Building Canada’s First Gas-Powered Car!


The inside of George Foot Foss' machine shop where the Fossmobile was built.
The inside of George Foot Foss’ machine shop where the Fossmobile was built

The Fossmobile was designed and manufactured by George Foote Foss. He owned his own shop in Sherbrooke, Quebec, offering machining, blacksmithing, and bicycle repair. He became interested in automobiles after riding in an electric brougham while visiting Boston, Massachusetts. During the winter of 1896, Foss worked on a four-horsepower, single-cylinder automobile which he completed in the spring of 1897. The vehicle was the first of its kind to be built in Canada.

Foss drove his car in and around Sherbrooke, Quebec for four years. He later moved to Montreal, Quebec, where the car sat idle for a year before he sold it for $75 in 1902. Foss had previously turned down an offer to partner with Henry Ford who went on to form the Ford Motor Company. He turned down the offer as he believed Ford’s vehicle to be inferior to the Fossmobile. He also turned down financial backing to mass produce the Fossmobile, citing his inexperience to do so.

Brother Harry, driving the Fossmobile
Brother Harry Foss driving the Fossmobile with cousin Marjorie Sherill