In 1930, facing declining sales, Rock Island introduced a new F variant intended for the Canadian market. The key features of the Canadian Special were an upgraded front axle and a Waukesha DKR 4 3/4 x 6 1/4 engine. Although the front axle addressed a critical weak point, it was not a design that carried over onto later models, and the overall run proved to be short lived. So far, all known Canadian Specials have been found in the US that I have information on.
There seems to be little information on the Canadian special, So far I have found no advertising or paper information on the Canadian Special. I am sure it is out there, but it has so far proven elusive. Much of what I now know is based on information provided by Steve Welker about his grandfather Ben Crabb’s Canadian Special 400004. Unlike Dick Bockwoldt’s 400007 which like the other known Canadian Specials is rated 22-45, Ben’s 004 is shown as 18-35hp. Interestingly, in Dick Bockwoldts Sept 99 Antique Power article, The Canadian Special was presented as having a serial number starting in S. I can only guess at this point that that was second hand information obtained before he came into possession of 007.
Although it has been reported that the Canadian Specials coloring was red instead of the standard gray and red, this does not seem to be the case. Indeed, the only two verified red Rock Islands I know of are both standard F’s discussed on the Waterloo page. Ben Crabb’s Canadian Special is painted in an off green color grandson Steve and I both suspect is based off a Waterloo advertisement for the F which shows the color as pale green instead of grey. At this point it appears that was a misprint on the part of Waterloo in copying the Rock Island ad, but may have stemmed from early F’s being painted green.
See the F section for more info.
See the Waterloo section for more info