The name for this historic Dodge model, 116 Series, is a reference to the vehicle’s wheelbase: 116 inches. That’s simple and straightforward enough.
That’s what Dodge Brothers cars were in these years: simple and straightforward. They were practical, no-nonsense vehicles known far and wide for ruggedness and reliability. The 116 Series, sold 1923-1926, was essentially a continuation of the original four-cylinder Model 30 of 1914, the car that made the company famous, but with small, regular improvements.
The new features for 1926 included automatic windshield wipers, lift-open rear windows, cowl vents and a one-piece windshield. All cars rolled on 20-inch balloon tires, while buyers could choose Budd-Michelin steel wheels or the smooth-riding wood-spoke wheels shown here. Extra-cost Special Equipment included double-bar bumpers and a nickel-plated radiator shell, also pictured here.
Dependable as they were, by 1926 the Dodge Brothers products were looking dowdy and dated. The two Dodge brothers, John and Horace, had passed away in 1920, sadly, and the automaker was now controlled by a holding company. Sales slipped from number two in America to sixth as the bankers searched for a qualified buyer for their valuable property.
Fortunately, Walter P. Chrysler, who’d founded his own auto company in 1924, was looking for a top-notch brand to expand his successful Chrysler product line. The bankers and Chrysler entered into a long, tough negotiation that today is the stuff of automotive legend. But in 1928 they managed to pound out a deal, and the Dodge Brothers Company became the Dodge division of Chrysler. The rest, as they say, is history.
To build your own Dodge classic, go to Dodge.com.