Rahmi M. Koç Museum, Turkey's first and only industrial museum, has added another very special object to its collection. The 1923 original car produced by the Dodge brothers in the USA offers a striking slice of the life of the farmer families who migrated to California due to the so-called “Dust Bowl” sandstorms and drought, which suffered from financial difficulties.
American brothers John and Horace Dodge founded the company in 1900 to manufacture spare parts for Detroit's booming auto industry. When they came to 1914, they started to produce Dodge, which they gave the same name as the company, with an innovative approach. In 1923, the first all-steel-bodied car that came off the mass production line was introduced to the market. Powered by a 3479 cm3 in-line four-cylinder engine, the car was mechanically quite traditional but very robust and durable. The four-door convertible reached a top speed of 70 km/h. The two brothers did not know that the automobile, which made history in its sector, would witness another history.
In the 1930s, sandstorms, years of drought and the Great Depression, which were called the “Dust Bowl” in the USA, had radically changed the lives of many people. Farmers living in the midwest of the USA affected by the “Dust Bowl” also migrated to California to look for work. One of the cars that carried those farmers into their new lives was Dodge.
Added to the classic car collection of the Rahmi M. Koç Museum, the original 1923 Dodge offers a true cross-section of the lives of farmer families who had to migrate from their homes, not only with suitcases with clothes, but also with hundreds of antiques and reproductions, from food containers to guitars and chicken coops. The car, which has been preserved from being restored, was previously exhibited at collector Frank Kleptz's automobile museum in Indiana, USA.