Dodge History & Photo GalleryFriday, January 4, 2013 12:05 by Bruno Silva
It is quite a challenging feat to make something out of nothing, but brothers Horace and John Dodge did just that and despite the multifarious struggles they encountered, they made it look pretty easy.
Dodge reigns as one of the top producers of sport utility vehicles, minivans and other automobiles as a United States based car company. It has sold and continues to sell proficient vehicles in over fifty countries in North America and around the world. But there is a rich history that permitted Dodge to harbor such a high standing reputation. The year 1901 was of utmost importance because it marked the transition of the Dodge brothers’ company from crafting bicycle and smaller mechanical components to a more profitable market: the auto industry.
After years of producing bicycle parts, the two brothers had broken into a more grandiose endeavor. John and Horace soon began the production of transmissions for the Olds Motor Works, but soon took an offer neither brother could refuse. Within the next year, the Detroit based company took the Henry Ford Company up on their offer of ten percent of their stock and the building of engines for Ford commenced.
While this arrangement sanctioned much success for the Dodge Brothers Company, co-founder, John Dodge, expressed the pang of being a mere transmission producer for Ford Motor Company as opposed to its own vehicle manufacturer. In 1913, the desire to build his own independent car company rang in everyone’s ears when John exclaimed that he was tired of being carried around in Henry Ford’s vest pocket.” Shorty after, Horace developed a new four-cylinder Dodge Model 30, skyrocketing their mission for automotive independence. Gaining notoriety for its dependability, Dodge began producing “commercial cars” like panel delivery trucks, military ambulances and chassis cabs.
Sadly, the company lost both of its founders in 1920 due to illness, and the company’s fate fell into the brothers’ widows hands, who made Frederick Haynes president. In 1925, the widows sold to the investment group, Dillon, Read & Co., and three years later it was sold to the Chrysler Corporation.
The fifties brought an era of exceedingly powerful and extravagantly stylized vehicles, and the standard Dodge V-8 won several NASCAR races during this time. Then, a specific need was addressed in the 1960s and 1970s with the effusion of the ‘muscle car.’ Some of the most notable muscle cars of this era were the Coronet R/T, the Charger R/T and the Super Bee.
While Dodge cars have been sold in an array of other countries, the main production has taken place on United States soil. The following are among the prolific list of Dodge American cars: Dodge 330, Dodge 400, Dodge Aries, Dodge Aspen, Dodge Colt, Dodge Conquest, Dodge Daytona, Dodge Dynasty, Dodge Intrepid, Dodge Neon and Dodge Stratus. Some Dodge vehicles that are currently in production are as follows: Dodge Avenger, Dodge Caliber, Dodge Charger, Dodge Journey and Dodge Viper. Many models sold outside of North America include the Dodge 1500, Dodge Polara y Coronado, Dodge Phoenix and Dodge Utility.
By Dodge’s 90th Anniversary it was said that “the brothers’ vision for their enterprise had been fulfilled.” With such a rich legacy and a long history of car dependability, it is hard to believe the Dodge name has been anything but a success.
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