The Story of the Canadian Sports Car You've Never Heard of
So I've decided to write an article
Here in Canada, we build multiple different types of cars for different brands such as Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota, and Fiat Chrysler, well Stellantis now. Even the latest Ford GT supercar is made here in Canada. However, there have been very few Canadian designed cars, but there have been some, and this, is one of them:
The Manic GT
The Manic GT. Image Credit: https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/oh-canada-the-manic-gt/
In the late 1960s, a young former Renault PR officer named Jacques About decided to create a Canadian alternative to the Alpine A110. Renault had considered importing the Alpine A110 but had decided not to. He decided to name his company Manic, the name which was a nod to the nearby Manicougan river. In 1968 his company built a Formula C race car, named Manic GRAC. The next car was the GT, a small fastback 2-seater coupe, with European style. Its lines were designed by a French stylist named Serge Soumille, and its, mechanical engineering was done by a man named Maurice Gris. At the first Montreal International Auto Show in 1969, it debuted and attracted investors. Production started later that year.
The beautiful Alpine A110 that unfortunately never came to Canada and the U.S. Image Credit: https://www.carthrottle.com/post/w3p4j92/
The sports car was supposed to be sold and serviced by Renault dealers, and it used many parts from Renault. The chassis came from a Renault 8, and it used a Renault 10 engine. There were multiple different engine compression ratings, allowing for a horsepower rating from 65-105 HP. A 4-speed manual transmission was standard, but according to a brochure, it was also available with a 5-speed. It had 13-inch wheels and 4 wheel disc brakes. It had a roll bar under a fibreglass reinforced plastic body. The Manic GT was very light at just over 1,400 pounds curb weight and the small Renault engine allowed it to reach 35-40 mpg. Even with the least powerful engine, it could reach over 100 MPH, and with the most powerful, it could supposedly hit 135 MPH. The car was said to cost $3,400 at the time. It also appeared at the New York Auto Show at one point.
A brochure for the car suggested that in 1972 production would reach 1,600-2,000 cars a year. Also, in a radio interview, Jacques About said that the company had plans to build a four-seater, as well as a city car. Unfortunately, due to financial problems as well as supply issues, the plant in Granby Quebec closed in mid-1971, and a tiny amount of just 160 cars were ever built.
I gotta be honest, I'm not really a fan of the looks. Image Credit: https://www.nearlycars.co.uk/manic-gt.html
The interesting side profile. Image Credit: https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/oh-canada-the-manic-gt/
All images have their source in the caption