Dort Motor Car Company grew from Durant-Dort Carriage Company founded in 1886 by William C. Durant and J. Dallas Dort. They remained business partners until about 1915. Durant-Dort Carriage Company was dissolved in 1924. It may have continued to own the buildings plant and machinery used by Dort Motor Car.
Dort and the remaining stockholders took over the carriage business. They incorporated Dort Motor Car Company and began to use some of the same plant to manufacture Dort cars buying in engines from Lycoming. Carriage production ended in 1917.
Dort shipped 9,000 cars in its first year.
By 1917, Dort was offering four models: a closed sedan at $1,065, a convertible sedan at $815, a five-place open tourer at $695, and a Fleur-de-Lys roadster at $695. By contrast, Ford Model Ts were selling for $440 in 1915.
By 1920 Dort was the country's 13th largest automobile producer. The company built a large factory on the east end of Flint right at the time of the recession that followed WWI. The company started bleeding cash and attempted to seek capital (which was unavailable) or a merger partner (none were interested). Staff was cut and expenses were cut back. After several of the company executives left in 1923, the only choice left to Dort was to liquidate. The new factory building was sold to AC Spark Plug to manufacture carburetor air filters and fuel pumps.
J Dallas Dort died the following year.
- Automobile News. Chicago Livestock World, 23 March 1916
- Wood, Edwin Orin (1916), History of Genesee County, Michigan: Her People, Industries and Institutions, Volume 1, Federal Publishers, p. 778, retrieved April 7, 2013
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 1, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- G.N. Georgano 1985
- Schafer, Robert G. (1986). J. Dallas Dort: Citizen Compleat. Flint, Michigan: University of Michigan-Flint Archives. p. 33.
- Alan Naldrett, Lost Car Companies of Detroit, History Press, Charleston S C, 2016
- "20 Feb 1925, Page 29 - Lansing State Journal at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Lansing State Journal. 20 February 1925.
- G.N. Georgano, G. N. (1985). "Cars: Early and Vintage, 1886–1930". London, UK: Grange-Universal. Cite journal requires
- Naldrett, Alan (2016). Lost Car Companies of Detroit. Charleston, SC: History Press.