Ram Tough, or Rocky Mountain Sheep Tough?

This dog dish is one that sometimes confounds people; you might call it the hubcap equivalent of an “inkblot test.” What do you see?

That is a ram depicted within the grooves of this 1939 Dodge dog dish, a hubcap that was described this way in the ’39 sales brochure:

“New style hubcap, ten inches in diameter is designed with concentric circles to add to the speed motif – and give the car an appearance of fleetness even while it is standing still.”

The ram made its first appearance for Dodge in 1932. At its inception, however, Dodge was calling it a Rocky Mountain Sheep or Bighorn and, let’s face it, that just doesn’t have the same ring to it.


But why was this particular animal chosen to represent the company?  What follows is an excerpt from an explanation that appeared in a 1933 advertisement.  Note that, even though Dodge had already dropped the “Brothers,” from its name, it still gets a mention:

“Nimbly and sure-footedly invading the highest and most inaccessible spots, the Rocky Mountain Sheep – “the Bighorn” – reveals qualities typically expressive of the traditional characteristics of the Dodge Brothers Motor Cars. . . . . Those familiar with the romance disclosed in a study of this Rocky Mountain Sheep will grasp the significance of the fact that he has been chosen to symbolize the dignity, fleetness, and rugged strength of the new Dodge Motor Cars. . . . In this fine animal is found the perfect symbol of the sure-footed, agile dependability of the Dodge Six and Eight – of the characteristic Dodge ability to go and to keep going when all rivals falter – of the integrity and devotion to progress which continues to characterize the Dodge institution”

1932 Advertisement
1936 Dodge