Subscribe to Print and Digital for only $109!

From bicycles to bankruptcy, a Dodge century

1992 Dodge Viper

UPDATED: 6/20/14 1:29 pm ET -- adds second correction

Horace Dodge


Horace Dodge, a machinist and inventor, receives patent for dirt-resistant bicycle bearing; shares credit with older brother John.


Production starts at Evans & Dodge Bicycle Co., Windsor, Ontario.


Dodge brothers sell bicycle business, open what would become largest machine shop in Detroit.


Dodge Brothers Co. begins supplying major automotive components to automakers, including Oldsmobile.


Company gives up other contracts, begins making parts for new Ford Motor Co. only, accepting 10% stake in Ford for assuming the risk.


Massive Dodge Main plant built in Hamtramck, Mich., to supply Ford, eventually grows to 5.1 million square feet on 78 acres.

A 1914 ad for the first Dodge Brothers vehicle dubbed "Old Betsy."


First Dodge Brothers vehicle, later dubbed “Old Betsy,” leaves Dodge Main plant, just months after the company gave up all Ford business to build its own vehicle.


John Dodge dies of influenza and later Horace Dodge dies of cirrhosis. Dodge is second-largest automaker in the United States, behind Ford.


New York bankers buy Dodge Brothers Co. from widows Matilda Rausch Dodge and Anna Thompson Dodge for $146 million in cash, about $2 billion today.

Walter P. Chrysler


Walter P. Chrysler’s Chrysler Corp. buys Dodge Brothers from the bankers for $170 million, or about $2.4 billion today.


Dodge truck plant opens in Warren, Mich.


Dodge introduces the Ram Power Wagon, a civilian version of the heavy-duty 4x4 trucks built for World War II.


Dodge introduces the Dart compact, ‘Slant Six’ I-6 engine and unibody construction.

The 426 Hemi engine hit the streets in 1966.


The 426 Hemi engine is made available to race teams; street version introduced in 1966.


Debut of the Dodge Charger, a stalwart of the muscle car craze.


The Dodge Challenger debuts. More muscle.


Chrysler introduces minivans, including the Dodge Caravan, creating a new segment in North America.

1992 Viper


Dodge Viper, a V-10 powered sports car, goes on sale. A halo car for the brand.


Dodge restyles its Ram pickup for the 1994 model year with a muscular “Big Rig” look that vaults Dodge past GMC in full-sized pickups.


Dodge, as part of Chrysler, is merged with Daimler AG into DaimlerChrysler.


Chrysler enters bankruptcy-court protection, emerges under Fiat management.


Dodge re-engineers or redesigns six vehicles after the Great Recession.

2013 Dodge Dart


Dodge reintroduces the Dart, the first vehicle designed together by Chrysler and Fiat.

Editor's note: Dodge's new engine introduced in 1960 was an I-6. An earlier version of this timeline misstated the type of engine. Also, the Dodge Charger was introduced in 1966. An earlier version of this timeline provided an incorrect year for the muscle car's debut.

ATTENTION COMMENTERS: Automotive News has monitored a significant increase in the number of personal attacks and abusive comments on our site. We encourage our readers to voice their opinions and argue their points. We expect disagreement. We do not expect our readers to turn on each other. We will be aggressively deleting all comments that personally attack another poster, or an article author, even if the comment is otherwise a well-argued observation. If we see repeated behavior, we will ban the commenter. Please help us maintain a civil level of discourse.

Email Newsletters
  • General newsletters
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Mondays)
  • (As needed)
  • Video newscasts
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Saturdays)
  • Special interest newsletters
  • (Thursdays)
  • (Tuesdays)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Wednesdays)
  • (Bimonthly)
  • Special reports
  • (As needed)
  • (As needed)
  • Communication preferences
  • You can unsubscribe at any time through links in these emails. For more information, see our Privacy Policy.