1936 Dodge (Four door Saloon)
“This incarnation from the Dodge brothers, long range of very successful and wonderful cars was one of the last models featuring a narrow body and separate wings or mud guards and separate head lamps.
After the second world war virtually all the American cars changed to wider bodies with integral wings and lights which was to become the norm for most cars of the post war era. The pre war cars interior’s were small and intimate without being claustrophobic and of course looked very beautiful!
The brilliantly simple Dodge had a 6 cylinder side value engine (overhead valve was more powerful but too complicated for Dodge) and a very robust transmission this included the gearbox and back axle, which was so strong that it could be used for the commercial range of pickup trucks as well. All of the mechanical’s on the Dodge or its sister Plymouth and big brother Chrysler and Desoto were virtually bullet proof.
Working on a Dodge was always a pleasure, there was room to get your hands into almost any nook or cranny and you could even take the floorboard out to make the gearbox more accessible. Therefore a clutch job was a piece of cake, just a heavish gearbox to move out of the way! Only problem in the engine department common with most side valves was dropping a valve collet into the sump! As this could mean taking the engine out to retrieve the errant part, you had to block all the oil drain holes in the gallery with paper, to prevent such an event!
They were wonderfully reliable and trust worthy cars that you could get into with little preparation although my Dad would of recommended a spare top radiator hose and a fan belt before leaving Johannesburg on a Durban or Cape Town trip. A thousand miles (1600 Kilometers) was nothing for a Dodge in pre war South Africa much of which was travelled on dirt roads!”