Dodge

Like the Wright brothers, the Dodge brothers (John and Horace) began in the bicycle business, but around the turn of the 20th century they switched to making automobile parts. From 1902 until 1914, when they started the Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicle Company, the brothers made parts for other manufacturers, including engines for Ford. The engine deal netted them a ten percent interest in Ford Motor Company, which they sold back to Ford in 1919 for a tidy sum. Dodge Brothers cars quickly built a reputation for 'dependability,' a word invented by a copywriter to describe them. After 10 years, the brothers had built a million cars, and then made another million by 1928, when they sold their company to the Chrysler Corporation. Some of the most potent post-WWII Dodge models, including the late 1960s Chargers and early 1970s Challengers, were powered by a 426 cubic inch (7-liter), 425 horsepower version of Chrysler's HEMI V8. In 1992, Dodge introduced the 450 horsepower 8.0-liter V10-powered Dodge Viper, a muscular retro sports car that has competed internationally, winning in its class at Le Mans and in the GT2 World Championship. Dodge has also produced performance versions of its small cars, most notably the Neon-based SRT-4 in 2003. For 2006, Dodge reintroduced two HEMI V8-powered Charger models that reflect the DNA of its legendary predecessors.

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