100 Years of Dodge

AACA Museum to stage exhibit

Eric Kaminsky - August 12, 2014 01:53 PM


1929 Dodge Roadster (left) and 1930 Dodge Coupe will be part of the AACA Museum display.

Photo: Courtesy of AACA Museum

1972 Dodge Dart Swinger

Photo: Courtesy of AACA Museum

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Honoring the centennial of the founding of the Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company, the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will stage an exhibit with examples from the early years to the present day.

The exhibit runs from September 26 to October 12.

Brothers Horace and John Dodge learned their skills in their father’s machine shop, and became expert machinists and steam boiler engineers. By 1897, they had designed a seal ball bearing for bicycles, and started their own bicycle company. After selling the company for $7,500 and royalties on the bearing design, they opened the Dodge Brothers Company.

The firm made automobile parts, including engines, for Ransom E. Olds, founder of Oldsmobile. By 1903, the company was one of the largest suppliers to the auto industry. Growth was rapid, due to the brother’s reputation for quality. One of their clients was Henry Ford, making his third attempt to start a car company. The Dodge Brothers agreed to manufacture (less tires, wheel and bodies) 650 running chassis for Ford. When Ford had difficulty making payments, the Dodge Brothers became financial backers, and Ford eventually found success with the Model T.

Realizing they would need to be independent of Ford, the brothers formed the Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company in June 1914, with their first car coming off the production line in November. They offered an upscale car, which sold for $785 (as compared to $450 for Ford’s Model T). By 1919, Dodge was the number three automaker.

The following year, 1920, would see John die in January, and Horace in December. Their widows kept the company going until 1925, when it was sold to an investment banking firm. BY 1928, after a number of marketing errors, the company was again on unsure financial footing. It was then sold to Walter P. Chrysler. Dodge is now part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

More than 20 vehicles will be on display (see list below).


Location and tickets

The AACA Museum is located just off Route 39, one mile west of Hersheypark Drive in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Regular admission is $10, seniors age 61 and older $9, juniors age 4-12 $7, children age 3 and under and AACA members are free.  The Museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to (00 p.m.  For further information, please call (717) 566-7100 or visit


As of August 12, the following vehicles are scheduled to be on display:

  • 1915 Dodge Touring (owned by Dan Kerr)
  • 1917 Dodge Military Truck (owned by Bob Jacobs)
  • 1918 Military Touring (owned by Mark Ounan)
  • 1922 Dodge Coupe (owned by Gerald Erb)
  • 1924 Dodge Station Wagon (owned by Mark Ounan)
  • 1925 Dodge Brothers Special Roadster (owned by Jim Schmidt)
  • 1926 Dodge Brothers Suburban Woody by Cantrell (owned by Jim Porter)
  • 1927 Dodge Roadster (owned by Gary Ross)
  • 1929 Dodge DA Sedan (owned by Gary Ross)
  • 1929 Dodge Roadster (owned by Gary Gray)
  • 1930 Dodge Coupe (owned by Ken Williams)
  • 1936 Dodge Convertible Sedan (owned by Mike Romano)
  • 1936 Dodge Coupe (Owned by Evan Beblavy)
  • 1940 Dodge Nine-Passenger Sedan (owned by Gerald Weber)
  • 1941 Dodge Luxury Liner (owned by Nicola Bulgari)
  • 1969 Dodge Daytona (owned by John Garnett)
  • 1970 Dodge Challenger V10 (owned by Bill Avery)
  • 1973 Dodge Dart (owned by John Marsh)
  • 1978 Dodge Magnum XE
  • Dodge Viper (owned by Bill Avery)

Note vehicle line-up subject to change