The American auto industry’s history has been mined over and over again. Most gearheads can name some classic nameplates from bygone days right off the top of their heads: GTO, 442, Caprice, BelAir. But what about Sceptre, Acadian, Richelieu, Frontenac, McLaughlin?
No, we’re not making those up. These are all cars built by the Big Three (General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler) at the height of the classic car era. But they were all exclusively sold in Canada. Our neighbors to the north got some pretty interesting cars over the years, and unless you’ve spent a significant amount of time up there you’ve probably never seen or heard of them. With that in mind, here’s a look at the Canadian auto industry. These classics may be familiar, but they’re all proudly Canadian.
We’ll start with something modern. Dodge’s latest muscle car with hypercar power may look like an all-American. But this 840-horsepower dragstrip assassin is built with pride in Fiat Chrysler’s Brampton, Ontario, plant. The complex, which was built by American Motors in 1985 — ironic, right? — was taken over by Chrysler in 1988. Since 2008, it has churned out every single Dodge Challenger, Charger, and Chrysler 300.