1916 DODGE MODEL 30-35 PHAETON TOURING CAR 01
This 1916 has: 114” Wheelbase All Steel Construction 3 speed manual transmission
4 cylinder 212 cu. In. (3.5 ltr) L head 30 – 35 HP @ 2000 rpm 4:1 Compression Ratio
Electrical Starter 12 volt electrical system Horse Hair Luxury Seat Backs
In near original condition, this vehicle was sold new to the Drayton area and then to Mount Forest before coming to the Lang Collection.
The car was built in Detroit by the Dodge Bros (Horace and John). Following the death of his first wife John Dodge married Matilda Rausch who was born into the Rausch Family at Glintz’s corner just one mile east of here. Her family had moved to Detroit when she was two. In 1920 John died and she inherited his $73M Estate. She later married lumber baron Alfred Wilson and together built they magnificent estate of Meadow Brooke Hall in suburban Detroit.
During her life she returned to Walkerton many times and bought the organ at the Knox Presbyterian Church, the Iron Gate entrance to the Walkerton Cemetery, and the Mans House for the pastor of the Knox Presbyterian Church in Walkerton among other things.
The Dodge Brothers
Born into a tool making family in Niles MI during the 1860’s, John and Horace Dodge came to Detroit in 1888. For the next nine years the Dodge Bros (they always worked together) worked in various mechanical positions in the Detroit-Windsor ON area before opening a company of their own to manufacture bicycles in 1897. In 1900 they used the proceeds from the sale of the bicycle shop to open their own machine shop which allowed them make precision engine and chassis components for the burgeoning Detroit auto market. In completing a contract to build transmissions for Ransom Olds’ new offering in 1902, the Dodge Bros built a solid reputation for high quality work. Based on this reputation they began making engines and other components for the Model T. That contract also earned them an ownership share of the Ford Motor Company with Horace being named a VP by Ford. By 1910 their business had expanded to such an extent that they built what became known as the massive Dodge Main Plant in Hamtramck MI.
Despite a ten year relationship and being a major stock holder of Ford, in 1914 the Dodge Bros formed their own business to manufacture cars. John was once quoted as saying, “Someday, people who own a Ford are going to want an automobile.” The Dodge Model 30 became a more upscale competitor for the Ford Model T. “It pioneered or made standard many features now taken for granted: all steel construction, 12 volt electrical system, 35 hp (vs. the Model T’s 20 hp), and a sliding gear transmission. As a result of this and the Dodge Brothers well earned reputation for the highest quality (machining) the Dodge Brothers cars were ranked in second place in sales by 1916.”
There are many stories about the Brothers. Horace was the quiet businessman while John was the hot-headed mechanical genius. In temperament they were a perfect match. One typical story had John out road testing one of their products when it broke down. So, as John was out with his tools trying to fix the problem, a pedestrian walking by hooted that he better get a horse. John walked over to the gentleman and knocked him flat on the sidewalk before going back to his work. Never belittle a craftsman at his passion.
In 1916 the Dodge Brothers Model 30 Touring Car won acclaim for off road durability during the US incursion into Mexico in pursuit of the outlaw Poncho Villa. During a raid on a ranch house in Sonora Mexico, then Lt George S. Patton led ten soldiers in three Dodges into a firefight that resulted in the death of three outlaws one of whom was identified as Julio Cardenas, a high ranking subordinate of Villa. It is listed as the first motorized cavalry charge in US military history. Dodge was again leading the way!
In 1916 Henry Ford decided to stop paying dividend checks to his stockholders, including the Dodge Brothers, because he said he didn’t want to subsidize his competition. This amounted to a million dollars a year to the Dodge Brothers. They sued Ford and Henry bought their Ford stock for $25 million dollars to secure sole ownership of Ford Motor.
Just as the Dodge Brothers remained inseparable in life, John and Horace died within months of each other in 1920. John died of influenza in January and Horace, it is said, died of grief in December. They are buried together in Detroit MI.