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First Dodge Bros. car made one century ago, today

by David Zatz on

On November 14, 1914, the Dodge brothers produced their first car for sale.  For 1914 as a whole, they only produced a little over 200 cars,  but by 1920 they were the second largest automaker in the United States.

The Dodge Brothers cars were built to be tough, but during the brothers’ lifetimes they stayed at 35 horsepower — far more than Ford’s Model T but not a barn-burner even by the standards of the day. They also came with a self-starter to avoid arm injuries, a 12-volt electrical system when the standard was six volts, and a cold-weather air intake system. Dodge Brothers quickly gained a reputation for durability and reliability — or, in a word coined for the brand by legendary advertising copywriter Theodore MacManus, “dependability.”

The company was purchased by Chrysler in 1928, the Dodge Brothers name being shortened to “Dodge” around ten years later.

Allpar has used materials provided by Chrysler, original sources, and other sources to build a full history of the Dodge brothers and of Dodge Brothers.  We also have coverage of Dodge cars and trucks, and of the amazing Dodge Main plant, which stayed up until 1981 and was the first factory to have its own test track; when it was still in use, the production line actually went outside to go from floor to floor.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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