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1925 Roadster


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I used to own a few early Dodges, including a '24 touring and a '25 coupe (standing joke, this car doesn't need good brakes, there's a sign on the front that clearly states "Dodge, Brothers.....).

They seemed to be OK in the 40 to 45 mile per hour range. Over that, they struggled, I think I had the touring to 50 or a little better a couple times, but the car wasn't comfortable there, too high engine revolutions.

One has to remember that these cars were made when there were no Interstate highways, and most roads were gravel or improved gravel, when high speed wasn't the concern.

My father told the story of driving a mid-20's Dodge touring from Louisiana to the 1933 Chicago Worlds Fair. With him were his two brothers and a friend. Halfway there, the clutch failed. They barely had money between them for the trip, so repair was out of the question.

Every time they had to come to a complete stop, the driver would shut the engine off. To get going, the other three would jump out and push the car in high gear until it started, and hop back in the car. They completed the trip in this manner.

This shows how "low" high gear is. I remember mine, I could get it down to 4 or 5 miles per hour in high with no problem.

He further told of seeing at the fair the first public demonstration of a camera and monitor, where you could see yourself looking at the screen, which was like magic to a country boy from south Louisiana......but that's another story....

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Thank-you trimacar for your response. I ask this question because in the near future (next 5 years hopefully) I might be purchasing a 1925 Roadster and I would love to take it to shows/rallies but wouldn't like to be sitting on 60k's (35 MPH) the whole way.

Regards, Tristan.

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While I really like the sturdy, dependable early Dodges, I don't think they're cars you want for long distance toruing or rally (and everything is long distance in Australia, I understand!!)

Look for something a little more "long legged". I once owned a 1917 Reo touring, and that thing was a great road car, 6 cylinder and it would get up to 55-60 mph with no problem.

Most of the four cylinder cars in the late teens to twenties were geared low for in town and rough road driving. As you get into some of the 6 cylinder cars, the speeds increased. Still, figure that to be comfortable with most 20's cars, 50-55 is about the limit. Not just engine speed, but wheel balance, tire contact surface, steering and suspension, brakes, and so forth. The engine is not always the limit, it's what feels comfortable and that you're still in control.

Long story short, if you're going to be driving any distance at all, make sure that you buy a car that's running, you can test drive, and see at what speed both you and the car are comfortable...............

good luck! I started with early cars when I was 13 (that's when my parents bought me the 1931 Chevrolet I still have, and have owned now for 47 years), so wish you great fun in the hobby, as I've had and have......

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Hi Guys,

Thanks for your info. Regarding the overdrive set-up I am keen to learn more about that. Ideally I would love the Roadster to be able to maintain 50 MPH but we will see. Rick what is your 25 like at 45 MPH?

Thanks for your patience, Tristan.

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