A Blizzard Busting Bombardier

Bonhams to auction an early B-7 snowmobile created by Joseph-Armand Bombardier after he lost his son in a blizzard for just under £30,000 reports Nikolay Kalinin

With a design reminiscent of a Citroën 2CV, but with wheels replaced by tracks and skis, a 1940s snowmobile made by Bombardier is headed to auction later this month in America. It represents an interesting piece of motoring history and though it may look amusing, it was actually tragically born out of loss.


The B-7 snowmobile was the personal project of Joseph-Armand Bombardier (1907 – 1964) – the man credited with having brought snowmobiles into the mainstream after he lost his 2-year old son to complications of an appendicitis, having been unable to get him to hospital due to blizzard conditions. Quebec born Bombardier developed the snowmobile as a vehicle that could “float over the snow,” and it brought him great fame and recognition within the motoring industry.


A Blizzard Busting Bombardier – Joseph-Armand Bombardier pictured with an early B-7 Bombardier snowmobile.
A Blizzard Busting Bombardier – In February 2017, ‘The Steeple Times’ featured another example of a car designed for transporting large numbers of people in snowy locations that Bonhams auctioned at their Amelia Island auction. This 1959 Cadillac BROADMOOR Skyview was used to transport guests at The Broadmoor Hotel of Colorado Springs, Colorado, “one of America’s finest historic establishments” and a place that supposedly turned President George W. Bush teetotal in the summer of 1986 after he woke up with a hangover. It failed to sell, but had been guided at £140,000 to £200,000 ($175,000 to $250,000 or €165,000 to €235,000 or درهم640,000 to درهم915,000).

The Bombardier B-7 offered has seven seats and is powered by a Ford Flathead V8 engine that has approximately 90 bhp. This model is from 1940, three years after Bombardier had begun building snowmobiles, and a year after orders for his vehicles reached 100.


The example to be sold has been immaculately restored to the point that it looks just like it came out of the factory, with a perfectly functional engine, restored wood and refurbished seats. Of it, auctioneers Bonhams comment: “The vehicle is an exceptionally pleasing and fascinating static exhibit, and an example of a model which is perhaps unknown to most.”


The snowmobile – which until recently formed part of the collection of the late Glenn C. Gould Jr. – will be auctioned at Bonhams’ Amelia Island Auction in Florida on 20th May 2021 with an estimate of £21,700 to £29,000 ($30,000 to $40,000, €25,000 to €33,300 or درهم110,200 to درهم146,900). This price seems relatively cheap in comparison to other lots in that auction – some of which are likely to be hammered down ultimately for millions of pounds.



  1. No f**king use to me Down Under!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let the wrecking ball swing!!!!!!!!!!!!! Waste of money!!!!!!!!!!! No thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Fascinating to learn that it was a Bombardier who invented the snowmobile before the name got used for so many other terribly useful things.


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