JUNE 26, 2014 (JULY 2014): 1915 DODGE BROTHERS ROADSTER – MORE YEARS EQUALS MORE STORIES

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Dodge Brothers were major players in the pioneer years of the automotive industry but they didn’t put their name on a vehicle until 1915.

 

This Dodge Brothers roadster was there but it didn’t look like anything like this custom ride.

 

This ride has nearly a century under its belt and the history behind it matches the number of years.

 

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Clearly, this is a period correct hot rod but the biggest reason is simple – it was built decades ago. Terry Kalaman is the current caretaker of this classic rod and he’s also an expert on the history of this ride.

 

Terry explained the lengthy story:It was owned by Barry Green – he was a long term member of the Majestics Car Club, he bought it built and did a few things to it plus he built the matching trailer in the mid-80s”.

 

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Barry was a tough negotiator as Terry recalled:I bought it years ago because it was so different for its time. It came up for sale in ’92 and he told me if I didn’t take the trailer, he’d be driving the trailer. Barry passed away a few years ago so it’s kind of a legacy car for the Majestics”.

 

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This Dodge has a distinctive T-bucket look to it and that may be due to the Dodge Brothers’ role as the main suppliers to a guy named Henry Ford.

 

This is clearly a late 60s build and it has many period details to underscore the look: “It’s got ’66 Plymouth Satellite taillights and torsion bar suspension plus that’s a ’69 340 under the hood. The six-barrel look is just for show, it’s actually a 4-barrel. There are actually a lot of little tricks with this Dodge, so that’s why I have “gotcha” on the front. It’s actually a 1919 because I found a serial number but it’s registered as a 1915″.

 

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Terry has put a lot of miles on this classic and he’s faced some serious weather issues.He drove it to a Majestics meet in late spring and got caught in a blizzard on the way home plus he’s been caught topless in a rain storm a few times.

 

Terry is pretty realistic about these experiences: “In Brandon I watched the Weather Channel saw the rain coming and the other guys got hammered but the roof and the framework come out of the wing top and it actually keeps you pretty dry. Coming back from the Majestics 40th was pretty rough because I froze going down there and came back in the slush and the rain”.

 

This hot rod was built to drive and Terry embraces the experience: “I just throw the luggage in the trailer and hit the road. You can drive this thing at 75 with your thumb because it goes down the road great. This car has been in many parades and it’s had some celebrities riding in it, including Paul Tracy “.

 

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The biggest thing about this classic rod is that it’s one of the best attention-getting devices in the world,“People really stare when they see it on the road and people always ask where I got the kit car from”.

 

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Terry’s biggest concern is wrestling with the idea of change. He likes the period look and he understands the history behind the ride but he’s thinking about upgrading the look and putting his personal stamp on the Dodge Brothers roadster.

 

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This is a serious decision but Terry takes some comfort in the fact that the previous owner can’t offer his input:

 

“At least Barry isn’t around to yell at me”.

 

Jerry Sutherland

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