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John vs Horace Dodge

by David Zatz on

While the Dodge brothers were so close they refused to open mail addressed to just one of them, the latest Dodge commercial shows, in the company’s words, “John and Horace Dodge battle it out in a century-long car chase that takes them through the history of the brands most celebrated automobiles, culminating in an epic duel between the latest cars to continue the Dodge legacy.”

The ad breaks tonight during Jimmy Kimmel Live, and will also run this week during The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show with David Letterman, among other shows (including sports and prime time broadcasts).

The spot highlights some Dodges many people may never have seen. In fairness, while the Dodges were enthusiastic and energetic, the early Dodges were not known for their power and speed, but for their strong engineering and durability (at the price). Those were such important factors to Dodge customers that famed copywriter Theodore MacManus created the word “dependability” for a Dodge promotion.

dodge ads

The Dodge Brothers never made performance cars, as such, and Dodge itself did not either, arguably until the D-500, and even then the brand was still focused more on near-luxury than performance. Plymouth had been equally or more known for performance, thanks to their backing of Lee and Richard Petty, the affordable and potent Plymouth Road Runner (followed by the Duster 340), and the 1964-69 Plymouth Barracuda, which was not shared with Dodge.  Then, in the 1980s, Lee Iacocca allocated all the performance cars to Dodge or Chrysler, with only Dodge getting the top “Turbo III” and “Turbo IV” engines.

See our 1922 Dodge Brothers Touring Car test drive.

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