Story of the Week

Posted: 05.16.2011
Remembering Hamtramck's Dodge City Days
By: Robert Tate

During 1955, in the middle of Hamtramck's main street called Jos. Campau, new 1955 Dodge models were shown for the first time to the buying public.The grand event attracted a large enthusiastic crowd of 100,000+ people overflowing the streets. Among some of the special guests included the city’s mayor, Albert J. Zak, and the President of the Dodge Division who was also a member of the Board of Directors of Chrysler Corporation, W.C. Newbery. Parade floats filled the streets as well as the spectacular sounds of the brass bands and singer Roy Rogers. The guest of honor of the event was the thirty eight brand new 1955 Dodge models.

The main Dodge plant, located in Hamtramck, Michigan, was the largest employer for the Hamtramck residents. The Board of Commerce Merchants Committee realized the close relationship between industry and the city and planned the celebration in connection with the introduction of the new 1955 Dodge automobiles. This week-long celebration called “Dodge City Week” created a positive reinforcement for the city and for the auto industry. All civic organizations including churches, schools and industries gained a positive momentum.

A civic holiday was declared on November 17th which was proclaimed as "Dodge Day". On this day, schools dismissed their classes early to allow students to prepare for the parade floats. Dancing throughout the streets and official crowning of the queen to reign over "Dodge City",  Lee Barecki, was held later that evening. During that week, similar events and activities also took place in many cities throughout the country.

The 1955 Dodge models offered bold lines and full-wrap around windshields with longer, lower, wider bodies. Some models were offered in three-tone color combination. The "Dodge City Days" in Hamtramck, Michigan was not only a celebration but also highlighted the connection between industry and communities that will always be remembered.

A special thanks to Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher, for donating his story to the MotorCities Story of the Week program.  Please do not use any photographs without the permission of MotorCities/Robert Tate. "Dodge City Days" information provided by Robert Tate. For further information contact Robert Tate at

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