The extraordinary skill and work ethic exhibited by John and Horace Dodge Sr. make for one of the most inspiring stories in the annals of American business. To an extent, their accomplishments foretold of the vision later displayed by Horace Dodge Jr. But while the younger Dodge's creative spirit was as important to the world of pleasure boats as the Dodge brothers' was to the nascent American automobile industry, Horace Jr.'s tumultuous personal life and quixotic pursuit of racing fame ultimately undermined his promising career as a boat builder. This evocatively illustrated history of Dodge boats follows Horace Dodge Jr. as he pursues his dream of creating elegant wooden boats affordable for the masses. Author Anthony S. Mollica Jr. begins by exploring the creation of the Dodge automotive empire and the family fortune that bankrolled Horace Jr.'s quest. In the process, he foreshadows Horace Dodge Jr.'s application of automobile production techniques to the construction of wooden boats, the first models of which were appropriately dubbed "Watercars." Horace Jr.'s lifelong passion for boat racing is also examined, as are his hubris-fueled rivalry with Gar Wood and his Gatsby-like excesses. In the end, neither the talented designers and businesspeople with which Dodge surrounded himself, nor their innovative designs and marketing techniques, could save the Horace E. Dodge Boat and Plane Corporation from the lingering effects of the Great Depression, a changing industry, their boss' vices, and, often, his disinterest. Accompanied by modern color photography of restored classics and a wealth of archival images, many of which have not been published for more than half a century, Dodge Boats also features appendixes detailing all standardized models from 1923 through 1936, Dodge boat-building milestones, and important Dodge race boats.
Author Anthony S. Mollica Jr.