Things looked a lot different a century ago. There was no pre-sliced bread, running water was prevalently lacking in rural communities, and every automaker was considered a fledgling start-up business. Fast forward to 2014, and it’s apparent that’s no longer the case. Now as we roll into July, Dodge celebrates its centenary of making some of the most memorable vehicles in American history.
Technically happening July 1, 2014, Dodge’s 100-year celebration falls in a time of corporate reorganization that puts Dodge and SRT together. Dodge, owned by Chrysler, is tasked with building “mainstream performance” cars while SRT, is to build Dodge’s “ultimate performance” lineup. The consolidation of the two should play well for the company. But back to the party.
The company is offering specialized merchandise including car decals, key fobs, pens, coffee mugs, and clothing. There’s even a “Dodge 100 Years” book that depicts the brand’s rich history. Perhaps the biggest way Dodge is celebrating its heritage of building legendary street machines comes in the form of horsepower; that’s 707 horsepower, to be exact.
Now the reason Dodge has been holding out of the 2015 Challenger Hellcat’s performance stats makes sense.
Click past the jump to read more about Dodge’s centenary.
Dodge short history
Brothers Horace and John Dodge founded the Dodge Brothers Company back in 1900 and built engine and chassis parts for other automakers, like Olds Motor Vehicle Company and Ford Motor Company. Then in 1914, the brothers build the Dodge Model 30, a competitor to the Ford Model T. The Model 30 came with such new and innovative parts like an all-steel body and a 12-volt electrical system. With more horsepower and a better transmission than Ford’s Model T, the Dodge quickly became America’s second-best-selling car. It never quite topped Ford for production volume.
Sadly, both brothers died at different times in 1920 and the company was then led by their widows who then appointed long-time employee Frederick Haynes as the new president. After a number of generally unsuccessful years, Dodge was sold to Chrysler Corporation in 1928. The rest, as they say, is history.
Special items for the 100th anniversary
Dodge is offering some pretty interesting swag to help commemorate the special event. Take for example, this seat belt buckle belt. Though it won’t likely protect you in a crash, it will help keep your pants from crashing to your ankles. Other goodies include coffee mugs, swanky pens, leather jackets, a 20-inch neon clock for the man cave, and of course decals and stickers. A full list of items is available HERE and on Amazon.
Why It Matters
So why does it matter? Well, consider all the car companies that aren’t with us these days. American Motors Corporation; Duesenberg ; Hudson ; Nash; Packard ; Studebaker; and more recently Oldsmobile; Pontiac; Plymouth – all relegated to the pages of history, local junk yards, and hopefully museums.
Dodge has survived and sometimes even thrived through the last 100 years, so that in itself, if cause for celebration. Plus, without Dodge, the late 1960s wouldn’t have been so fun.
Press Release 1
The Dodge brand is tearing into its centennial year as America’s mainstream performance brand, celebrating its 100th anniversary on July 1, 2014. With the purification of the brand and consolidation with SRT, Dodge is getting back to its performance roots with every single model it offers. The consolidated Dodge and SRT brands will offer a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out within their own segments. Dodge is the "mainstream performance" brand within the Chrysler showroom. SRT is positioned as the "ultimate performance" halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.
"At Dodge, we don’t make category cars. We make category cars nervous," said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO of the Dodge and SRT brands. "Dodge strives to turn everyday vehicles into personal statements. Our vehicles are modern performance cars that deliver that visceral feel that reminds buyers why they fell in love with driving in the first place."
The Dodge brand has a drive to innovate and a passion to engineer vehicles that are faster, better or smarter and deliver an attitude that was built into the brand by the Dodge brothers themselves a century ago.
With 100 years of history to build on, as well as the innovative spirit of its founders, Dodge is taking the best of its innumerable successes over the years — the technological advancements of the ’30s and ’40s, design evolution of the ’50s, the racing heritage of the ’60s, the horsepower of the ’70s, the efficiency of the ’80s and unbelievable styling of the ’90s — as it paves the road to its future.
From muscle cars to compact cars, minivans, crossovers and full-size SUVs, the Dodge brand’s full lineup of 2015 models deliver best-in-class horsepower, class-exclusive technology, unmatched capability and a slew of cool features, such as LED headlamps, Dodge signature racetrack tail lamps, dual exhaust, 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment centers and 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable gauge clusters, to name a few.
For the 2015 model year, customers will be able to drive the new 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger, as well as the Dodge Challenger SRT with the HEMI® Hellcat. The Dodge brand lineup also includes the 2015 Dodge Dart, Durango, Grand Caravan and Journey, including the new Crossroad model, and the ultimate performance halo car, Dodge Viper SRT.
The Dodge brand’s passionate fan base is huge and growing. Dodge has more than 4 million Facebook followers; the Challenger alone has more than 1.6 million fans, which is more than many entire brands. And with 278,000 Twitter followers, the Dodge social channels consistently lead the competitive set in fan engagement.
Press Release 2
The Dodge brand is commemorating its centennial with an all-new line of merchandise and licensed products designed to honor the brand’s 100 years of innovation, performance and heritage. More than 30 items are on sale now at www.Life.Dodge.com, with other merchandise available at www.Amazon.com and retail stores across the country.
Inspired by the Dodge brothers’ legacy of innovation, the brand’s rich history, vintage logos, advertising and imagery, as well as the new 100th Anniversary Special Edition Charger and Challenger vehicles, the collection includes a wide array of products with both custom and vintage Dodge graphics that incorporate the heritage of the brand, along with retro designs and a commemorative 100th anniversary logo.
The Dodge 100th anniversary merchandise features more than 30 new items, including men’s and women’s apparel, a commemorative leather jacket, a 20-inch neon clock, hats, tumblers, mugs, journals, key fobs, decals and pens. All are available for purchase at www.Life.Dodge.com.
Licensed products, some available now and others launching this summer at retail outlets nationwide, include a new hardcover book chronicling the first 100 years of the Dodge Brand, timepieces, a calendar, and 1:64 and 1:18 scale models of classic Dodge vehicles.
The “Dodge 100 Years” book, the perfect gift for die-hard Dodge enthusiasts who want to brush up on the history, is available now at www.Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million and specialty outlets.
More items will be launched throughout 2014.