June 9, 2023

FOSS V FORD – Re-Aligning Canadian Automotive Historical past

Inventors can affect generations to occur, normally switching the way we do matters and defining historic eras. Recounts of the inventors’ accomplishments, and stories about their lives are upheld with fascination and for posterity. Historians look for evidence and details, so that the accomplishments of these inventors are properly mirrored in paperwork, held in libraries, archives and museums.

When not long ago doing the job at two activities, we ended up able to casually check with members of the normal general public if they knew who invented the to start with gasoline automobile in Canada. It might not shock you to listen to that most of all those we polled considered that Ford was the initially car builder in Canada. Of class, Ford has the advantage of brand name recognition and longevity. Nevertheless, Ford was not Canadian and nor did he establish the to start with gasoline auto in Canada.

The hottest release of the academy award-successful movie, Ford v Ferrari, renewed recognition that all through the mid 1960s, the Ford model was a pressure to be reckoned with. The momentum of this movie has made an chance for the Foss family, to carry to mild an normally-forgotten piece of Canadian record. You see, the inventor of the first gasoline automobile in Canada was not Ford, but was in simple fact the lesser regarded Foss. Foss developed the Fossmobile in 1897, close to the identical time as Ford invented the Quadracycle in the United States. Ford’s first automobiles ended up not distributed in Canada till the early 1900s. So, in the late 1800’s it was Ford v Foss.

The acknowledgement for this ground-breaking piece of Canadian history, has for as well extended been somehow buried and missing underneath the shadow of Ford. The Foss loved ones has a short while ago rekindled inside Canadian historians and classic auto fans, an curiosity in celebrating the accomplishments of George Foote Foss, the unique inventor of the initial effective gasoline car in Canada.

The Ford v Ferrari rivalry demonstrates how competition, along with eyesight, personal conviction, and collaboration, can lead to excellent strides in automotive innovation. As we see in the film, in the mid 1960s, American automotive designer Carroll Shelby collaborated with his precision targeted buddy, British race automobile driver Ken Miles. Together, they embraced the aim established out by Henry Ford II, to conquer Ferrari by making a quicker race auto. They embraced a collective eyesight to problem the racing world’s legal guidelines of physics and gingerly stepped close to company interference in order to build a revolutionary automobile for the Ford Motor Co. The system was to compete head-to-head towards the race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24-Hour of Le Mans, in France. Right after decades of Ferrari dominance, their eyesight was realized. In 1966 the Ford GT 40 won, getting all a few podium positions: initial, 2nd and third.

The tale of the Fossmobile may possibly not have the pizzazz desired for a blockbuster movie plot, but it does ought to have awareness, for its historic relevance. Extensive ahead of Ford was offering automobiles in Canada, the initial Fossmobile was built by George Foote Foss, in a very small, dusty aged bicycle mend and machine store, in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 1897. Like the principal figures in the Ford v Ferrari motion picture, Foss experienced vision and individual conviction. He enlisted the assist of a few workmen and sought out the Iron Works Company of Sherbrooke who aided make the original castings for the motor he built. He engineered areas from scratch, combining his instinct to feel outside the box with his expertise from his machining and bicycle repairs. Foss persevered till he had place with each other a thing that could be driven on the hilly streets of Sherbrooke.

It is nicely documented that he drove this invention all around for 4 several years, well before any other vehicles showed up in the region. George Foss met Henry Ford on extra than one particular event, to focus on the notion of constructing automobiles jointly. Eventually Foss turned Ford down, sensing that the two experienced diverse character types and visions.

The Foss family carries on to create consciousness around Foss, the 1st Canadian gasoline automobile inventor, by talking at situations and hosting details booths. Their biggest and most considerable project to day is the rebuilding of a tribute/replica of the original Fossmobile. This challenge includes a significant amount of fundraising in get to deliver this eyesight to fruition.

It was disappointing to hear that most of the folks we spoke to at current functions assumed that Ford was by some means responsible for Canada’s very first car. This illuminated the require to appear further than the now perfectly-regarded Ford v Ferrari legacy, to the a lot more distant earlier of the initial Ford v Foss legacy, at minimum here in Canada. Prepared in the very last paragraph of the preface in the “Vehicles of Canada” guide, Durnford / Baechler (1973, McClelland and Stewart Restricted), is the pursuing

“A universal error is the claim that Ford was the very first Canadian car producer. For yrs John Moodie mistakenly claimed to have imported the initially car or truck into Canada. U.H Dandurand claimed to have had the 1st automobile in Montreal, but he didn’t. And so it goes. Many hallowed legends prove unfounded.”

Some 47 years later, these myths appear to be to carry on on, especially the Ford one particular. There is no question that Henry Ford and Ford v Ferrari belongs proudly in American historical past textbooks. On the other hand, right here in Canada the guy we should be acknowledging as the first builder, is George Foote Foss. The retelling of this important historical Canadian legacy might ultimately dispel the myth that Ford was the very first to have a gasoline automobile in Canada. It is our duty as Canadians to embrace this tranquil builder’s critical section of Canadian automotive history and not allow the Ford big outshine his legacy.

The tribute/reproduction of the primary Fossmobile is meticulously and painstakingly currently being constructed to assist shine a light on this historic feat. The Foss loved ones has undertaken the great endeavor of overseeing this challenge. A crew has been assembled to execute every single element and the project is well on its way to completion. The aim is for this tribute/replica auto to be positioned into a Canadian museum, so that people can have a superior likelihood to respect this sizeable Canadian accomplishment. The Fossmobile Tribute automobile and its supporting memorabilia will assist to much more obviously rectify Canadian automotive historical past, and re-build that it was and is Foss v Ford, as the initially gasoline car builder in Canada.