The Oil Spot, eh?

Donation to Library


www.canadiandriver.comMarch 24, 2008
Historian donates collection to University of Windsor, Ontario, automotive historian and author James C. Mays has donated his extensive collection of material on the Canadian auto industry to the University of Windsor. The collection includes sales brochures, original factory photos, taped interviews, production figures, books and other rare material, and is estimated to be worth about $85,000.

"I'm pleased my collection will be preserved for the use of future generations" Mays said. "I never imagined I'd ever accumulate so much. It started with a Rambler brochure when I was twelve and grew from there."

Mays, who lives in Windsor, is the author of eight books, including the history of Ford, Nash and AMC, and is a contributor to the Canadian newspaper Old Autos. For his work on AMC, he interviewed more than thirty employees, many of whom had taken home historical material that was slated to be destroyed in 1979 when Renault acquired the company; much of this material was given to him and is part of the donated collection.

The collection was physically transferred to the University of Windsor's Leddy Library in 2007 after being appraised, while legal paperwork to transfer the ownership was completed early in 2008. Archivist Brian Owens said it is expected to take up to ten years to catalogue the collection, which will be available to the public for research. For more information, visit . and--

(Toronto Sun) A most generous donation ...

James Mays This is my good friend James C. Mays, noted automotive historian, author of eight books on the Canadian auto industry, and now, a most generous donor of his extensive collection.

Starting with a Rambler brochure when he was twelve (he's a Rambler nut, but I love him nevertheless), James acquired a collection of sales brochures, factory photos, taped interviews, production figures, books and other goodies that's conservatively estimated to be worth $85,000. And he just gave them all to the University of Windsor, where they'll be catalogued, kept for posterity, and ultimately available to the public for research and viewing.

This is all the sort of stuff that no one ever thought to keep way back when, which is what makes it all the more important now. Most people aren't aware of it, but Canada has played a huge role in the automotive industry, and has a substantial history, both of indigenous auto companies and those tied in to foreign interests. To corporations, it's all just paperwork that costs them money when they need to empty the back rooms. Part of James' collection is material that Renault was ready to throw in the trash when it acquired AMC in 1979. Employees took it home, and when James interviewed them for his book, he received a fair bit of it. That's all now part of the collection, and it's now around for good. The collection is now with the University of Windsor's Leddy Library, and you can visit their Web site here.

James, I'm going to speak for everyone in the world of cars when I say ... thanks.
Jil Macintosh, Toronto Sun