Wardsville’s Shamrock, the first registered car company in Canada.

More than a century of automotive history is represented in the Southwestern Ontario Heritage Village and Transportation Museum. Located in Kingsville, Ont., just outside of Windsor, it is within the Detroit auto making region.

The museum does not have a lot of cars, but they are important cars in the history of the American and the Canadian auto industries. The oldest motor vehicle on display is an 1893 Shamrock. It was built by the first registered car company in Canada, established by the Mimna brothers, two stonemasons from Wardsville, Ont.

Powered by a single-cylinder engine, it will do only 10 mph. But, of course, in 1894, there were no paved roads designed for motor vehicles. The Mimnas made improvements to their vehicle in 1910, including pneumatic tires and a steering wheel. But by this time, across the border, Henry Ford was mass producing his own vehicle.

The Mimnas abandoned their vehicle and went back to stonemasonry. It is believed that this is the only Shamrock in existence. Another Shamrock was built as late as 1914, but it crashed on its first outing.

 

Richard A. Wright, “Tiny Ontario museum spans century of U.S.-Canadian auto history” Special to The Detroit News. Monday, June 20, 2005.

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2 thoughts on “Wardsville’s Shamrock, the first registered car company in Canada.

  1. The Museum is located on Essex Road 23 or the Arner Townline, south of the town of Essex. the website is http://www.ctmhv.com.
    The other part of the website is for the heritage village which is connected with the Canadian Transportation Museum. Here historically significant buildings from around Essex County have been moved to create a small village on important structures.

  2. Local resident, Donna Oag, has opened a new restaurant in Wardsville at the former location of “Bottom’s Up” (Wardsville Hotel).

    Having always appreciated Wardsville’s historial past, Oag named her restaurant “The Shamrock” which is the name of the first automobile registered in North America. The construction of this car started in 1893 in Wardsville.

    Source: Glencoe Transcript & Free Press, July 31, 2008, p 7.

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