Pack Automotive Museum

Performance - Hot Rods - Custom - Antiques - One Offs Many with valid Race and Movie Build Histories

One of only a few TOTALLY FREE On-Line Automotive Museums on the Internet



Almost from the beginning of the Detroit auto industry, the Dodge Brothers supplied nearly every car part needed by the up-and-coming auto giant Ford Motor Company as well as Mr. Ransom Olds of Oldsmobile and many other of the Detroit auto manufacturers. The brothers had honed their skills watching and helping their father Daniel Dodge with his steamboat machinery shop where he built and maintained engines for the riverboat traffic. After fifteen years of operating a successful automotive supply company, much to Ford’s advantage, John and Horace Dodge again changed the automotive marketplace in 1914 by deciding to build their own car. They designed a 1915 model to go heads-up with Ford’s Model T but with more features at a lesser price. The Dodge cars had electric starters, sliding gear transmissions and rear wheel brakes. Just three years later, Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company became the fourth largest American automobile manufacturer. Very unexpectedly just 2 years later, John Dodge passed away of pneumonia at his apartment at the Ritz-Carlton in January of 1920 and his brother Horace, also ill, passed later in the same year from cirrhosis of the liver. The Dodge Brothers automobile carried on their names even after their untimely deaths in 1920, with the company then remaining in the hands of their widows until its sale in 1925 to New York bankers and subsequent purchase in 1928 by Walter Chrysler. The Dodge nameplate endured, but despite their achievements and their critical role in the early success of Henry Ford, John and Horace Dodge are usually overlooked in histories of the early automotive industry. Sixty short years later in 1998, Diamler-Benz purchased the Chrysler Corporation for $36 billion dollars and the Plymouth line is eventually dropped in 2001.  In seven more years (2008) Diamler sold Chrysler Corp to a private equity group, Cerberus Capital Management, making them the first privately held U.S. Automaker since Ford Motor Company went public in 1956. Nine years later during what many thought to be the "blackest" time in American car history, Chrysler Corp. was sold once again, this time directly out of bankruptcy to Fiat of Italy. Chrysler continues to produce the Dodge brand of cars, trucks and SUV's.


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