The title for
this segment is somewhat misleading. During the eleven years the
original Dodge Brothers Company built trucks they offered only one
pickup - a 3/4 ton from 1924 through 1927. This era of Dodge truck
history in reality is the story of two companies - the Dodge Brothers
Company and the Graham Brothers Company.
The Dodge Brothers
built the first automobile with their name on it in 1914 as a 1915
model. Previously the brothers had built all the mechanical parts
for the first 500,000 Ford Model T cars. The Dodge Brothers were
well known and highly respected in the automotive industry because
of the work they had done for Ford, Oldsmobile, and other leading
This World War I Dodge Brother's half-ton Army truck had a body built
by the Budd Co. It rode on a 114-inch wheelbase chassis and was powered
by the famous Dodge Brothers 212 cubic inch 35 horsepower four cylinder
engine. (John Zentmyer)
the very beginning Dodge cars sold exceedingly well. The Dodge brothers
positioned their car up market from Ford's Model T. It was bigger,
had more features, and cost more. Even though many of their satisfied
customers begged them to, the brothers adamantly refused to offer
a light-duty truck simply because they couldn't meet the red hot demand
for automobiles. Late in World War I when the government asked they
readily agreed to supply almost 20,000 half-ton chassis cowls, cargo
trucks, light repair trucks, and ambulances.
the war ended, as a 1918 model, the military ambulance was converted
to the famous Dodge Brothers half-ton Screenside Commercial Car. The
Screenside was built on a beefed up 114-inch wheelbase automobile
chassis. It was rated for a maximum payload of 1,000 lbs. (half-ton)
and used the auto's 212 cubic inch, 35 horsepower, four cylinder engine
and the auto's three speed transmission. Approximately six months
after launching the Screenside the half-ton was added to the commercial
car line. Think of the panel as an enclosed screenside with double
rear cargo doors. These two models were the only trucks the original
Dodge Brothers Company built between 1918 and 1928. They were upgraded
to a 3/4-ton payload rating (1,500 lbs.) in 1923 and their wheelbases
were lengthened to 116-inches in 1924.
The first civilian Dodge Brothers' Commercial was the famous
Screenside introduced in 1917 as a 1918 model. It was built
on a 114-inch wheelbase chassis and was powered by the 35 horsepower
212 cubic inch Dodge four cylinder engine. (DaimlerChrysler)
Dodge Brothers' famous Commercial Panel followed six months
later after the Screenside. It had the same wheelbase length,
payload, engine, and 3-speed transmission as the Screenside.
Company entered into an agreement with the Graham Brothers Company
in 1921 whereby the Grahams would manufacture one and 1 1/2-ton
trucks from mechanical parts supplied by Dodge and with cabs and
bodies manufactured in the Graham's plants. The Grahams were able
to offer an extensive range of wheelbases, cabs, and bodies to exactly
suit the buyer's specifications. These trucks were sold exclusively
through Dodge Brothers dealers.
1924 3/4-ton Dodge Brothers' pickup was actually built by the Graham
Brothers. Very little is known about this truck. I have never seen
one nor have I heard that one exists. In four years less than 2,400
were built. It had a load space 71-inches long by 44.5-inches wide
and 12.5-inches high. The tailgate was provided with chains to support
it in a parallel position. Its cab and body were constructed entirely
of wood reinforced with metal straps.
(Left) To the
best of my knowledge a factory photo of the 1924 3/4-ton pickup
does not exist. This picture was taken from the 1924 pickup's sales
literature. The open cab was constructed of wood as was the cargo
box. A closed cab was offered. Its drivetrain was the same as the
Screenside / Panel. (uncredited)
(Right) Graham Brothers built a one-ton pickup (shown) and a 1 1/2
ton pickup in 1925. The one ton model BB with a closed cab as shown
sold for $1,345. It's wheelbase was 130-inches, it was powered by
the 212 cubic inch four cylinder Dodge Brothers engine mated to
a 3-speed transmission. Its payload rating was 2,000 lbs. Its pickup
body model number was 253 and the closed cab model number was 205.
built a one-ton pickup (shown) and a 1 1/2 ton pickup in 1925.
The one ton Model BB with a closed cab as shown sold for $1,345.
It's wheelbase was 130-inches, it was powered by the 212 cubic
inch four cylinder Dodge Brothers engine mated to a 3-speed transmission.
Its payload rating was 2,000 lbs. Its pickup body model number
was 253 and the closed cab model number was 205. (Don Bunn)