1925 Dodge 4 Roadster Fire Truck
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 212-cid|
|Body Work||Fire Truck|
The Dodge brothers made their fortune supplying Ford with engines and transmissions and, thanks to their excellent reputation, the first Dodge automobile announced in 1914 for the 1915 model year immediately leapt to third place in the sales race. After concentrating on military vehicles during the First World War, the brothers switched to building civilian commercial vehicles in 1916 and teamed up with the Graham Brothers in the 1920s to build a range of body styles. Dodge began exporting cars to Australia as early as 1916, the first official dealership being S A Cheney of Adelaide and before long agencies had sprung up in every state. The ability of the Dodge to withstand punishment made the car popular in Australia and many were bodied locally by local coachbuilders such as Holden. Dodge introduced a heavily revised model in 1923, featuring a 114-inch wheelbase and more modern styling. The L-head four-cylinder engine displaced 212 cubic inches, had solid valve lifters and produced 35 horsepower while the transmission was a selective sliding unit with three forward speeds. The following year saw Dodge further update the styling, adding drum headlamps and a taller bonnet featuring vertical louvers on the side panels. The wheelbase increased to 116-inches and the overall height was reduced, giving the latest model a sleeker appearance. The interiors were also improved, with lower seats and relocated gear and brake levers affording more passenger space. Although the 1924 Dodge’s drivetrain remained largely unchanged, semi-elliptic rear springs replaced the earlier three-quarter elliptic springs for a more comfortable ride. Budd-Michelin disc wheels also became an option and the following year 20-inch wheels and balloon-type tyres were introduced. Dodge offered an extensive range of factory body styles, including roadster, open tourer, business coupe and sedan variants, along with taxis (either open or closed drive), station wagons and town cars. After the Dodge brothers died in 1920, the company was sold and gradually declined before becoming pat of the Chrysler empire in July 1928 and remains an integral part of the Mopar family today.