It was an automobile I had not heard about until I saw this old family photo. This is a snapshot of a 1917 Dort owned by my great-grandparents, Lorenz and Louisa Rademacher, who lived in rural Isabella County, Michigan.1
On the front of this photo is written “Our first car 1917 Dort” and on the back is written, “Louisa Rademacher with Her children Gerred, Emma, John, Evelyn, Lorenzo and Dennis. Their father took the picture.” Here it is along with a montage of an unrelated, restored 1917 Dort automobile for comparison.2
From a Dort brochure:3
Dort 1917 Motor Cars
Conviction that “here is a solid, commen-sense car” flashes in upon you when you see the Dort. The extraordinary motor, the staunch frame and trouble-proof rear axle, the true cantilever springs and unfailing starting and lighting system, are part of this real mechanical achievement. The man who buys a Dort knows ever afterwards that he has bought a supremely good car–an honest value–at a fair price.
The Dort Sedan (permanently enclosed) $1065
Dort Sedanet (removable panels) 815
Five-Passenger Touring Car 695
Fleur-de-Lys Roadster, complete 695
All prices f.o.b. Flint, Michigan
Model 9, 1917 Dort chassis. Motor: high speed French-type; designed by M. Etienne Planche; L-head, registering 33 h.p. at 1,900 r.p.m. Unrivalled for snap, flexibility and power. Thermo-siphon cooling; pump and splash lubrication. Connecticut ignition. Westinghouse two-unit electric started with improved Bendix Automatic drive; starter button under left heel. Complete electric lights; electric horn with button on center of steering column. Three-quarter-springs. Deep, wide, roomy seats; high-quality upholstery. Goodyear tires, 30 x 3-1/2; on Sedan, 31 x 4. Complete equipment. 105-inch wheelbase.
Own a Dort. You Will Like It.
Dort Motor Car Co.
- “Photographs,” Our first car 1917 Dort, Photo collection, Estate of Evelyn Mary (Rademacher) Earl, Heather Justice.
- Pictures of restored Dort adapted from: Mecum Auctions (http://mecum.com : downloaded 27 October 2013), Lot F99 1917 Dort Touring Car; Anaheim, CA; November 15-17, 2012.
- Luxury Cars Info (http://highluxurycars.blogspot.com/2011/08/1917-dort-brochure-was-found-among.html : downloaded 27 October 2013.