offered with the Overhead Valve 171-cubic-inch (2.8 L) four cylinder, producing 26 hp (19 kW). This would be Chevrolet's main engine until the "Stovebolt" straight six replaced it for 1929.

The first Chevrolet and GMC trucks[edit]

1919 GMC tanker

The same year Chevrolet merged with GM, Durant wanted a pickup to compete with the new Ford Model TT. The answer was two models, the first 1918 Chevrolet Series 490 Light Delivery chassis cowl rated at half a ton and based on the passenger car. The second, not based on the 490, was a one-ton 1918 Chevrolet Model T (oddly enough) "Ton Truck" shared with GMC. It had a payload capacity rating of 2,000 lbs and sold for $1245 retail. Much like the chassis cab of today, they gave consumers a cheap, flexible platform to build on. Its steering wheel and gear shift lever, along with the instrument panel and gauge cluster, were also lifted from the passenger car. A chassis cowl included the chassis with engine, transmission and the front sheet metal which comprised the hood, front fenders, headlights and grille.[6]

Production notes[edit]

Year Production Price Weight Notes
1915 $490
1916 70,701 $550–$750 1,820-2,500 lbs
1917 100,000th Chevrolet, Chevy takes over GM
1918 95,660 $660–$1,060 1,890-2,160 lbs chassy/"cowl" truck added
1919  149,833 (approx.) $715–$1,185 1,820-2,160 lbs
1920 150,226 (approx.) $795–$1,285 1,820-2,160 lbs
1921  76,370 (approx.) $795–$1,375 1,820-2,160 lbs
1922  243,479 (approx.) $510–$875 1,435-2,150 lbs

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kimes, Beverly (1996). standard catalog of American Cars 1805-1942. Krause publications. ISBN 0-87341-428-4. 
  2. ^ "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1916_Chevrolet/1916_Chevrolet_490_Brochure". Retrieved September 8, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1916_Chevrolet/1916_Chevrolet_490_Brochure". Retrieved September 8, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1921_Chevrolet/1921_Chevrolet_Data_Sheets". Retrieved September 8, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Directory Index: Chevrolet/1921_Chevrolet/1921_Chevrolet_Data_Sheets". Retrieved September 8, 2012. 
  6. ^ HowStuffWorks