Chrysler Corporation purchased the Dodge brothers for $170 million on July 31, 1928, increasing the size of the company to the third largest in 3.e America’s largest manufacturer, behind General Motors and Ford.
Entrepreneurs by trade, brothers John and Horace Dodge, had humble beginnings and became major players in America’s fledgling automobile industry. After several years of building bicycles and auto parts in the early 1900s, they established a machine shop in Detroit and began building transmissions for Olds Motor Works. They then agree to build Henry Ford engines, stop their work at Olds and accept Henry Ford’s offer to give them 10% of his company’s stock. The Dodge brothers produced all the mechanical parts for Ford’s first cars and quickly became the largest auto parts supplier in the world.
In 1920, John Dodge died in January and Horace Dodge in December as a result of the Spanish flu. In 1925, their widows agreed to accept $146 million from a New York investment banking firm for an automobile company. And three years later, the bankers begin negotiations with Walter Chrysler to take over Dodge. Dodge Brothers became Dodge in 1930. And the marque’s signature sheepskin hat ornament, designed by University of Michigan sculpture professor Avard T. Fairbanks, debuted in 1932.
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about the author
Benoit Charette / Owner and editor-in-chief Benoit Charette has been working in automotive journalism for 30 years. He is the founder, owner and editor-in-chief of L’Annuel de l’automobile, which he has published since 2001. He edited the RPM and RPM+ episodes on V and Legends of the road on History. On the radio since 1986, he hosts the program Ça tenu la route and participates for the second year in the program Passion Auto on RDS as well as putting the official website of L’Annuel de l’automobile online at annualauto.