Dorts were built by the Dort Motor Car Company (DMCC) of Flint, Michigan , USA, beginning in 1915. Like Ford, Josiah Dallas Dort , the guy who owned the company , insisted his name be on the car.
Dort was an American automotive pioneer. He was a founding Director and Vice President of Chevrolet , selling out in 1912 before it was taken over by General Motors. The Dort car company was never in robust financial health, so when Dort died in 1923 and the capital and cash dwindled it limped into 1924 and went into liquidation. Ralph's car is amongst one of the last Dorts ever made, number 105,676.
"It was shipped to Adelaide in late 1924 where Murray Aunger of Franklin Street constructed the coach work of the five seater Sports tourer body and registered in March 1925 " he says. "When I first saw the car I was impressed that it was all there except for one door handle. Though having said that, quite a few bits and pieces were worse for wear, what with rust, and general deterioration over those years."
"I was determined to involve myself as much as possible in all aspects of the restoration and I reckon I've done 80% of it myself under the guidance of some great experts" he says. "I stripped the body off the chassis and I had the motor gearbox and differential completely over hauled by a friend at Para Hills who is an excellent motor mechanic on older engines."
"Some of the timber work required a tidy up and I was very fortunate in having oak wood donated to me by Ray Mossip from the Adelaide Hills Motor Restorers Club. I used this to replace the frame at the back of the tub, make two front door pillars and shape new base timbers for the engine cowl." "For rust repairs my cousin Rod Drabsch , who owns 'Rods and Relics' at Keith in SA, helped me out.
Rob Ephgrave at Adelaide Hills Panel Works agreed to let me to work with them painting the car. He understood my desire to work on my car as much as possible." The result is simply stunning and Ralph is rightly proud of the restoration. Ralph's was one of four or five Dorts imported to South Australia. The others were used by government departments for surveying the desert and by the South Australian Railway.