Archive for the ‘dodge brothers’ Tag

The history of Dodge

The Dodge brothers initially worked with Ransom E. Olds and Henry P. Ford, using their skills to advance the fledgling industry as well as to hone their craft. The money the brothers earned working for Ford enabled them to set out on their own, launching the company that bore their name in 1914.

The first Dodges cost nearly twice as much as the popular Ford Model T, but were innovative and outfitted with 12-volt electrical systems and the first all-steel bodies. Dodges were also equipped with an electrical starter, which made it far easier and safer to engage the ignition.

Following the brothers’ deaths, Dodge operated independently until their widows sold the company to Walter P. Chrysler in 1928. Before that, the company expanded its product line, built its first trucks and took over the Graham Brothers company.

Initially, Dodge products under Chrysler were unique, but gradually Dodge assumed Chrysler engines and the separately managed company was renamed the Dodge Division in 1935. Leading up to World War II, Dodge continued to build a series of coupes, convertibles and sedans.

After the war, a collection of new models was released, including the Hemi-powered Coronet. The Dodge Royal and Lancer also debuted, and were followed in 1960 by the Dodge Dart, an all-new entry-level model.

In 1966, Dodge jumped into the pony car fray with the Dodge Charger, a model that was longer and heavier than the Ford Mustang and based on the Coronet’s chassis. It was joined in 1970 by the Dodge Challenger, a sport coupe that was built for five years than resurrected nearly four decades later.

The 1970s and 1980s had Dodge actively downsizing their vehicles and working with its Japanese partner, Mitsubishi, to supply product. Indeed, the subcompact Dodge Colt was imported from Japan, while the compact Dodge Omni was built stateside, but relied on Volkswagenengines initially.

Throughout the 1980s, 1990s and much of the 2000s, Dodge products were badge engineered twins to Plymouth or Chrysler brand models, and included the Dodge Aries K. But there were some distinctions too, including the Dodge Viper, which was introduced in 1992 as a competitor for the Chevrolet Corvette. The Dodge Ram truck line was also unique and a midsize Dodge Dakota pickup truck was also available.

In more recent years, Dodge has become Fiat Chrysler’s performance brand with the Dodge Charger sedan and Challenger coupe, including supercharged Hellcat models leading the way. Two utility vehicles, Durango and Journey, and the compact Dart round out the model line.

Dodge remains a mainstream brand, despite the emphasis on performance. Top competitors include Chevrolet and Ford, as well as ToyotaHondaNissan, Volkswagen, HyundaiKiaMazda and Mitsubishi. Ram trucks are now sold separately; Jeep might be considered for SUVs and the Chrysler brand for its midsize 200 sedan.

Advertisements

Dodge Brothers Club issues Centennial Poster

DodgeBrosPoster-Web

 

The Dodge Brothers Club is celebrating the Dodge Centennial with a special, limited-edition poster showcasing the largest gathering ever of early Dodge Brothers vehicles.

The Centennial gathering photo was taken June 26 at Meadow Brook Hall, the home built by  Matilda Dodge Wilson, John Dodge’s widow, in Rochester Hills, Michigan. It was one of the highlights of the Club’s six-day Centennial Tour event that ran from June 22 to June 27.

“The poster spotlights the biggest gathering of 1914-1938 Dodge Brothers vehicles ever, at least that we are aware of,” said Barry Cogan, the club’s president. “Our annual club gathering was very special this year, as it coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Dodge brand. This limited-edition offering provides the perfect way to commemorate the centennial of the vehicles produced by John and Horace Dodge, and demonstrate how their legacy lives on today.”

The Club’s 35th annual summer drew nearly 325 attendees from six different countries, including a contingent of about 30 owners from Australia and New Zealand. There were 91 registered Dodge Brothers vehicles, of which 80 can be seen in the poster.

The 36ʺ x 12ʺ limited-edition poster will be available for a donation of $5 plus S & H, at the Dodge Brothers Club’s online store, www.dodgebrothersclub.org. They will also be available at the Fall Hershey Region AACA Meet, scheduled for October 8–11, at the Dodge Brothers Club display.

The Dodge Brothers Club was founded in 1983 and incorporated in 1986 for the research and preservation of Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicles and Graham Brothers Commercial Vehicles, dating from 1914-1938. The club hosts an annual meet each year, alternating between locations east and west of the Mississippi River.

Dodge is 100 Years Old

DETROIT — Let’s be honest: For 100 years, Dodge has been spinning its wheels.

During the good times, it has done so literally: delivering performance, power and passion to a domestic audience that hungered for vehicles that stood out in a crowd, with the smell of burning rubber.

But when times were bad, Dodge lost its way. The brand’s history is strewn with vehicles that shouldn’t have worn the Dodge name.

On July 1, Dodge will be 100 years old.

Dodge’s muddled history explains why it’s hard today to say clearly what the brand is all about. Over the years, Dodge has pitched a woman’s car, muscle cars, pickups, family haulers, rebadged Japanese compacts and more.

