CultureShift: Mary Wilson speaks about the history of ‘Horace,’ the Dodge Custom 880 donated to WDET

The Ralph C. Wilson Foundation board chair and life trustee has owned the car since 1994.

Dodge Custom 880

As you’ve probably heard by now, WDET is raffling off a 1964 Dodge Custom 880 once owned by both the Dodge and Wilson families.

Mary Wilson, the widow of the late Detroit businessman and former Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, graciously donated the historic vehicle, affectionately named “Horace,” to WDET through our car donation program.

More: Win a 1964 Dodge Custom 880 once owned by the Dodge, Wilson families

Wilson sat down with CultureShift co-host Ryan Patrick Hooper to reflect on the classic car that meant so much to her and her husband.

“Well, you know, I loved always going to DuMouchelles Auction House [in Detroit] and so I saw [the] 880 Dodge convertible on the floor,” Wilson recalls. “I called Ralph and I said, ‘Ralph, I really like this car.’ And so he bought it for me and we enjoyed it a lot, driving to the club and just driving.

“So one day I drove it downtown for some event and parked it on the street. A gentleman walked up to me…he said, ‘I know this car. I worked on this car. There are special parts of this car because it was going to someone special.’ And it is, if you see parts of it is like this gold. It looks gold on the front part. And also, there’s one other part he was pointing out to me. I go, ‘Wow, that is amazing.'”

Listen to the entire interview with Mary Wilson using the media player above.

The origin of this particular Custom 880 can be traced back to Horace Dodge Jr. purchasing it as a holiday gift for his mother Anna Thompson, but died in 1963 before he could give it to her. The car is one of the first two vehicles to come off the line for this model.

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