My father sold this ’35 Dodge Series DV new—to my grandfather

David H. Casebere/Courtesy Paula Dockery

In 1934, Paul Casebere, my dad, was 19 years old. He and his brother Carolus were operating an auto-repair and used-car business as Casebere Motor Sales, in Edgerton, Ohio. They were asked by a Dodge representative if they thought they could sell five or six new cars a year, and just like that, they became Dodge and Plymouth dealers.

This 1935 Dodge Series DV was their first new sale, and it was to my grandfather—Dad’s father-in-law. He traded it back in 1937. After a couple of other owners, in 1948, the Dodge came back again. My grandmother, Paul’s mother, drove it until it was put in storage in 1953.

Casabere Dodge at dealership
Courtesy Paula Dockery

Dad and Carolus retired in 1986, after 52 years as Dodge dealers. During that time, they made many friends at the Chrysler headquarters in Detroit, including Owen Skelton, chief design engineer for Chrysler, who was born in my hometown of Edgerton.

In 2000, with the help of some friends, Dad began restoration of the Dodge. He rebuilt the original flathead-six engine, went through the chassis, radiator, and gas tank, and did a complete paint job. He also redid the interior with a new headliner, new door panels, and new seat upholstery, all done in period-correct material.

Dad volunteered on Mondays at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, Indiana, for 10 years, rolling up his sleeves to maintain the museum’s old cars with the guys known as the Pit Crew. He liked to say that his ’35 Dodge, with its modern-for-time “floating power” rubber engine mounts and hydraulic brakes, was a better machine than the more glamorous Auburns of the same time period.

I acquired the Dodge in 2005, after Dad passed away. My husband and I enjoy taking it out for drives in the summer. We have 12 grandchildren who love going for rides and waving as people stop to admire and give us a thumbs up.

1935 Dodge Series DV hood emblem
David H. Casebere/Courtesy Paula Dockery
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