There are very few names in American car manufacturing that can sum up the essence of “All-American Muscle Car” than Dodge. When people think of Dodge cars they think of fast, powerful machines built with the American Dream in mind. That’s because that was the basic idea that the original founders had in mind and over the years that idea remains at the core of what makes Dodge cars so great.
The company initially started as the Dodge Brothers Company in 1900. It was founded by John Francis and Horace Elgin Dodge, two brothers who first came up with the idea to supply parts to other car manufacturing companies like Ford. It wasn’t until 1915 that the brothers began producing their own lineup of vehicles.
John suddenly died in 1920 due to pneumonia and his brother followed in December of the same year, brought by a case of cirrhosis and grief. Since their death, the several changing hands that handled the company lost what made it great and sales were slipping by the middle of the 1920s.
In 1928 however, Dodge was acquired by the Chrysler Corporation.
Before and during the years of the Second World War, Dodge was re-focused by the upper management in Chrysler to focus primarily on luxury vehicles. This saw the release of the Dodge Luxury Liner cars, such as the D11 Luxury Liner released in 1939.
After the war however, the 1950s and 60s saw a tonal shift in the market. Dodge started to focus on muscle cars. It introduced its first V8-engine equipped car in 1953, the Dodge Red Ram Hemi. By the 1960s Dodge was even competing in the NASCAR circuit with its most powerful muscle machine yet, the Dodge Charger.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Dodge shifted management as its parent company, Chrysler, was bought and sold to other corporations. In 2014 the companies finally merged with Fiat and that is where Dodge currently sits in today.
There are a lot of iconic cars from the Dodge brand. One is the original 1969 Dodge Coronet Super Bee, one of the most affordable but most powerful muscle car of the era. It traded the Magnum V8 engine for the now popular “Six Pack” motor. It was lighter and was capable of pumping up to 390 horsepower.
Then there’s the 1992 Viper and the current lineup of the Dodge SRT-8. The Viper, with its V-10 engine, is one of the most recognizable machines in American history.