A Depression-era Canadian colloquialism
for an automobile
hitched to a team of horses
. Usually, Bennett buggies were Model T
Fords with their engine
s removed to save weight.
During the raging economic boom of the 1920s, the popularity of cars soared throughout North America, particularly with the price cuts brought by Henry Ford's mass production. In Canada, there were a million cars on the road in 1930, four times as many as in 1920. They were even becoming popular in the largely rural Western prairies, where farmers often lived far apart from each other.
The Canadian West, especially Alberta, now has a thriving oil and gas industry, but it wasn't developed until the late 1930s and '40s. When the Depression hit, virtually all the gasoline was imported, fairly expensively, from the United States. So were car parts, making repairs (often necessary, given the lack of paved roads) pretty pricey, too.
When the economy crashed, it became too expensive for stricken farmers to run their cars normally, so they used them as wagons. Many of them believed Richard Bedford Bennett, the wealthy prime minister, wasn't doing enough to tackle the Great Depression, and attached his name to their denovation as a kind of ironic commentary.