But the muddle is also why the brand’s current mission — affordable performance — strikes a chord. Unlike the past, the new mission is well-defined and compelling.

The mission was spelled out by the team of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne in May when it unveiled the automaker’s five-year product and business plan.

Dodge’s potential first blossomed 100 years ago in Detroit with its founders, brothers John and Horace Dodge.

The inseparable business partners and tinkerers had made a killing as suppliers for other automakers, including Ford Motor Co. and Oldsmobile. Most would have been happy with the success.

Yet, in 1914, John and Horace Dodge risked everything they had built on the belief that they could make a better car than the competition.

Their first car, an all-steel-bodied sedan, rolled off the assembly line on Nov. 14, 1914, one of 249 built that year.

Six years later, only their former client Ford would sell more cars and trucks in the United States. Those early Dodge cars were more costly than the Ford Model T — $785 compared with $490 — but they were technically more advanced and more powerful, and they had an all-steel chassis.

But since then, Dodge has struggled at times with its identity. It has been a part of Chrysler since 1928 when Walter P. Chrysler bought the brand from New York investment bankers.

In the 1950s, Dodge created both the high-performance D-500 and the La Femme, a car for women, whose defining feature was a matching umbrella.

Three decades later, Dodge had helped create an entirely new segment with the Caravan minivan, yet it also sold the strange-looking Rampage, a compact car with a cargo bed mashed on the back.

Still, Dodge produced some exceptional and iconic vehicles over the decades. The Charger and Challenger were favorites during the muscle-car era of the late 1960s and early 1970s. When those nameplates were resurrected in the 2000s, their fans returned.

In 1993, Dodge also redefined what the pickup truck should look like with its “Big Rig”-inspired Ram 1500.

A year earlier, the brand began selling what some consider was the original American supercar, the crude, boorish and absolutely thrilling Dodge Viper.

Today’s Dodge finds itself in the midst of another brand refocusing.

When Italian automaker Fiat took over in 2009, it wanted to make Dodge a multiline competitor to Ford and Chevrolet, only without its pickups or commercial vehicles, which were spun off to create Ram.

But in May, Dodge’s role as Chrysler Group’s Ford and Chevy fighter was transferred to the Chrysler brand.

Under current brand head Tim Kuniskis, Dodge is being restored to its originalplace as an affordable performance brand, much as John and Horace Dodge had envisioned. It’s dropping some models — the lackluster Avenger sedan and the Caravan minivan — and adding high-performance versions of the rest of its lineup.

Other than SRT versions of existing nameplates, Dodge isn’t scheduled to expand its lineup until early 2018. So, under the brand’s plan, it will take at least four years for the brand’s sales to return to the 596,000 units it hit in 2013.

But now, Dodge has a clear identity. We’re not talking BMW-like refined performance. This is the domestic variety — loud, brash, bold. Fun.

It’s a risky plan — one that would make John and Horace Dodge proud.

As read on: http://www.autonews.com/article/20140616/OEM/140619925/after-100-years-dodges-identity-still-tough-to-pin-down#

Chrysler Commercial Vehicle Heritage | Dodge Brothers Inc. Joins the Chrysler Group Family

May 28 marks an important milestone in our history here at Chrysler Commercial Vehicles.  It was on this day in 1928 that Dodge Brothers Inc. — a pioneer in utility and work vehicles — became a part of the Chrysler family.

The official history of the Dodge automobile begins in 1914, but the story of the Dodge brothers in the automobile business reaches back even further. Brothers John and Horace Dodge, talented machinists and ambitious businessmen, rose from humble beginnings to become giants in the early American automobile industry.

In 1901, after several years of building bicycles and piecework components for the budding auto industry, the brothers founded a machine shop in Detroit and began producing transmissions.

In 1914, the brothers formed a new company, Dodge Brothers, Inc., capitalized with $5 million in common stock, and began building their own vehicles — the world’s first mass-produced all-steel touring cars. In 1915, more than 45,000 Dodge cars were built and sold, the best first-year sales record for a new car in the industry at the time.

With their early passenger cars earning recognition for durability and value, the Dodge brothers soon began considering ways to convert their successful car platform to truck applications. During 1917, their firm began producing “commercial cars,” including military ambulances and screen-sided business trucks. Panel delivery trucks, fire trucks, pickups, chassis-cabs and other models were soon offered.

1924 Dodge Brothers Screenside truck

During 1920, the company lost its founding fathers. John Dodge died in January, and his younger brother Horace succumbed the following December.

A New York investment banking firm paid the brothers’ widows, in a single cash payment, $146 million for the Dodge Brothers firm. Within three years, the bankers initiated negotiations, and on May 28, 1928, Walter P. Chrysler purchased Dodge Brothers, Inc. for $170 million, making it, at the time, the largest business transaction in history.

When the transaction was complete, the Chrysler Corporation had grown fivefold overnight to become the third of Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers.

Read more at: http://blog.chryslercommercialvehicles.com/2014/05/22/dodge-brothers-inc/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=Facebook&utm_campaign=THMay2814Facebook6&ism=THMay2814Facebook6