Groupe Régal is a French and Canadian multinational automotive company with its roots deep in Rennes, France and Montreal, Canada. It regroups multiple marques like Régal Auto (small family, executive and performance), Angus Automobile (military, commercial, passenger, muscle), Octane Racing (sports and racing) and Northstar (luxury). The group covers nearly all market segments and share facilities between Rennes and Montreal.
Régal Auto (France)
Jean Régal founded Moteurs et Carrosserie Régal in Rennes, France in 1929. They developed motors and did coachwork for many brands and marque. Jean’s dream was always to build his own cars, but developing a complete car platform was a daunting task.
After World War II, Jean-Philippe Régal, then only 18 years old, took over his father’s shop after his dad died during the invasion. It was a rocky start, but was able to acquire an abandoned warehouse and factory and officially founded Régal Auto in 1947. With many automotive-related companies out of business, he was able to recruit enough staff to build a first complete vehicle and achieve his father’s dream.
Specialized in small and simple vehicles for everyday families, Régal started building a reputation of reliability and care. Since 1990, it has become known for its executive and small performance vehicles.
Angus Automobile (Canada)
On the other side of the pond, Richard B. Angus, co-founder and vice president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, established the CPR Angus Shops in the heart of Montreal in 1904. The Shops were tasked to manufacture railway cars and locomotives for the Canadian Pacific Railway before it started producing land lease Valentine tanks for the Soviet Union during WWII.
The success of this manufacturing endeavor continued after WWII when the Angus marque was created as a subsidiary of the CPR for the production of military vehicles and consumer adaptations for the canadian market in 1946. The HQ was etablished in the CPR Angus Shops.
After the commercial successes of its ¾ ton truck and their flathead 6 motors, as well as other utility and passenger vehicles, Williams Forest “Willie” Angus took full control of the company and broke off from the CPR umbrella in 1949 under the name Angus Automobile. Unfortunately, he fell ill not long after and his son, James Angus, took over. Willie died in 1951.
For the next decades, Angus Automobile slowly expanded to more passenger vehicles and muscle cars, while retaining its core commercial vehicle market.
Octane Racing (Canada)
Meanwhile, on the west side of Montreal, Octane Racing was founded in 1959 in Westmount by two italian brothers and a german investor. They started importing Italian performance cars to Montreal to tune and race them. They then expanded to importing european-built body-in-white in an attempt to build full-fledge performance cars.
This change of business strategy required Octane to become a car manufacturer and not simply an importer or badge engineer. Out of luck, they had to wait until 1970 to find a solution.
Automobile Angus approached them as they were looking for a performance badge. After months of discussion, Octane and Angus allied themselves to manufacture the new Octane cars, but also to develop performance versions of Angus passenger vehicles that now extended well beyond the utility market.
Octane and Angus merged in 1973, with James Angus retaining the majority of shares. Octane Racing officially became a performance “Octane” badge for Angus Automobile and developed their own sports lineup as a standalone marque, “Octane Racing”.
In the mid-70s, Angus saw a need to expand to the luxury market. However, most of its expertise lied in the performance or utility market, with only some attempts for the more luxurious clientele. The larger platform and more comfortable ride required for that segment was an expensive pivot for Angus.
In 1976, James Angus and Jean-Philippe Régal met at the Salon de l’automobile in Paris and developed a great rapport. Angus entered talks with Régal looking to find a partner to share platforms, motors and expertise. At that time, Régal Auto had released a few upmarket models, but were not able to get a foot in the luxury market. In 1978, Angus Automobile and Régal Auto entered into a joint venture and founded the Northstar marque. It would start to produce high end and luxury cars for both side of the pond and shared the Régal Auto HQ and facilities.
Groupe Régal (Canada-France)
In 1985, it was apparent that Angus Automobile was in trouble. Since the oil crisis, Angus engineers were unwilling and unable to develop more efficient and smaller engines. Their passenger vehicle market share dropped significantly, while they barely stayed afloat with their commercial division. Jean-Philippe Régal saw an opportunity, and after a failed hostile takeover in 1986, Angus and Régal decided to merge and form Groupe Régal in 1988, out of necessity.
The corporate HQ would remain in Rennes, France and it absorbed most of Angus operations, but the Angus Automobile marque would be repurposed as commercial-only and keep its R&D facilities and factories in Montreal, Canada. Octane Racing and Northstar would integrate the Groupe Régal umbrella as well, but remain largely unchanged in terms of operations.
- 1946-1968 Angus 3/4 ton Truck
- 1962-1972 Angus Automobile Appalache ML
- 1968-1974 Angus Automobile Vagabond (Mk I)
- 1975-1981 Angus Automobile Vagabond (Mk II)
- 1975-1988 Angus Automobile Verdun
- 1976 Angus Automobile Verdun Octane R/T Cup
- 1982-1985 Régal GT series
- 2012- Régal ADT
- 2018- Octane Racing XT Series
I will most likely not be posting sequential builds, so they will be out of order. The listing above will be in chronological order. As a first attempt, I might heavily rearrange things until I find an appropriate template. Also, I am quite new to Automation, only playing for about 2-3 months and only recently actually attempting to do realistic designs. Comments and feedback are more than welcome, I want to get better.