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Gray-Dort 17

Model Year: 1921

Location of Manufacture: Chatham, Ontario

View of the dashboard


A view of the simple yet elegant dash of the Gray-Dort. Above the gauges is a small tag reading “Made in Canada,” – a reminder to buyers that their purchase was a vehicle made "at home."

View of the rear passenger seating area

Passenger seating

A view of the spacious and comfortable rear passenger area. The seats were made of steel coil springs with horse hair padding, and then covered with rich and durable leather.

View of the Gray-Dort brand mark


The brand mark of Gray-Dort Motors Ltd. of Chatham, Ontario. This image was published in the 1 November 1920 edition of Maclean’s magazine.

Canada Science and Technology Museum, de Bondt Collection

William Murray Gray, Industrial Commissioner for the City of Chatham in 1947

William Murray Gray

Chatham, Ontario

After closing the Gray-Dort company in 1925, William Murray Gray established a new business in Chatham – Colonial Traders – which produced and distributed auto parts. Gray remained in business until the late 1940s, at which time he sold Colonial Traders and planned to retire. The City of Chatham, recognizing his business acumen and accomplishments, appointed him to the position of Industrial Commissioner. Gray remained in that position until 1958 and, during his tenure, doubled the size of Chatham’s industrial base.

Chatham-Kent Museum 990.9.263/N12640

Archival photograph of Miss Dorothy Wood on horseback, jumping over a Gray-Dort car, Edmondon, Alberta, 1921

Miss Dorothy Wood on horseback, jumping over a Gray-Dort motor car, 1921

Edmonton, Alberta
Photographer: McDermid Studio, Edmonton

The Gray-Dort Motor Company recognized the importance of positive publicity and exposure as did other car makers of the time. In this image, a horse, ridden by Miss Dorothy Wood, jumps over a Gray-Dort car. Note that the Gray-Dort name has top billing on the marquis!

Glenbow Museum, NC-6-6915

Archival photograph of Gray-Dort cars in a Peace Day rally, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, 1920

Gray-Dorts in a Peace Day celebration, July 19, 1920

Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Photographer: Bidwell Studio, Moose Jaw

Parades such as this one were held throughout Canada to mark the first anniversary of Peace Day. While a cease fire had been declared on November 11, 1918, the official end of World War I did not come until late June of 1919, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. A massive Peace Day parade and ceremony were held in London and throughout the Commonwealth on July 19, 1919 to commemorate those who had fallen.

Glenbow Museum, NA-3871-4