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Tuesday March 25th, 2014

Posted at 11:00am

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1927 Ford Model T Roadster.

An upcoming auction of historic vehicles in Toronto in April has several Windsor-built vehicles up for grabs.

Most of the Windsor factories these were built in have long since vanished as companies and brands consolidated their production over the years, or merely faded into memory. Fortunately, a few surviving Windsor-born examples can be seen at classic car events, museums and auctions such as the annual Toronto Classic Car Auction where these three can be found.

A 1927 Ford Model T Roadster, as pictured above, is an exceptionally restored example of the one of the world’s most popular automobiles, and the last year for the loveable ‘Tin Lizzie’, as it was affectionately known. This fully restored convertible model was built at Ford of Canada’s former assembly plant and headquarters at 3001 Riverside Drive East in Walkerville. As production shifted to the larger and more modern facility in Oshawa, this historic Walkerville facility was shuttered in 1953 and eventually demolished in 1969.

1932 Packard 902 Coupe Roadster.

Packards were known around the world for their innovated engineering and performance quickly becoming a favorite of VIPs, celebrities and even gangsters. This elegant convertible model was built by Packard of Canada at its assembly plant and showroom on the corner of Chatham and Church Streets in downtown Windsor. With an increase in sales and needing to expand, Packard moved the operation in 1935 to a larger facility near the Ambassador Bridge, now the site of University of Windsor’s Lebel Building at 955 Huron Church Road. The Windsor plant was officially closed around 1941 as the company focused its efforts on WWII and consolidated all production back in Detroit. With only a few hundred Windsor-built cars produced per year, these Canadian models are an extremely rare find today.

1978 Dodge Li’l Red Express Pickup.

Both the 1977 Dodge Warlock Pickup and the 1978 Dodge Li’l Red Express Pickup were part of a short lived line of ‘adult toys’ and were built at Chrysler Canada’s Windsor Assembly Plant for the popular custom pickup truck and van craze of the late 1970s. These special editions were available with unique graphics, real wood trim and unique performance options making them a rare commodity among collectors. Built for only two model years, the Warlock and Li’l Red Express were the last trucks to be built in Windsor. Today the Walker Road facility is the home and birth place of the Chrysler Minivan.

The annual Toronto Classic Car Auction takes place between April 4th and 6th at the International Centre in Mississauga. This event will feature several Windsor-built cars along with several hundred other classic and special interest vehicles – the oldest and largest event of its kind in Canada.

More information can be found online here.

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