Mystery Grille

We spend lots of time (and dollars) at auctions, and we don’t always know exactly what we are buying. That was the case with this old grille. Do you recognize it?

You could still see the shape of the radiator badge, which allowed me to quickly narrow the search. It soon became apparent that this grille originally belonged to a 1935 Dodge DU.

1935 Dodge
DUSicnag, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dodge was restyled for ’35 and called the “New Value” line:

Offered in eight body styles, the ’35 Dodge was powered by the 87-hp Red Ram engine with 3-1/4″ bore and 4-3/8″ stroke. It also featured improved hydraulic brakes, synchro-shift transmission, and a new synchromatic front suspension that incorporated a rigid front axle, soft, thin-leaf springs, double-acting hydraulic shock-absorbers and a rubber-cushioned synchronizing mechanism called the “ride levelator.” The “levelator” was described this way:

“The action of the Dodge “levelator” does away with the tendency of the car to sway or roll and makes possible the use of very flexible front springs. As the front wheel on one side passes over an obstruction, the soft spring on that side compresses. The swaying motion of the body that would result is promptly counteracted by the “levelator” which, connected to both sides of the car frame, causes disturbances occurring to one wheel to be “leveled out” not merely by the spring action on the affected side, but by the combined spring action, rubber-cushioned “levelator” action and shock absorber action – on both sides.”

The result, according to Dodge engineers, was an ideally soft ride, the Dodge “Airglide Ride”:

Now I’ve got a grille, and I’m pretty sure I have a hood ornament somewhere, but I do wish I had the rest of the car to go with it. I am rather partial to Dodges, after all!