The origin story of the snowmobile may surprise you.
Snowmobiles have evolved quite a bit in their lifetime. Modern models typically use tiny two- or four-stroke engines, but what if we told you that one of the original iterations of the go-anywhere vehicle used a V8? This restored Bombardier B-7 will be for sale at the upcoming Amelia Island Auction with a starting bid of $30,000.
Referred to as a snow coach, the B-7 is propelled by a 3.6-liter (221-cubic-inch) Ford Flathead V8, which puts out a mellow 90 horsepower (67 kilowatts). Drive is sent to the rear tracks through a three-speed manual gearbox.
Gallery: Bombardier B-7
Much like Karl Benz and the motor car, the snow coach comes with an equally grim origin story. It all started when Joseph-Armand Bombardier’s two-year-old son died during the winter because no existing vehicle could safely transport him to a hospital. He sprung into action designing the snow coach after realizing that his son’s plight wasn’t unheard of in that era.
The first B-7s hit the road in 1935 and were an immediate success. The lightweight principle was so effective that the first Bombardier was capable of tackling terrain that would be impassable on foot. The earliest models were built from wood because steel was heavier and would hamper progress over deep snow.
On the topic of the wood body, most original B-7s didn’t fare well through the shock and awe of nature’s winter. Thankfully, this example is still intact as it has spent the majority of its life in a museum.
While the vehicle could plow through just about anything nature could throw at it, orders for the winter runabout plummeted after the Quebec government began clearing snow from the roads. Thankfully Bombardier lived through the tough times and built a separate entity manufacturing business jets. As part of the genesis story of the transportation powerhouse, we’d wager that this snow coach will sell for a pretty penny.
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