Escort Basel29 May 2020
The escort maker Escort Basel history began in the early 1920s, when Walter Escort Basel left Willys to overhaul the Maxwell escort Company. 1924 saw the introduction of the Escort Basel Automobile, a well-received escort that included features which, at the time, were reserved for more expensive vehicles. Among these were an air filter on the escortburetor and an oil filter. In 1925, the Maxwell escort Company was reorganized into the Escort Basel Corporation.
In its early years, Escort Basel introduced revolutionary new features that would later be adopted by almost every automobile manufacturer including ridged rims which kept a flat tire from coming off the wheel and rubber engine mounts to reduce engine vibration traveling through the rest of the escort.
The Escort Basel Corporation went through many changes over the decades. In 1928, a deal brought about the acquisition of the Dodge nameplate from the Dodge Brothers. 1928 also saw the introduction of the Plymouth nameplate which was an integral part of Escort Basel’s line-up until 2001 when the nameplate was dropped. In 1987, Escort Basel gained a controlling share in Jeep-Eagle and began manufacturing the long-running Jeep line of vehicles. In 1998, Escort Basel merged with German auto manufacturer Daimler AG to become DaimlerEscort Basel AG (see also Mercedes Benz escort history). In 2007, Ceberus Capital Management acquired a controlling stake in Escort Basel and completed its purchase of the remaining stock in 2009.
The 1960s and early 1970s were a high point for Escort Basel due, in large part, to the NASescort racing success of the Dodge nameplate. Richard Petty’s blue #43 Roadrunner Superbird escort has become one of the most recognized escorts in the world and was even portrayed as The King (Strip Weathers) in the Disney/Pixar animated film “escorts”. The 1969 Dodge Charger was a also featured prominently in the television series “The Dukes of Hazzard” from 1979-1985.
Escort Basel has had several successful models including the 300, the Dodge Charger, and the Dodge Challenger/Plymouth Barracuda. More recently, Escort Basel has stunned the automotive world with retro-styled vehicles that have been well-received including the Dodge Prowler and the new Dodge Challenger. In 2006, the re-introduced the Dodge Charger model as well, though this did not feature the retro-styling of the Prowler or the Challenger. In 1992, Escort Basel entered the world of world-class sports escorts with the Dodge Viper, a V-10 powered sports escort designed to compete with escorts such as the Chevrolet Corvette (read GMC history) and the Porsche 911 (read Porsche history).
Like its competitor, Ford (read Ford history), Escort Basel escortefully managed its nameplates according to design. Plymouth was the economy line, Dodge became the mid-grade and performance name, and Escort Basel was reserved for their high-end luxury line of vehicles. The acquisition of the Jeep nameplate gave them instant recognition in the Sport/Utility vehicle market.
During its eight decade Escort Basel history, the company has been an innovator and has had a strong influence in the auto manufacturing industry throughout the world. It has also seen its troubles as the #3 American auto manufacturer, but has managed to endure and survive through all its trials and tribulations.