Thursday, August 21, 2014

100 Years of Dodge

The Dodge brand celebrates its 100th
anniversary on July 1, 2014.
It began with the 1915 Dodge Brothers
Touring Car, followed by a century
of ground-breaking designs,
innovative technology and 
legendary performance.
(PRNewsFoto/Chrysler Group LLC)
Maserati isn’t the only brand celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Dodge’s centennial year began this past July 1. There’s a lot to celebrate, too, with so many models over the years, and the brand still going strong today.

According to their press release, Dodge and SRT represent the performance brand of Chrysler. "At Dodge, we don't make category cars. We make category cars nervous," said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO of the Dodge and SRT brands. "Dodge strives to turn everyday vehicles into personal statements. Our vehicles are modern performance cars that deliver that visceral feel that reminds buyers why they fell in love with driving in the first place."

They’ve certainly put out quite a few muscle cars over the years, and still are today, with the Charger, Challenger and Viper. Of course, they’ve also put out quite a few minivans. Yet it all started with two brothers, John Francis and Horace Elgin Dodge. You can read the official Chrysler bio here. Seems they learned machining in their dad’s shop in Port Huron, Michigan, and continued to work in that field after they left home.

Like many early automotive enthusiasts, they began by building bicycles. Selling their share of that business, they opened their own machine shop in Detroit in 1900 and began making automobile parts for companies like Olds and Ford. Oddly enough, the company bio doesn’t talk about their automotive career from that point, but of course there’s always Wikipedia, which tells us they went from building parts to building cars in 1915. Both brothers died in 1920 and the company was sold in 1925 to Dillon, Read & Co., an investment bank, before being resold to Chrysler Corporation in 1928. It’s been part of Chrysler ever since.

[SOURCE Chrysler Group LLC, Wikipedia]

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