Upside Down to Prove Its Strength

The advertisement in this post does more than just simply pitch a product, it captures a moment in history. A moment in history when Lewis Reed’s Rockville Garage represented several franchise nameplates along with Dodge, including Hudson and Essex. The Hudson and Essex were sold at Reed Brothers from roughly 1917-1923. Rockville–Hudson-Essex–Garage, is highlighted in yellow in the ad below. In addition to franchise car dealers, there were also factory stores. In the early days, the factory stores did the national advertising. A factory store, also known as a branch store or branch dealer, was a dealership owned and run by the manufacturer. A list of area Dealers was placed in fine print at the bottom of the ads.

The upside down coach on the dealers sales floors to demonstrate strength and sturdiness of construction is what proved effective in selling the Hudson and Essex.

We make this test at our store to show the strong, rigid body construction of the Hudson and Essex Coaches. In this position it is supporting a crushing load of 2700 pounds. Come see it. Test the doors and windows, which operate with ease, showing a total absence of body strain.

1923 Rockville Garage Ad

Rockville Garage Hudson-Essex Advertisement: The Evening Star, Washington DC Thursday, March 1, 1923

Hudson introduced the Essex brand in 1919. The Essex was intended to compete with Ford and Chevrolet for budget-minded buyers. The Essex offered one of the first affordable sedans and by 1925 the combined Hudson and Essex sales made Hudson the third largest automobile manufacturer in the United States.

The Hudson Motor Company, assisted by advertising a stripped Coach body and a chassis, and by a display of the individual parts that go into the Hudson and Essex cars, resulted in the sale of 75 Hudson and Essex cars the first 10 days. During its production run, the Essex was considered a small car and was affordably priced. The Essex is generally credited with starting a trend away from open touring cars design toward enclosed passenger compartments. By 1922 the Essex Motor Company was dissolved and the Essex officially became a product of Hudson.

In 1923, the big news was the demonstration the values the Hudson and Essex purchasers received. The advertisement below demonstrates the strength of the rigid body construction of the Essex Coach.

1922 Husdson-Essex Upside-down

From The Hudson Triangle, Detroit Michigan, December 1, 1922.

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

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