The Dodge brothers, Horace and John, produced steam engine parts in Detroit in the late 1900s. They created automobile parts for many of Detroit's fledgling automobile manufactures, including Henry Ford who was one of their larger customers. As partial payment for supplying parts, the Dodge Brothers agreed to become major stockholders in the Ford company. From 1903 until 1913, the company supplied the bulk of Ford's engine and chassis parts. In 1913, they were bout out and received several million dollars.
In 1914, the Dodge Brothers began building their own cars. With appropriate funds, they were able to design and build a very popular and reliable automobile that were price more than the Ford Model T but less than other competitor's vehicles. Sadly, both brothers died during 1920 and in 1928 the company was purchased by the Chrysler Corporation and the vehicle was renamed Dodge in 1930.
Most of the Dodge Brother automobiles were open touring cars or roadsters. This example is a rare Enclosed Coach was one of the first bodies built for Dodge by the Budd Company in Detroit. Most of the Enclosed Coach vehicles (Sedans) were constructed with wood frames. This example is constructed with a welded-steel inner structure.
The period between 1910 and 1930 was referred to as 'The Golden Age of Racing.' It embraced the 'Roaring Twenties,' which was literally that as roaring cars raced on tracks made of dirt and wood. Initially races were between production cars. As racing moved into the teens, the cars were cut down or otherwise modified for increased performance.
Horace and John Dodge founded a precision machining company in Detroit in 1900 and quickly found work producing engine and chassis components for Olds Motor Vehicle and Ford Motor Company among others. They were very successful and built a strong reputation for quality. So not surprisingly their decision in 1914 to introduce their first Dodge car, the Model 30, complete with the industry's first all-steel body, 12-volt electrical system and a sliding gear transmission, met with much success. By 1916 they were second in U.S. sales.
With the tragic death of both brothers in 1920, the company passed into the control of investment bankers and was then acquired by Chrysler in 1928. In addition to building complete cars, Dodge also sold chassis with an engine, cowl and fenders for use by custom body builders.
This car is the only example of this style of speedster in existence and its early ownership is unknown. It made have been built by a dealer as a promotional tool. It had been equipped in a manner allowing it to compete over long distances and on different surfaces. It is equipped with an early 1920s Roots-type supercharger with a pressurized fuel system and auxiliary oil tank. It has a four-cylinder engine displacing 212 cubic-inches. It was discovered as a 'basket case', but complete with the supercharger and gauges.
This car is believed by Dodge experts to be a custom-built speedster rather than a re-bodied car. While the chassis and engine were manufactured in 1920, the car has parts produced as late as 1925. It may have been built by a dodge Brothers dealer as a promotional car.
The car has been carefully restored to its original yellow hue and authentic brass trim.