Auto mechanic students in Canada have a lot to be proud of. Canada has a reputation as a leader in the auto industry, and is currently the 10th largest producer of automobiles in the world. Many foreign auto companies choose Canada as the location for their manufacturing plants—including Toyota, Honda, Ford and Chrysler.
However, what many people don’t realize is that Canada also has a vibrant, home-grown car designing and manufacturing industry, which has produced impressive models that have been bought and sold around the world.
If you’re planning to train for an auto career, or you have already started your courses, read on to learn about some of the top Canadian-made vehicles.
Russell Motor Cars: The Original Canadian Auto Company
Seasoned automotive technicians might remember the name Russel—one of Canada’s earliest automobile companies. The vehicles produced by Russel Motor Car Company (1904-1916) were known for being well-built and durable, and the company prided itself on its use of Canadian materials and workers. Additionally, many Russel models were also sold overseas in countries like England, New Zealand and Australia!
The Manic GT: Built and Designed in Quebec
If you know anything about the Canadian auto industry, you’ll know that Quebecers love their sports cars. This 2-seater sports car made a splash at the 1969 Montreal Auto Show, surprising patrons with its powerful 105 horsepower engine. Despite its popularity at the time, the Manic GT ceased production just a few years later due to financial troubles.
Take a look at the Manic GT here:
PONTIAC PATHFINDER DELUXE: THE ULTIMATE CLASSIC CAR
The Pathfinder was Pontiac’s response to Canada’s demand for a smaller and more affordable version of an “American” car. This cross between a Pontiac and a Chevrolet was on the market between 1953 and 1958, and was advertised as a car meant to be taken on road trips through Canada’s rugged terrain.
Here’s a look at the beautiful and classic Pontiac Pathfinder:
The Ambitious but Problematic Bricklin SV-1
“Bricklin” is a suitable name for this vehicle, considering how much it resembles an oversized brick. The Bricklin SV-1 was Canada’s response to the DeLorean—complete with gull wing doors and all. The SV-1 in its name stands for “safety vehicle one”, as the Bricklin was originally designed to be a “safer” sports car. However, due to all of its heavy safety features, the Bricklin actually could not travel all that fast. For its time (1974) the Bricklin had some of the most advanced safety features, including:
- An integrated roll cage
- Side beams
- A fibreglass body
Get a look at the 1975 Bricklin SV-1 here:
The HTT Pléthore has the honour of being Canada’s very first locally designed and manufactured supercar. This 750 horsepower beast has a 6.2L V8 engine, and a weight of only 1150kg—which means this car is very fast! The three seat set-up of the Pléthore—as any auto mechanic will know—is taken directly from the set-up of the McLaren.
Despite its overwhelming hype and popularity, the HTT Pléthore is still in its prototype stage, though the company has stated its plan to begin selling the vehicle very soon.
Here’s a look at the HTT Pléthore in action: