The Dodge brothers started their business making spares for Ford, and
other car makers. Since the fist automobile was produced in 1914, the
company has grown significantly to acquire a reputation of being the reliable car-producer. As of 2005, it has been primarily known for its trucks, making nearly 78% of all market sales. However, the first Dodge trucks were not introduced until 1926, two years before the company was purchased by Chrysler. The last original Dodge truck was designed in 1929, shortly after its acquisition by Chrysler. Since 1933, Dodge trucks has abandoned their engines, using Chrysler engines, and borrowing from DeSoto and Plymouth. These were six cylinder engines, used until 1960.
The year 1936 witnessed the introduction of a new series of Dodge trucks, prominent for their fore-point load distribution. However, the six-cylinder engine remained unchanged, producing seventy horsepower from 201 cubic inches. In 1937 the cylinder was enlarged to 218 cubic inches, sufficient for producing 75 horsepower. Another redesign occurred in 1939, entailing numerous changes. Dodge was one of two automakers to produce its own diesel engines before World War II, the other being Mack. B-Trucks were introduced in the postwar period at the same time as Ford pickups. They had a great cab, providing better visibility owing to large glass area and taller seats. While Dodge pickup trucks of the B series enjoyed wide popularity, the C series introduced more powerful trucks with V8 engines, producing 145 horsepower. In the early 1950's, Hemi engines were introduced, starting with 133 horsepower and moving gradually to 172 horsepower.
A few years later, a once successful C series trucks was updated. This resulted in the new name - Power Giant, introduced by Dodge in 1957.
The next year brought the growth of each model's wheelbase by more than six inches, along with the stronger frames. Other major changes included approaching to the 34 inch cross members, which are seen now as the industry's standard. This resulted in the increased durability and capacity of trucks.
The subsequent years witnessed many technological advances and improvements. Among the current Dodge trucks, produced by the company are the Dodge Dakota (introduced first in 1987 with the latest redesign in 2005), Dodge Ram (1981) and Dodge Sprinter (1995). Historic Dodge trucks include Dodge A100, produced by Chrysler in the 1960's; Dodge B Series, the name of two different vehicles: a van and a pickup truck; Dodge C Series, produced from the 1950's through 1975; Dodge D Series, a line of pickup trucks sold during the period of 1961-1980; Dodge Power Wagon, produced from 1945 through 1968; Dodge Rampage, released first in 1982 and declined two years later, and the Dodge Ram 50, produced by Mitsubishi Motors in the late 1970's, and sold by the Chrysler Corporation till 1993.
In 1962, the Franks established the Early Dodge Motor Home, which then changed its name to Dodge Motor Home. In 1963, the company was sold and renamed in Travco two years later to avoid conflicts with other car-makers.