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100 Years and Counting …

Dodge keeps spirit of legendary founders alive

November 21, 2014


One hundred years after founding the Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company, the spirit of the legendary Dodge brothers lives on in new ad campaign Introducing the 2015 Dodge Challenger. “Ballroom – They Dreamed Big” tells an imaginary tale of John (Tyler Bryan) and Horace (Joe Coffery) Dodge celebrating their success with friends 100 years ago.

This year marks the Dodge brand’s 100th birthday and the company has celebrated the momentous occasion with a big bang—blowing out birthday candles from Detroit to Dallas. The brand paid tribute to its centennial year with an anniversary event and Dodge Brothers Exhibit at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, Mich., and held a one-of-a-kind birthday bash for Dodge owners that rocked Gas Monkey with Mötley Crüe in Dallas.

The tribute continues with a new advertising campaign for the 2015 Dodge Challenger honoring the founders of the brand in 1914, John and Horace Dodge. As some of the most dynamic characters in the auto industry, the legend of the Dodge Brothers starts with humble beginnings and goes on to creating a car company with a 100-year-and-counting legacy.

“As boys, the Dodge brothers made their own bicycles … John went on to hold office, Horace supported the orchestra. They raced yachts. Their lives were big, but their dreams were even bigger. One hundred years later, this is how their spirit lives on.”

The cinematic “Ballroom,” is the first ad in a series that captures the spirit and passion John and Horace Dodge had for making great cars. The spot tells an imaginary tale of the two brothers celebrating their success with friends 100 years ago. While John and Horace Dodge ended up having big lives they had even bigger dreams and today their spirit lives on in the new 2015 Dodge Challenger.

Next, the “John vs Horace” commercial describes a car company started by two brothers built on healthy competition. In this video, John and Horace battle it out in a century-long car chase that takes them through the history of their most bad-ass vehicles, ending in an epic duel between the latest cars to continue the Dodge legacy: the 2015 Charger and Challenger.

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    The "Ballroom - They Dreamed Big" spot captures the passion John and Horace Dodge had for making great cars and how their vision for the future is still very much what drives the Dodge brand today.

  • Official Dodge Brothers Commercial ft. the 2015 Challenger | Ballroom

  • Official Dodge Brothers Commercial ft. the 2015 Charger and Challenger | John vs. Horace

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    A car company started by two brothers is going to be built on healthy competition. In this spot titled “John vs Horace,” we see John and Horace Dodge battle it out in a century-long car chase.

  • Official Dodge Brothers Extended Cut | Ahead of Their Time

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    1934 Dodge Main Assembly line

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    A car company started by two brothers is going to be built on healthy competition.

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    The Dodge Brothers badge adorns the radiator surround of the 1915 Dodge Brothers Touring Car.

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    Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO of the Dodge and SRT brands, flanked by the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT with HEMI Hellcat engine, and the 1915 Dodge Brothers Touring Car.

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    Rochester (Mich)– June 27, 2014 –Dodge marked its 100th anniversary by showcasing its historically significant vehicles at the Meadow Brook Estate. 2015 Dodge Charger, front, and 2015 Dodge Challenger

  • Official Dodge Brothers Commercial ft. the 2015 Charger | "Great, Great, Great..."

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    1915 Dodge Brothers Touring Car

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    The lighted sign that was on the roof of the Dodge Brothers plant in Hamtramck Michigan. This plant would become known as Dodge Main after the Company acquired the Dodge Brothers in 1928.

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    Members of rock group Motley Crue at the "Dodge Rocks the Gas Monkey Live" in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 1, 2014. The band performed a free concert at the Gas Monkey Live venue for more than 800 Dodge owners

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    From left to right: 2015 Dodge Challenger SXT, 2015 Dodge Charger, 2015 Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker, 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T

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    1970 Dodge Super Bee

Finally, the “Ahead of Their Time” spot gives the audience a glimpse of the history of the brand. From their early days making parts for Ford, to striking out on their own and creating a brand that believes that driving is a holy endeavor. Their entrepreneurial spirit and passion for pushing the limits made them ahead of their time. Today, their spirit lives on in some of the hottest, fastest cars in the industry.

The new campaigns was created in partnership with Portland, Ore.-based independent advertising agency, Wieden+Kennedy.

The Dodge Brothers
John Francis Dodge and his brother, Horace Elgin Dodge, were born into a family of machinists and grew up in Niles, Mich., and other Michigan cities before the brothers moved to Detroit in 1886. By 1896, Horace, John and their partner, Harold Evans, began manufacturing Evans & Dodge Bicycles with new wheel bearings Horace invented.

The Dodge brothers opened their own machine shop in 1901. Their first automotive customer was Ransom Eli Olds and his Olds Motor Works. The brothers then began supplying parts to Henry Ford and, by 1913, John and Horace Dodge supplied Ford with most of the components used in building his Ford Motor Co. cars.

John and Horace Dodge founded the Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company in 1914, and on Nov. 14 of that year their first car dubbed “Old Betsy” rolled out of their plant. Just three years later, Dodge became the fourth largest American automobile manufacturer.

Did you know:


155 MM Howitzer cannon built by the Dodge Brothers during WWI. The brother built a factory with the purpose of building these weapons for the Allied Armies.

• During WWI, the Dodge Brothers built a factory with the purpose of building weapons 155 MM Howitzer cannon for the Allied Armies?

• Horace Dodge became the most important patron of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) in the late 1910s. He helped pay for a permanent conductor and contributed $150,000 toward the cost of a new concert hall and led the successful fund-raising campaign for the building. The DSO played at Horace Dodge’s funeral in recognition of his contributions. Victor Herbert composed the “Dodge Brothers March’ to honor Horace Dodge for “his generous efforts toward the advancement of American music.

John and Horace Dodge both died in 1920; John in January at the age of 55 and Horace in December at age 52.

To learn about the founders and more, take a look at the brand’s heritage:

About Dodge
The Dodge brand is tearing into its centennial year as America’s mainstream performance brand, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 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 will be the “mainstream performance” brand. SRT will be positioned as the “ultimate performance” halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.
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 Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat. The Dodge brand lineup also includes the 2015 Dodge Dart, Durango, Grand Caravan and Journey, including the new Crossroad model, and Dodge Viper.

Dodge fans and owners can get involved with the brand by going to www.dodge.com, and to Redline Dodge, official blog of the Dodge brand. Explore 100 years of history: www.dodge100years.com

Connect with the brand on social media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dodge
Flickr: www.flickr.com/dodgeautos
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/dodgeofficial
Instagram: www.instagram.com/dodgeofficial
Twitter: www.twitter.com/dodge
YouTube: www.youtube.com/dodge