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Volvo Canadian

Model Year: 1964

Location of Manufacture: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

While Volvo, the Swedish car maker, began producing cars in 1927, the company did not become well known internationally until after World War II. With the intent of producing cars suitable for the rough Swedish terrain and cold climate, Volvos were also a fitting vehicle for Canada. With this in mind, Volvo purchased a 19th century sugar refinery in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and set up its first overseas assembly plant in 1963. Eventually moving to a state-of-the-art facility in a suburban industrial park in Halifax, the plant had the capacity to assemble 8,000 cars a year and employed some 200 workers. The factory remained in operation until 1998 when Volvo closed it claiming that the company had excess manufacturing capacity internationally. A year later, Volvo sold its car division to Ford Motor Co., and has since focused its production on heavy vehicles and aerospace components.

The Volvo Canadian was the signature car produced at the Nova Scotia plants throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s. It was based on the Amazon, a model produced in Sweden beginning in 1956. Both the Amazon and the Canadian were available in three styles – a two-door coupe, a four-door sedan and a five-door station wagon. 

The vehicle featured here was the first one produced at the Nova Scotia plant. It was presented as a gift to the province’s Minister of Trade and Industry, and was his official government vehicle until it was donated to the Nova Scotia Museum in 1967.