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Canadian car companies

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Our daughter now resides in Atlanta Georgia and her husband who is American born asked me on one of their visits if there was ever any Canadian car companies. I told him about the Bricklin and google searched some pictures to show him, what I also should have mentioned was the Gray-Dort that was built in my hometown of Chatham ontario from 1915 to 1925 or the Chatham car that was also built there. I was just wondering if anyone could name other Canadian cars

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McLaughlin Buick, which was in many years similar mechanically to the U.S. Buick but typically with more upscale bodywork. Fords built in Canada differed in details from their U.S. counterparts. For example, because Model Ts could be exported without exorbitant duties to commonwealth countries from Canada but not from the U.S., they were built with front doors on both sides to accommodate left-or right-hand drive. Tudhope was an E-M-F built under license. REOs were built in Canada, but I don't know how they differed.

Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ

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The Barrie Bell was built in Barrie, Ontario 1917. They built about a half dozen cars, 1 of which survives in restored condition.

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Brooks built 180 steam cars in Stratford between 1923 and 1929. There was a Renault powered fibreglass sports car called a Manic GT made in Quebec.

I know of 2 Brooks steamers in Canada, one in a museum in Oshawa the other in British Columbia. There is one in England as well. There are probably more I don't know about.

Later....................

A Globe and Mail story says there are 8 Brooks survivors known, 5 in Canada and 3 in England. There is one in a museum in Oshawa and another in a museum in Orillia if you want to see one.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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I"ve seen one in Manitoba as well... I think I found one source that had the number left up around 14.

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Interesting that Canada Cycle and Motor Company appears twice in connection with Ivanhoe and Russell cars. Best known for their CCM bicycles which were as popular in Canada as Schwinn in the US. In addition to 2 makes of cars, they built a few motorcycles of which one survives.

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A very good reference for Canadian cars is "Cars of Canada" by Durnford and Baechler. Long out of print but copies show up on Ebay and Abebook. Published in the early 70's but deeply researched, they probably didn't miss much.

Merry Christmas ... Greg in Canada

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I just pulled down my copy of Cars Of Canada by Durnford and Baechler to have a look at the makers they list. Up to the publication date in 1973, they list about 71 makers - many only for one year and very limited production. A lot were experiments by ambitious mechanics and inventors that failed either for lack of funding or technical finesse. In many cases no examples survive but there are still in existence some one-offs from these early times. The latest on the list is a Frontenac from 1931. But for example there was a Lavoie built in Montreal in 1923 and one of the descendants who I know personally has located a lot of the original car along with engineering drawings and hopes to reassemble it if at all possible. Apparently Lavoie Sr. was a brilliant and quirky engineer and inventor and the car is said to have had some interesting and innovative features. I would need to get more specific details from my friend on what those actually were. If you are able to locate and buy a copy of this book. I think it is the definitive source for information on early Canadian automobile manufacturers and would be quite helpful for your research.

Just had a look at the link in Dave Mellor's post and it covers a lot of the cars listed in Cars of Canada - and nicely presented with handy links to other pertinent resources. Thanks Dave!

Good luck and Merry Christmas

Edited by 36 D2 Coupe
faulty info (see edit history)

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Cars of Canada is certainly a very complete history--the most treasured book in my modest library. Glenn Baechler has continued to research and could probably write a sequel.

Brooks was mentioned earlier. The car that was in Orillia, ON is now in Stratford, ON. The car was assembled in Stratford, and the body was built in Orillia. The body was actually a vinyl-like material over a wooden subframe. I helped pull that car out of a garage in Toronto several years ago. Like some automotive ventures, it was a stock scam.

Tudhope was actually based on the Everitt, which, of course, was similar to the E-M-F. There are two 1912 Tudhope 4-36 cars remaining--one owned by Orillia Heritage, and the other owned by a descendant of the founding family. Prior to building conventional cars, Tudhope also build highwheelers under license from McIntyre of Indianapolis--there are a few of these around, including one in the Orillia Heritage collection. In 1912 or 1913, Tudhope went into receivership and was replaced by Fisher very briefly. One Fisher and some parts remain.

Reo was built in St Catherines, ON. Ironically, they used a former Oldsmobile factory. I can think of an '11 roadster, a '12 roadster in the St Catherines museum, and a '12 touring. Differences versus the US models were minimal--mainly trim and finishings. A '12 Reo was the first car to journey coast-to-coast across Canada (with some rail and water assistance, and a brief detour to the US).

