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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July 2: Happy Birthday, Dodge!

Almost everyone I know has had a birthday over the past 365 days, but how many of them or you have had 100 birthdays in total? Not many, I'd guess, and probably only a very few cars can brag of that distinction. Obviously, Dodge is one of them or I'd have thought of a different title for this blog. One hundred years! Not a bad accomplishment. So this would be a good time to look back at some of the interesting Dodges (interesting to me). In no particular order..........


This is the 1956 Dodge La Femme......a ladies Dodge, as it came in pink and included a make up case, a purse and an umbrella  -  all in pink. Try that today and see the reaction. Dodge tried it for only two years, so I'd guess "huge success" was not a phrase one would attach to La Femme.

But this next one was and continues to be a huge success.......the ubiquitous Dodge Caravan or Grand Caravan. Note the cool guy in this ad. No matter what, this was not a cool vehicle, so putting the "cool" guy in the ad didn't help. Probably every family has had a van of some sort, when the kids were young and probably, almost all disliked the experience.


You want cool? Look no further than the Viper.........


Originally done as a concept to excite the designers and the auto show goers, at a time in the early '90's, when there was not much to get excited about in a Dodge showroom. As you know, one thing led to another and this wild child was soon produced and has added excitement to this day (now as an SRT Viper).

Dodge and police. These two words went together, during the heyday of the big block police cruisers, like this early '70's Polara.......


They came with a variety of motors, but the serious chase cars had only one choice, the Magnum 440. I believe they were considered to be the fastest sedan police cars ever made (at least up until recently). Not the all around best, just the fastest, as they could top 150 MPH or about 240 KPH. Either way, this is not a car I'd want in my rearview, if I was making my getaway.

Dodge also originated the tough pick-up truck, when they introduced the Ram in the mid '90's........


A big rig front end on a regular pick-up really ramped up the macho quotient and set the tone for all future pick-ups. A great way for Dodge to revive an almost dead truck line, that until that time had only one claim to fame and that was the Cummins diesel.

Racing? Sure Dodge did its share.........


Their most famous standard bearers were the Ramchargers drag racing team of Dodge engineers. Among other accomplishments, was their creation of the first funny car (another story, another day). The book above highlights their history, I have it and it's a good read (if that sort of thing interests you). But their most famous race car was the Daytona, developed for the high speed tracks of NASCAR........


Unusual, certainly, but the fact that they made a production version for the street was even more unusual. Ah, those were the days.

There are lots of other interesting and famous Dodges, but the above stand out for me. Of all the cars I've owned, there has never been a Dodge, but in 1968 my big brother brought home this beauty.......


.........dark green with a 383 4 barrel, a Hurst shifter and those great looking Magnum 500 wheels. What a car  -  still would turn heads today. He had another Dodge after this one, but it was rather forgettable, so let's just move on.

So to sum up, Happy Birthday, Dodge! Hope you have many more and continue to put out some interesting (and maybe even exciting) cars.

Until next time......



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