The Great Race began in 1912 and will continue as long as Fords and Chevrolets are built.
It's the annual race for sales - the race for the privilege of pointing your index finger skyward and yelling, proudly, "We're No. 1!"- and, of course, for the big pot of money that goes to the winner.
In its first dozen years or so, the Great Race was neither great nor a race. It was a bit like the Kentucky Derby winner challenging a plow horse. In 1912, Chevy's first year, the score was Ford, 89,455; Chevrolet, 2,999.
It stayed lopsided for a long time. But change was in the works, in the person of Bill Knudsen, the manufacturing boss who turned out all those Model T's for Henry Ford.
In 1921, Knudsen quit Ford. By 1924, he was Chevrolet president. He was not happy playing second fiddle to his former employer.
Chevrolet outsold Ford in 1927 and 1928, but Ford, with the Model A in full swing, ruled the roost in 1929 and 1930. Then Chevrolet was on top for four years before Ford broke through in 1935.
From 1936 through 1986, Chevy outsold Ford 44 times in 47 years. Chevrolet's long run ended in 1986, and sales supremacy has belonged to Ford.
Now GM and Chevy are getting it together, and Ford is stumbling. But despite current difficulties, Ford has one big plus: Chevrolet has not been able to wrest the sales lead from its longtime rival.
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