Contact the Canadian Automotive Museum

 

 

99 Simcoe Street South
Central Oshawa, ON, L1H 4G7

(905) 576-1222

Since 1963 the Canadian Automotive Museum has preserved and shared the history of the Canadian automotive industry.

European Highlights

Highlights from the European Collection

British and European vehicles have been imported to Canada since the early days of the automobile. These models were highly valued for their luxury and ties to motorsport—a new and daring sporting event in the early 20th century.

 The 1926 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8AS. Collection of the Canadian Automotive Museum.

The 1926 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8AS. Collection of the Canadian Automotive Museum.

The Alfa Romeo and Isotta-Fraschini companies were established in Milan, Italy, in the early 20th century. Both of them produced elegant yet speedy vehicles, many of which won titles in racing events. This 1926 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8AS is one of only two in the world with this body type. It features a unique mahogany wood inlay interior and bright exterior colouring. The 1931 Alfa Romeo is painted rosso corsa, or “racing red,” which is the official motor-racing colour of Italian racing cars.

 Lady Eaton and John David Eaton arriving at Eaton’s department store on College Street, Toronto, Ontario, 1930. City of Toronto Archives, fonds 1244 item 1641.

Lady Eaton and John David Eaton arriving at Eaton’s department store on College Street,
Toronto, Ontario, 1930. City of Toronto Archives, fonds 1244 item 1641.

The 1912 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, nicknamed “Lady Bird,” was owned by Lady Eaton of Toronto. The design of this vehicle is unique—with its roofline curved like a carriage rather than being flat like most automobiles of the day.

Imported directly from Great Britain, British-designed vehicles were purchased by Canadians looking to strengthen their ties to the British Empire, and to solidify their status as upper-class members of society.

 The Prince of Wales riding in Sir Mortimer Davis’s 1914 Rolls-Royce Limousine, 1919. Private Collection.

The Prince of Wales riding in Sir Mortimer Davis’s 1914 Rolls-Royce Limousine, 1919. Private
Collection.

The 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, owned by Sir Mortimer Davis, was used by Edward, Prince of Wales in Montreal during his tour of Canada in 1919.

Fun Fact
The 1926 Isotta-Fraschini could reach speeds of up to 150 kilometres an hour. A modern Formula One car can travel at a top speed of 375 kilometres an hour.