DODGE 100

From bicycles to bankruptcy, a Dodge century

1992 Dodge Viper
DODGE 100TH ANNIVERSARY
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Horace Dodge

1896

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

1897

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

1901

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

1902

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

1903

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

1910

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."

1914

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.

1920

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

1925

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

1928

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

1938

Dodge truck plant opens in Warren, Mich.

1945

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

1960

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

The 426 Hemi engine hit the streets in 1966.

1964

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

1966

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

1970

The Dodge Challenger debuts. More muscle.

1984

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

1992 Viper

1992

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

1993

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.

1998

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

2009

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

2011

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

2013 Dodge Dart

2013

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.

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