Dodge has developed a reputation for muscle cars with the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger. However, there is more to this brand with a model for every kind of driver. With a long history that spans over a century, Dodge remains relevant by continuing to innovate while providing models that customers love.
Dodge was founded by two brothers named Horace and John Dodge, who had been investors with Henry Ford in the Henry Ford Company. The Dodge Brothers Company first operated as a supplier of automotive parts for brands like Ford. The first factory was based in Hamtramck, Michigan and started up in 1910.
The first vehicle built by Dodge was the Dodge Model 30/35 in 1914, marketed as an upscale model. The Dodge Model 30/35 was innovative with an all-steel body with a 12-volt electrical system.
Dodge grew in popularity quickly and was second in US sales in 1916. Quality and innovation were credited as the reasons the brand became popular with buyers. As with other auto manufacturers, Dodge took a break from civilian vehicles during World War I and began making military vehicles. More than 12,000 Dodge models were used in the war effort.
In 1920, both Horace and John would die of the Spanish Flu. The families sold the company to Dillon, Read & Co. in 1925. At that time, the transaction was the largest ever at $146 million. After the sale, Dodge expanded into trucks while still producing passenger cars. The company bought a 51 percent interest in a company known as Graham Brothers, INC, which would handle manufacturing of trucks for Dodge.
Only three years later, in 1928, Chrysler bought Dodge and became the parent company. Dodge continued to build trucks while having its expanded lineup pared down. The company also added a line of eight-cylinder engines and moved production to Los Angeles in 1932.
In 1939, Dodge built a special line of vehicles known as the Luxury Liner for its 25th anniversary. When World War II began, Dodge switched to building war vehicles with over 400,000 contributed.
Once the war was over, Dodge updated versions of its pre-war vehicles. The Dodge Dart became a competitor with Ford, Chevrolet, and Plymouth. The Dodge Coronet was another vehicle in the lineup, a full-size sedan, which was retired until 1965 when it was pared down to a mid-size version. It was also renamed the Dodge Charger.
Dodge put more of its focus on the muscle car market during the late 1960s and 1970s. It developed the Challenger and the Super Bee. The Dodge Demon was built as a competitor with the Plymouth Duster. In 1976, the Dart was retired, and the Aspen was born. However, it didn’t last long, and the Daytona would replace it as a mid-size sedan. Another popular model was developed during this time that would become a classic with the Dodge Viper.
RAM pickups were originally built by Dodge known as Dodge RAM. These trucks were first manufactured in the late 1940s, but it wasn’t named RAM until 1981. During this time, Cummins produced an impressive diesel engine, which was added to RAM trucks. The result was an increase in popularity for Dodge, especially when buyers were looking for towing.
Dodge RAM trucks received a boost in popularity with the TV show, Walker Texas Ranger. Chuck Norris drove a RAM truck in the show, which enhanced its appeal to buyers. Later RAM would become its own entity separate from Dodge but still under the Chrysler umbrella.
Dodge is still known for its Challenger and Charger muscle cars. Today’s models have the horsepower that is in excess of 700 horsepower, making them the most powerful ever. To complement this focus, Dodge also manufactures SUVs, such as the Durango. To learn more about Dodge and to find the perfect model for the roads around McKinney, Dallas, and Mesquite, stop by Stanley Direct Auto today.