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.