Forget examining the history books, here's some living history that's up for grabs with Leake Auctions
When the Dodge DA Six was revealed to the American automotive community in 1929, chances are the new vehicle was regarded with somewhat mixed feelings.
For many, spotting the all-new DA Six in black and white print as they flicked through the like of the New York Times, must have brought back memories of sad announcements from the papers of 1920 when both founders of the Dodge Brothers Company - John Francis Dodge and Horace Elgin Dodge – passed away from complications of influenza.
Despite having produced cars for only a handful of years, the Dodge Brothers had quickly established a solid reputation within the automotive industry. They had supplied countless engines and transmissions to both Ransom Eli Olds and Henry Ford with great success, before switching to the manufacture of their own vehicles.
They became known for providing sturdy cars with impressive mechanical robustness but without the catch of eye-watering costs - a tricky blend for any automotive manufacturer to concoct, let alone one still within its formative years.
Dodge delivered the first mass-produced American car with an all-steel body, as well as a 12-volt electrical system that was considered advanced for its time. Many Dodge vehicles made it out as far as Australia thanks to their ability to tough it out in punishing conditions, in addition to enjoying incredibly strong sales across the US.
Worldwide, the premature loss of both Dodge brothers, particularly in such quick succession, was considered by many as a sorrowful case of what might have been.
As the newly launched DA Six joined the market, the Dodge emblem sat proudly up front, but ownership of the company had transferred to Walter P. Chrysler in 1928 for $175 million. As such, the DA took most of its styling cues from the trends circling at Chrysler. The bonnet was long, the wings were crowned and the round headlamps were mounted up front on a chromed grille bar.
As was common in the 1920s, a diverse range of body types were made available for the DA Six, including a 4-door sedan, a 2-door business coupe, a 2-door roadster and the 4-door phaeton, amongst other specifications. All rode on a 108-inch wheelbase, while the bodies utilized the all-steel ‘monopiece’ that newspaper ads said was ‘squeak-proof, rattle-proof and strong’.
Power came from a 63hp 6-cylinder engine (hence the model’s classification as the Six) that worked in unison with a 3-speed centre change gearbox, taking the DA Six up to a top speed of 55mph.
The DA was the first American car to possess rubber engine mountings, which notably reduced the amount of engine vibration transferred through the cabin. Passengers could therefore enjoy a far quieter ride than in previous Dodge cars, whilst luxuriating amongst the model’s vinyl trim and mohair upholstery.
Safety was also improved courtesy of 4-wheel hydraulic brakes - another first on an American car, albeit hidden behind rather traditional looking wooden spoked wheels.
Recently joining the Motorious listings, this tan-coloured 1929 DA Six Phaeton is due to be auctioned between Thursday 6th – Saturday 8th June 2019 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Being sold by the Leake Auction Company, with no reserve, this convertible DA Six represents the beginning of Dodge’s regeneration after being taken under Chrysler’s wing.
This car, alongside some 22,000 other DA Six cars, successfully reversed the decline in sales that had pained Dodge since the loss of its two founding brothers. In a single year, the DA Six was able to propel the company from thirteenth to seventh position in the American automotive manufacturer rankings, effectively reviving the Dodge name and allowing us to remain familiar with it in the modern day.
This DA Six Phaeton may have been described as a Chrysler Motors Product in print at the time, but at its core it’s still whole-heartedly a Dodge. To be sold by Leake Auctions, get a closer look at the Dodge here.