The McKay was the only car to be commercially produced in Nova Scotia before the arrival of the Volvo in 1963.
The McKay was the only car to be commercially produced in Nova Scotia before the arrival of the Volvo in 1963. In 1908 Jack and Dan McKay rented space in the Nova Scotia Carriage Company in Kentville, Nova Scotia to produce automobiles. The car was fashioned after the American Penn automobile with bodies produced locally and then fitted with imported Buda engines and American drivetrains. To demonstrate the reliability of the cars, one was driven to Regina, Saskatchewan in 1911 – a trip of 2600 miles. Investors relocated the factory to Amherst, Nova Scotia in 1912, but only an estimated 125 McKays were produced before the company’s closure in 1914. The McKay brothers, seeking notoriety for their automobile attempted to be the first to have a car arrive on Prince Edward Island after an 8-year ban on automobiles on the island was lifted on July 15, 1913. Two McKays were sent to be the first cars on the island, but were beaten out by a McLaughlin-Buick by a few hours.
This particular vehicle was owned by several American collectors after the Second World War. Owing to a lack of historic photographs during its restoration, the car was altered from a touring body to a speedster style body. The McKay was brought back to Canada by the Craven Foundation in Toronto during the early 1970s and was acquired by the Canadian Automotive Museum in 1986. Only one other example of a McKay survives, which is displayed in the Nova Scotia Museum of Industry in Stellarton, Nova Scotia.