"Made up to a Standard -- not down to a price"
cars were made in Toronto by Canada Cycle and Motor
Company (CCM) from 1905 to 1916. They were the most
successful all-Canadian automobiles ever built, known for
their high quality and luxurious styles.
Canada Cycle and Motor Company was formed in 1899 as a merger of several existing bicycle companies. Very quickly the company grew to include other bicycle sales and manufacturing firms as well as the Canadian sales licence for a handful of American made automobiles. When the bicycle industry collapsed in the early 1900s, CCM hired T.A. (Tom) Russell as General Manager and moved into automobile production.
CCM's early vehicles included fifty gas powered Quadricycles built for the Toronto Post Office in 1901 and the 1903 electric Ivanhoe. During these early years the company also had sole Canadian distribution rights for Locomobile, Packard, Peerless, Rambler, Winton and other U.S. automobiles.
In 1905, CCM produced the first Russell car, the Model A Runabout, with a 12 HP two cylinder engine. From that time until the first world war, the company produced some of Canada's finest cars.
MODELS AND SPECIFICATIONS
A fleet of 1905 Russells. T. A. Russell is at the wheel of the closest car.
CREDITSThis website, and all Russell enthusiasts, owes a huge debt of gratitude to Mr. Glenn Baechler, who dedicated most of his life to documenting the history of Canadian automobiles. He gathered much of the known history of Russell cars and, along with Mr. Hugh Durnford, he wrote Cars of Canada. The information on this website draws heavily on Glenn Baechler's many years of research.
Credit is also due to Mr. Jaroslav Petryshyn for his book Made Up to a Standard. The book is a complete history of T.A. Russell and the Russell Motor Car Company, from the earliest CCM days through to the post World War I efforts. As such, it is the only complete Russell history and is well worth the read. Some of the information presented here comes from Jaroslav's book.
Finally, credit is due to the current and past owners of the few surviving Russell cars. They are a small group, but together they are preserving a large part of Canadian Automobile history, and have shared pictures and information for this website.
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