Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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This Could be the Most Important Car in the History of Coachbuilding

Posted January 06, 2021 12:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: dodge

Few people regard the 1928 Dodge Victory Six as a revolutionary car. It looked about the same as other cars of the era and it was in most respects a very conventional car. But the way it was built was truly revolutionary. The 1928 Dodge was the first car to make a clean break with the auto body building traditions carried over from the days of horse-drawn carriages. It was the first car with a body designed to make full use of the properties of sheet steel. It was the first car to be built with the technology that made the modern, mass-produced automobile possible.

From the very beginning, Dodge had all-steel bodies made by the Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Company in Philadelphia. Budd and his engineering team, led by his chief engineer Joseph Ledwinka (not to be confused with Hans Ledwinka of Tatra), pioneered the all-steel bodies, and developed and patented welding and stamping methods that gave the company a factual monopoly on the manufacture of all-steel bodies throughout the 1920s and 1930s.

The first car to be produced with Ledwinka’s new method was the 1928 Dodge Victory Six. The bodies of the new Dodge Sedan looked conventional, but the way the body was made was completely new to the industry. The tooling was much more expensive than tooling for the conventional steel-on-wood bodies, but in mass production the new method of producing car bodies was superior in every way to the composite bodies. The new bodies were much cheaper to produce in large numbers and they were lighter and stronger.

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