Burlington guy honouring grandfather’s contribution to car history: the Fossmobile

Every now after which, a younger Ron Foss and his dad would power the rural roads of Quebec’s jap townships in which the own family had a cottage, stopping at farms alongside the way, a vintage black and white photo of a vintage vehicle in hand. “We could ask humans if they’d ever seen anything that gave the impression of this. We usually wondered where this element might have ended up,” said Burlington’s Foss. The vehicle changed into an 1897 4HP, unmarried-cylinder two-seat roadster, with a chassis made of vintage bicycle frames and a wooden piano field seat with an engine established at the front. Foss’s hobby inside the car’s whereabouts has never waned. Now retired, he is devoting his time to recreating what was known as the Boss mobile, the first gas-powered car in Canada, constructed with the aid of his grandfather, George Foote Foss, the dapper younger man within the image sitting excessive up on the upholstered seat together with his palms on the tiller fashion guidance column.

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In his quest to honor and perpetuate his grandfather’s legacy, Foss has assembled a collection of auto enthusiasts and professionals and scoured the net for antique car components with the hope of having a tribute Boss mobile completed by this fall. “We never found the unique vehicle. So I figured if he ought to do it back in 1897 from scratch, I may want to do it with all of the pix and today’s era. I continually wondered why he didn’t do more with it, why he simplest just constructed the one automobile, and why he offered it?” As the story is going, Foote Foss bought the automobile in 1902 for $75.

Foss’ grandfather turned into an industrious younger man, a machinist, and a blacksmith who subsequently unfolded his personal bicycle restore shop in Sherbrooke, Quebec. On an experience in Boston to purchase a lathe for his store, he had driven a battery-operated vehicle. “He had revel in with batteries because he’d invented already an outboard motor that became electric powered and found out that the batteries get didn’t final extra than 15 or 20 mins. So he knew that for the automobile, he’d probably run into the identical problem and did; twenty minutes into renting this car in Boston, it died and needed to be towed again to the place wherein he rented it.” Back in Sherbrooke, stated his grandson, Foote Foss thought there had to be a better way to build motors and determined the fuel motor, which became used in Europe, changed into a better choice.

The concept made its manner to North America, but Foss changed into the first to build such an automobile in Canada, said Foss. “It rolled out of the bicycle repair save in April of 1897 a great deal to the chagrin of the people in Sherbrooke. It terrified them. People might run away from it; horses would get scared. There was no muffler device on it due to the fact mufflers hadn’t been invented. Certainly, it changed into fairly loud, but simply the concept for people; to peer something visiting and shifting without a horse in the front of it.” On more than one occasion, none apart from Henry Ford himself expressed interest in partnering with Foote Foss, and a local banker even provided to finance him to build greater motors.

“But my grandfather concept he becomes too younger to take on such duty in an international he wasn’t so certain changed into as accepting of what this might end up, so he turned it down; he turned into simplest two decades old.”
As for Ford’s provide? “Henry Ford had handiest built what become called a quadricycle and my grandfather idea it became really not as good as his personal Boss mobile. So you needed to have actual visionary foresight to suppose that this will go beyond what he executed, which he didn’t have; he changed into a straightforward guy. He became modest, didn’t need for an awful lot. He changed into constantly satisfied and satisfied with a container of Wheaties and a few maple syrups.”

Eventually, Foote Foss became a car salesman representing several specific fashions, primarily the Crestmobile, constructed in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “And in case you take a look at a 1901 Crestmobile, you would be difficult-pressed to suppose it’s now not a Boss mobile,” said Foss. “There’s enough documentation to suggest that on several trips to Boston and potentially conversations with human beings from Crest, he both deliberately or by accident shared sufficient trade secrets for them on the way to construct their Crestmobile.” Interestingly, in 1902 Foote Foss has become the extraordinary distributor of the Crestmobile in Montreal. Foss has recruited assist in gaining knowledge of any current Crest Manufacturing Company documentation to peer if there may be any reference to his grandfather to solidify this connection and feature it historically sure.

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