REVISED AND UPDATED — Would you treat your modern car this way? Could your vehicle even stand this punishment? Watch an ordinary Dodge four-cylinder sedan perform incredible feats in this legendary 1920s film.
Not enough is known today about this priceless old film footage, apparently produced in around 1920 by or for the Dodge Brothers, Inc. In the now-legendary short, one of the company’s four-door sedans, with the words “Oil Field Dodge” painted on its doors, is tortured beyond belief in rugged oil-drilling country. Beyond that, the little three-minute film essentially defies description. You just have to watch for yourself.
We featured the famous film clip a few years earlier here at Mac’s Motor City Garage, but now we’ve found a slightly cleaner copy, we hope. And while we were at it, we’ve also installed much more appropriate theme music: the wonderful “Knock Out Drops Rag,” composed by F. Henri Klickman way back in 1910.
A couple of things worth noting here. First, it’s extraordinary that a closed car, rather than open, would be chosen for such a mission. Early closed bodies were flimsy at best, and this is an extreme vote of confidence. We presume that demonstrating the body’s strength was among the objectives of the movie, as Dodge was an early adopter of all-steel body construction. (Note when the car is turned directly on its roof at 1:41.) Second: To some degree, the film illustrates what all cars had to endure in the days of unimproved roads. Make no mistake: The cars of this era were built tough, and Dodge was as tough as any. Hang on tight and enjoy the video.