FOSS V FORD – Re-Aligning Canadian Automotive History

Inventors can effects generations to arrive, generally changing the way we do things and defining historic eras. Recounts of the inventors’ accomplishments, and stories about their life are upheld with desire and for posterity. Historians search for proof and information, so that the achievements of these inventors are correctly reflected in paperwork, held in libraries, archives and museums.

Although not too long ago performing at two activities, we had been capable to casually check with users of the common public if they knew who invented the to start with gasoline car in Canada. It could not surprise you to hear that most of individuals we polled thought that Ford was the first car builder in Canada. Of training course, Ford has the gain of brand recognition and longevity. Nevertheless, Ford was not Canadian and nor did he establish the first gasoline vehicle in Canada.

The most up-to-date release of the academy award-winning movie, Ford v Ferrari, renewed recognition that through the mid 1960s, the Ford brand was a pressure to be reckoned with. The momentum of this movie has developed an possibility for the Foss family, to convey to mild an normally-disregarded piece of Canadian historical past. You see, the inventor of the 1st gasoline auto in Canada was not Ford, but was in fact the lesser known Foss. Foss designed the Fossmobile in 1897, around the identical time as Ford invented the Quadracycle in the United States. Ford’s very first automobiles had been not dispersed in Canada right until the early 1900s. So, in the late 1800’s it was Ford v Foss.

The acknowledgement for this ground-breaking piece of Canadian record, has for far too long been someway buried and dropped under the shadow of Ford. The Foss family has just lately rekindled in just Canadian historians and classic car lovers, an desire in celebrating the achievements of George Foote Foss, the first inventor of the very first effective gasoline auto in Canada.

The Ford v Ferrari rivalry demonstrates how level of competition, along with vision, personal conviction, and collaboration, can guide to terrific strides in automotive innovation. As we see in the motion picture, in the mid 1960s, American automotive designer Carroll Shelby collaborated with his precision targeted close friend, British race auto driver Ken Miles. With each other, they embraced the intention established out by Henry Ford II, to defeat Ferrari by earning a faster race vehicle. They embraced a collective vision to obstacle the racing world’s guidelines of physics and gingerly stepped around company interference in buy to make a innovative automobile for the Ford Motor Co. The system was to compete head-to-head towards the race vehicles of Enzo Ferrari at the 24-Hour of Le Mans, in France. Soon after decades of Ferrari dominance, their vision was recognized. In 1966 the Ford GT 40 gained, taking all three podium positions: first, next and third.

The tale of the Fossmobile might not have the pizzazz essential for a blockbuster movie plot, but it does are worthy of awareness, for its historic relevance. Very long in advance of Ford was advertising vehicles in Canada, the initial Fossmobile was designed by George Foote Foss, in a very small, dusty old bicycle restore and device store, in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 1897. Like the key characters in the Ford v Ferrari film, Foss experienced vision and particular conviction. He enlisted the enable of 3 workmen and sought out the Iron Performs Company of Sherbrooke who aided make the initial castings for the motor he designed. He engineered pieces from scratch, combining his intuition to imagine exterior the box with his techniques from his machining and bicycle repairs. Foss persevered until finally he had place with each other something that could be driven on the hilly streets of Sherbrooke.

It is effectively documented that he drove this creation around for 4 decades, effectively prior to any other cars confirmed up in the region. George Foss satisfied Henry Ford on extra than just one celebration, to focus on the notion of setting up cars with each other. In the end Foss turned Ford down, sensing that the two had various individuality kinds and visions.

The Foss family continues to establish consciousness around Foss, the initially Canadian gasoline car or truck inventor, by speaking at activities and hosting details booths. Their greatest and most sizeable venture to day is the rebuilding of a tribute/replica of the original Fossmobile. This task includes a important quantity of fundraising in get to deliver this vision to fruition.

It was disappointing to hear that most of the people today we spoke to at recent situations assumed that Ford was somehow accountable for Canada’s to start with auto. This illuminated the require to search beyond the now nicely-known Ford v Ferrari legacy, to the extra distant past of the primary Ford v Foss legacy, at minimum listed here in Canada. Composed in the final paragraph of the preface in the “Automobiles of Canada” guide, Durnford / Baechler (1973, McClelland and Stewart Constrained), is the pursuing

“A common mistake is the claim that Ford was the initial Canadian automobile producer. For decades John Moodie mistakenly claimed to have imported the initially car or truck into Canada. U.H Dandurand claimed to have experienced the very first car or truck in Montreal, but he didn’t. And so it goes. Lots of hallowed legends prove unfounded.”

Some 47 years later, these myths appear to be to keep on on, specifically the Ford one particular. There is no concern that Henry Ford and Ford v Ferrari belongs proudly in American heritage books. However, right here in Canada the male we really should be acknowledging as the initial builder, is George Foote Foss. The retelling of this significant historical Canadian legacy could at some point dispel the fantasy that Ford was the first to have a gasoline auto in Canada. It is our responsibility as Canadians to embrace this peaceful builder’s critical portion of Canadian automotive record and not allow the Ford huge outshine his legacy.

The tribute/reproduction of the unique Fossmobile is thoroughly and painstakingly becoming built to aid shine a mild on this historic feat. The Foss spouse and children has undertaken the huge endeavor of overseeing this venture. A workforce has been assembled to execute just about every detail and the project is well on its way to completion. The target is for this tribute/replica car to be placed into a Canadian museum, so that people can have a better possibility to respect this substantial Canadian accomplishment. The Fossmobile Tribute auto and its supporting memorabilia will enable to more obviously rectify Canadian automotive heritage, and re-create that it was and is Foss v Ford, as the to start with gasoline vehicle builder in Canada.