There were plenty of branch plants to build US designs for sale to the Commonwealth market. Ford set up shop in 1904 and continue to this day.

Plenty more could be added to this thread!

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Cars of Canada is certainly a very complete history--the most treasured book in my modest library. Glenn Baechler has continued to research and could probably write a sequel.

Brooks was mentioned earlier. The car that was in Orillia, ON is now in Stratford, ON. The car was assembled in Stratford, and the body was built in Orillia. The body was actually a vinyl-like material over a wooden subframe. I helped pull that car out of a garage in Toronto several years ago. Like some automotive ventures, it was a stock scam.

Tudhope was actually based on the Everitt, which, of course, was similar to the E-M-F. There are two 1912 Tudhope 4-36 cars remaining--one owned by Orillia Heritage, and the other owned by a descendant of the founding family. Prior to building conventional cars, Tudhope also build highwheelers under license from McIntyre of Indianapolis--there are a few of these around, including one in the Orillia Heritage collection. In 1912 or 1913, Tudhope went into receivership and was replaced by Fisher very briefly. One Fisher and some parts remain.

Reo was built in St Catherines, ON. Ironically, they used a former Oldsmobile factory. I can think of an '11 roadster, a '12 roadster in the St Catherines museum, and a '12 touring. Differences versus the US models were minimal--mainly trim and finishings. A '12 Reo was the first car to journey coast-to-coast across Canada (with some rail and water assistance, and a brief detour to the US).

There were plenty of branch plants to build US designs for sale to the Commonwealth market. Ford set up shop in 1904 and continue to this day.

Plenty more could be added to this thread!

There was also Canadian Motor Industries in the 1970's.........joint venture between Izuzu and Toyota built a plant in Cape Breton (I'm thinking Glace Bay, maybe) to produce Toyotas and Izuzu Bellets for the North American market. The company failed within a few years, and was forgotten by Toyota when they claimed for many years to be the only car company never to close a plant.

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Well What's the matter with Fargo??? An American Dodge Classic. I have to agree on the Buick McLaughlin's as a member of the family, (Claims to be from the poor side. LOL) is a very good friend of mine. :cool: Dandy Dave!

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Well What's the matter with Fargo??? An American Dodge Classic. I have to agree on the Buick McLaughlin's as a member of the family, (Claims to be from the poor side. LOL) is a very good friend of mine. :cool: Dandy Dave!

This McLaughlin is at the Auburn Auction this weekend

post-54863-143143106255_thumb.jpg

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The Maxmobile built in Watford, Ontario by David Maxwell in 1900. One still exists in a Watford museum. Wayne

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The Frontenac, built at what was the Durant Motors Inc plant in Leaside, Ontario

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But for example there was a Lavoie built in Montreal in 1923 and one of the descendants who I know personally has located a lot of the original car along with engineering drawings and hopes to reassemble it if at all possible. Apparently Lavoie Sr. was a brilliant and quirky engineer and inventor and the car is said to have had some interesting and innovative features. I would need to get more specific details from my friend on what those actually were.

Now that car did intrigue me.  First place I saw it mentioned was in a publication entitled, A Great Way to Go, The Automobile In Canada by Robert Collins.  I would love to see some more history on that particular car.  Not sure if this example of the book is still available or not. http://www.usednanaimo.com/ReportSelectUsedAdPhoto2?used_ad_id=21540496&position=1&hb=4

 

Craig

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Our daughter now resides in Atlanta Georgia and her husband who is American born asked me on one of their visits if there was ever any Canadian car companies. I told him about the Bricklin and google searched some pictures to show him, what I also should have mentioned was the Gray-Dort that was built in my hometown of Chatham ontario from 1915 to 1925 or the Chatham car that was also built there. I was just wondering if anyone could name other Canadian cars

I posted a photo of a Gray-Dort here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?46595-Orphan-of-the-Day-12-02-1924-Gray-Dort&highlight=dort

 

And the US Dort from which the Gray-Dort was based: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?52595-Orphan-of-the-Day-07-05-1922-Dort&highlight=dort

 

Craig

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C

There was also Canadian Motor Industries in the 1970's.........joint venture between Izuzu and Toyota built a plant in Cape Breton (I'm thinking Glace Bay, maybe) to produce Toyotas and Izuzu Bellets for the North American market. The company failed within a few years, and was forgotten by Toyota when they claimed for many years to be the only car company never to close a plant.

There's a Studebaker connection in that!  http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?13407-65-Merger&highlight=merger+clairtone

 

Craig

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