Collis is a Canadian car brand that started life in 1910 as a maker of small European inspired sports cars. The brand never made it big and remained a small operation, until it was bought by the large Canadian conglomerate Mons Automotive in 1928. Since then, it has been wholly owned by Mons Automotive, and has seen a large influx of cash for research and development. Collis has benefited from the partnership by sharing technologies and machining expertise of the much larger Mons group, but the brand has been afforded the freedom to stick to what it does best. In effect, it has been incorporated into the Mons family as the slightly more exclusive, luxury-sports brand of Mons Automotive. As such, it has close ties with all Mons departments, including Mons Racing and Mons Customs. While the company is distinctly North American (or North Gasmean), Collis retains its flair for European inspired designs and engineering.
The Collis Celer first saw light in 1948 as a GT class coupe. It immediately made a mark with its sporty but forgiving handling, comfortable high-quality sports interior, and luxurious touches all-round. These characteristics remained vital for the entire Celer line during the decades, and became the hallmark of Collis engineering, style, and quality. With a wheelbase of around 2.6 m, it maintained a solid blend between a small sports car and a large luxury car - the ultimate GT!
Despite the influx of funds form Mons, Collis was still a relatively small manufacturer in the 40s. The Celer mk1 was largely hand-produced in a small factory. By the end of its run there were three models available: the GT-P with a 1.5L I6; the GT-R with a 2.0L I6; and the GT-CR - a convertible version of the GT-R. On the inside all models had a 2+2 seating arrangement, sports interior, and a premium AM sound system. The GT-P and GT-R models were easily distinguished by the “Premium” decal on the former and “Deluxe” on the latter. Additionally, the GT-R added secondary reflectors up front and chrome-accented side vents for additional cooling of the larger, more powerful engine. A Celer staple was the chrome accents behind the passenger windows; again the GT-R distinguished by more stripes than the GT-P.
The second generation Celer continued with the line with three models as direct successors of the first generation: there was a GT-P trim with the 1.5L I6, a sportier GT-R trim with the 2L I6, and the GT-CR cabrio with the larger engine variant. Despite keeping the same base engine blocks, both engines got major upgrades: now both featured 4-valve DOHC heads and fuel injection. The car’s manufacturing was moved to a larger factory with steel presses, which allowed the car’s chassis to be upgraded significantly to a unibody construction. All trims had a sports interior and an upgraded luxury tape deck for maximum comfort. The exterior styling cues are reminiscent of the first gen: the characteristic double-oval front grille, twin headlights, accents behind the passenger window (again, more for the higher-end GT-R and GT-CR models), and chrome accented side vents (GT-R and GT-CR) with Deluxe badging. The GT-P once again receives a simpler side trim and the Premium decal. Another major distinguishing mark between the trims is the moulded hood of the GT-P, which makes way for a stylish and functional scoop for the GT-R and GT-CR trims.