97-Year Old Hauler: 1920 Dodge Brothers

Here’s a bit of a head-scratcher, but a nice and unique one. This 1920 Dodge Brothers truck is listed on eBay in Lufkin, Texas with a current bid price of over $6,000 and the reserve isn’t met quite yet.

Horace and John Dodge never actually sold a pickup truck in 1920, and in fact the Graham Brothers started selling pickups through Dodge dealers in 1921. The Dodge Brothers made cars until WWI when the government asked them to build trucks for the war effort. So, they made panel-type half-ton trucks, but never pickups. So, when the seller says that this “pickup” was “restored by the previous owner in the 1990s”, they either reconfigured it to a pickup at that time or a previous owner made this custom and the former owner just restored what was already made into the pickup that you see here. Whew, confusing, eh?

After the war ended, Dodge Brothers converted their military ambulance to a “Screenside” truck and a Commercial Panel truck followed a few months after that. In 1924, the Dodge Brothers  Company (tragically the Dodge brothers both died within a few months of each other in 1920) offered a pickup but it was actually made by the Graham Brothers. It wouldn’t have been real complicated to convert a screenside truck into a convertible pickup like the one seen here. And, you can see that it has a lot of dings and dents in it, so it doesn’t look like a fully-restored trailer queen but more of an actual truck that a person could use to haul things. Although, with a 35 hp engine, don’t expect to pull a boat and keep up with modern traffic.

The interior, as you would expect from a 97-year old truck, is pretty basic. The dash and the interior, in general, look like they’re in really nice condition. The seat backs are interesting and they look almost like the original style. This truck has “zero rust”, according to the seller.

The 35 hp four-cylinder engine “starts right up, clutch and transmission work perfectly. This truck is road ready right now.” It sure looks like a nice example of a very early Dodge Brothers truck. Have any of you owned a truck from the early-1920s?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. glen

    I think the Dodge brothers would be proud to have there name on this truck, she’s a beauty.

  2. Joey

    Someone better tell the Dodge Bros that they did not make pickup trucks.
    Dodge Brothers Company entered into an agreement with the Graham Brothers Company 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.

    http://www.2040-cars.com/Dodge/Other-Pickups/1920-dodge-brothers-roadster-pickup–632603/

  3. S Ryan

    Joey is on it.
    Rare absolutely.
    Valuable???

  4. Todd Fitch Staff

    Great find, Scotty. I’m no truck expert but I know a lot of early sedans ended up as “trucks” on farms. A real hawk eye might recognize the bed parts from later vehicles. Besides, who needs a truck when your cars run like this… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq2jY1trxqg

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Thanks, Todd. I think you may be right, their first trucks were built on their car chassis; tough stuff. After almost two years I still haven’t learned to never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever say that something is absolute, no matter what it is or how many sources confirm that absolute. Someone will always want to debunk whatever that absolute is. The sun will come up tomorrow would be debunked by someone, that’s just the way life is in 2017, I guess.

  5. doug

    While it’s cute I don’t think it’s real. And BTW Dodge Brothers really did make a pickup in 1918 for the military, called a Light Repair Truck.

  6. stillrunners lawrence Member

    It’s nice….be the only one at the show !

  7. Milt

    Isn’t that a late 40’s early 50’s Dodge tailgate that’s been cut down?

  8. Howard A Member

    Whatever it is, it sure is nice, although, I don’t care for the Menard’s tail lights. Totally detract’s from the character. These trucks only had one small tail light on the left, and you used ,,,HAND SIGNAL’S, gasp, what the heck is a hand signal?? ( the only hand signal today is the middle finger) Be advised, this should be transported to shows on a trailer. With 35 hp. and 6:17 rear gears,( or whatever) gonna be a slow, painful ride, remember, this was the next step above a horse and cart. Really, really cool, but I’d get a trailer, take it 6 blocks from a show, and putt-putt in.

  9. s

    In addition to the tail lights mentioned above, that modern green color makes me want to punch the guy who painted it square in the mouth… It would look better painted rustoleum black with a brush..

    • Howard A Member

      Hi s, and lose the “west coast” mirrors too. Mirrors on trucks were 20 years away when this truck was made, and even then a luxury.

  10. 86 Vette Convertible

    It is cute, but with the recent history I wonder how many feet of water it’s sitting under in Texas due to Hurricane Harvey?

    • Blake Young

      Lufkin is far enough away that he shouldn’t be flooded. He probably got plenty of rain, but if the truck is inside, it should be fine. Pretty cool like truck, regardless of how “real” it is.

  11. legion

    That tailgate looks like it may have started life on a mid ’60s Dodge D-100 step side pickup and had several inches taken off the top and some curious hinges cobbled on.

  12. Fran

    Maybe it was made by Fiat? LOL Anyway, I got to wonder what cars and trucks are still around?

  13. jan arnett

    The truck is a Heinz 57 variety made up from a touring car. The engine compartment electrical system is wrong, the interior is wrong, the top is home made, trailer tail lights, fenders right year but rough. Regarding did Dodge build a truck? Part of the problem is the definition of truck. Dodge built the business car which was a screen side pickup but was not sold as a truck. I have a 1923 screen side pickup which all lit refers to as a business car.

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