Remembering Jim Thornton, Dodge Performance Legend

Jim Thornton (Photo: Chrysler Historical Collection via We Were the Ramchargers)

On Monday, June 2, 2014, the drag racing world and fans of Dodge drag racing history lost Jim Thornton to an autoimmune disease and a rare form of cancer. He was 77. Thornton was the man behind the Super Stock and Factory Experimental Max Wedge and Race HEMI® vehicle platforms that carried racers to victory in the early and mid-sixties. Born in Richmond, Missouri, in 1937, Thornton — who served as race vehicle design manager at Chrysler from…

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Remembering Jim Thornton, Dodge Performance Legend

The Dodge Heritage Series: Part 4, 1950-1959

1955-Dodge-Royal_Lancer

 

Welcome back to the Dodge Heritage Series, a 10-part exploration of Dodge brand history. This is Part 4 in the series.

 

The 1950s were an exciting time at Dodge. The decade featured a long, impressive list of engineering innovations and bold, new styling that led the American auto industry.

 

With its sibling brands at the Chrysler Corporation — Plymouth, DeSoto and Chrysler — Dodge introduced the Forward Look in 1955. This unique styling language, developed by Vice President of Design Virgil Exner, featured sleek, swept-back lines, aggressive grille openings and dramatic tail…

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The Dodge Heritage Series: Part 4, 1950-1959

The Dodge Heritage Series: Part 3, 1940-1949

1949-Dodge-Wayfarer

Welcome back to the Dodge Heritage Series, a 10-part exploration of Dodge brand history. This is Part 3 in the series.

 

The Dodge brand entered the 1940s in the same way as the rest of America: with a new sense of confidence and optimism.  Slowly but surely, the country was lifting itself out of the Great Depression. Dodge produced over 225,000 vehicles in 1940, marking its eighth consecutive year as one of the top five selling cars in the USA.

 

But after December 7, 1941, and the attack on…

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The Dodge Heritage Series: Part 3, 1940-1949