BRP- A HISTORY STUDDED BY INNOVATIONS(part 3)
FINALLY THE SNOWMOBILE
In the late 50s, comes the long-awaited arrival by J. Armand, of much lighter small industrial engines. In 1959, what Bombardier dreamed of for decades is born: the snowmobile. This much lighter vehicle than the big snow cars can carry two people and suddenly gives the Bombardier Company the opportunity to render accessible snow travel for recreational purposes.
This invention is a revolution in itself, as by a host of patented technical developments related to the vehicle than by opening the huge market of individual owners who use the new Ski Doo for leisure rides. Travel in the vast countryside and North American forests, winter is now accessible to many more people. The original price of $ 900 allows excellent sales growth reaching 8,354 units sold in the 1963-1964 season, a considerable figure for that time which forces constant expansion to production facilities in Valcourt. Snowmobiles are now quipped with a Rotax engine (Austrian Company) and the hood is fiberglass.
It was during the winter of 1964, while his company is booming, that Joseph Armand Bombardier dies at the age of 56. This Canadian industrial engineer, marked his period in a big way by helping thousands of people move on snow for work, emergency and leisure purposes. In 1971, the Joseph Armand Bombardier Museum in Valcourt is inaugurated to remember his many accomplishments. He will also be inducted in 1979 into the Canadian businessmen Hall of Fame. A highway (the 55 in Quebec), many streets across the province and technical schools will be named in honor of the illustrious departed. An in-law of Bombardier, Laurent Beaudoin, will take over the reins of the company to carry it to new heights.
While Bombardier continues to improve the snowmobile and watercraft and creates new all-terrain vehicles in the CANAM division (ATVs), new international bonds are created for manufacturing and marketing products. The company is also secretly working on the flamboyant arrival of a new road vehicle: the SPYDER.