Almanac: Dodge cars

Almanac: Dodge cars

And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac: December 10th, 1920, 97 years ago today -- the day auto pioneer Horace Dodge died in New York at the age of 52.

Horace Dodge and his older brother, John, had been machine shop operators making parts for Oldsmobile and Ford when they rolled out the first car to bear their name in 1914.

CBS News

Among other things, the Dodge motor car featured a superior ability to go up steep grades, and a sturdy frame that could survive repeated downhill roll-overs.

Sadly, the Dodge brothers didn't enjoy their success for long.

Both brothers contracted the flu and pneumonia during a New York City automobile show in January of 1920 -- and both were dead before the year was out.

Though the Dodges were gone, the Dodge company went on, and was bought a few years later by Walter Chrysler.

And Chrysler kept on making Dodges, going so far as to literally sing their praises in a 1950s commercial:

"Put a brand new body on a brand new frame!
Tighten 'er up, and give it a name. 
Call it a Dodge!

Dodges are still on a roll today, in a variety of models, as part of the Fiat Chrysler merger of 2014 ... the centennial year, coincidentally enough, of that historic Dodge debut.

White 2015 Dodge Charger RT Road and Track sports car isolated on white background with clipping path
A 2015 Dodge Charger RT Road and Track sports car. Oleksiy Maksymenko Photography

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