Originally Written for www.obrienauto.com
The Dodge Brothers Company was started in the year 1900 to serve as a parts supplier to the growing automotive industry in and around Detroit, Michigan. By 1914 they had established a reputation for quality parts and service, and decided to use that hard won reputation to start assembling their own line of vehicles.
The Model 30, introduced for sale to the public in 1915, was the Dodge Brother’s answer to the Model T from Henry Ford. The Model 30 was marketed as a more upscale vehicle than the Model T, and as such featured quite a few notable improvements over Ford’s sales leader. The L-Four engine produced 15 more horsepower than the Model T, a whopping 35. This was quite a significant jump at this point in history. That power was channeled to the drive wheels via a three speed sliding gear transmission that was revolutionary at the time.
Another industry leading advancement was the Model 30’s All-Steel body. Some smaller manufacturers had begun using All-Steel bodies by 1915, but the Model 30 would be the first mass produced vehicle to incorporate such a safety feature. Dodge also opted to use a 12-volt electrical system, a choice that wouldn’t be widely adopted until the 1950’s by the remainder of the industry.
By 1916 the Model 30 was second in sales within the US. This was a strong feat considering the higher cost associated with building such a more advanced car than its leading competitor. The Dodge Brother’s vehicles also earned a reputation for durability this year, thanks to their vehicles performance with the United States Army.
This game changing car was the first of many advancements in performance and reliability from the Dodge Brothers. Now part of the Chrysler Group, since 1928, that same reputation continues.