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Lawrence Monkhouse • March 2014
The Windsor Engine Plant (WEP) was built in 1938, and expanded (at the cost of $29 million) in 1955. Just south of the existing minivan factory, Plant 3, Windsor Engine mainly made staight-six (both flat-head and slant six) and V8 engines.
Some of its engines were unique to Canada; many were simply duplicates of American versions, built locally partly to feed neighboring assembly plants, and partly to fulfill domestic-production rules.
The plant lasted many years after the Canadian-American Auto Pact stopped requiring domestic production, a tribute to its productivity. However, with the rise of small front wheel drive cars powered by four cylinder engines, the need for straight sixes ended, and demand for V8s plummeted; rather than retooling the old plant, at great cost, four cylinder production was moved to the United States, and Windsor Engine was closed in 1980.
Also see: Pillette Road • Chrysler assembly and parts plants • Windsor • Windsor 1975: Cordobas and Chargers
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