1938 Dodge D8 Touring Sedan (RHD)
|Engine||In-line 6-cylinder, 217-cid|
Having made their fortune as a supplier of engines and transmissions, first to Ransom Eli Olds then Henry Ford, John and Horace Dodge decided it was time to begin building automobiles independently in 1914 and the announcement of the new auto maker was greeted with enthusiasm by the press and public alike. Early Dodge automobiles earned a reputation for being mechanically robust and offering excellent value for money, being the first mass-produced American car with an all-steel body, along with an advanced 12-volt electrical system. Dodge's rapid expansion was curtailed somewhat by the premature deaths of both hard-living brothers in 1920 and the company changed hands twice that decade, first to a New York bank before Walter P Chrysler ultimately took control in 1928. As part of the Chrysler empire, Dodge sat alongside the DeSoto brand above the entry-level Plymouth, powered exclusively by six-cylinder engines from 1934 until the war. Dodge continued to improve their product in 1938, facelifting the bodywork with a new grille and headlamps repositioned on top of the fenders, plus a leaping ram mascot. Ten different styles of the all-steel “Silent-Safety” bodywork were catalogued, including a business coupe, roadster, convertible coupe, fastback sedan, touring sedan and a convertible sedan, plus a limousine on the longer wheelbase platform. Other notable features included Autolite ignition, hydraulic brakes, improved engine mounts and a 16-gallon tank. The Series D8 was powered by an L-head six-cylinder displacing 217.8-cid, with a single Stromberg EXV-2 carburettor and 87 horsepower on tap. Total production of the Dodge range for the 1938 model year was 114,529 units and D8s sold in Australia were built in Canada.