1915 Dodge Brothers Touring

When the Dodge Brothers, John and Horace, introduced their first car to the public in 1915, their company was already one of the largest and most experienced automakers in America.

 

In their giant plant in Hamtramck, Michigan, later to become known as Dodge Main, the Dodge Bros. built many of the components for Henry Ford’s Model T, becoming fabulously wealthy in the process. Deciding that both Ford and Dodge Bros. would have a more secure future if the brothers went their own way, they established their own car brand in 1914.

 

The first Dodge Brothers model, the 30-35 Touring car shown here, took advantage of the lessons learned in producing the Model T.  It was simple, plain, and sturdy, like the Ford, but it was upgraded in key ways, with a more powerful engine, a longer wheelbase, and a 12-volt electrical system instead of six.

 

The car was a hit and by 1916, Dodge became the number two make in America, second only to Ford. Unfortunately, both John and Horace Dodge, who remained close their entire lives, passed away in 1920. Without strong leadership, the Dodge brand then slipped to seventh in sales before Walter P. Chrysler took over the company and merged it into the Chrysler Corporation in 1928. The acquisition of Dodge helped Chrysler to join Ford and General Motors as the final member of the Big Three.

 

You can visit the very car pictured here at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, Michigan, in the shadow of Chrysler’s world headquarters.  To build your own Dodge, go to Dodge. com.

 


  • J Langellier

    The Arizona Historical Society is seekig a 1915 US Army Dodge touring car on loan for a special exhibit related to the 1916 Punitive Expedition. Does anyone have a source they wojld be willing to share? Thank you. John P. Langellier. PhD. Director AHS Central Div.