Vintage snowmobile collection opens to public in Murdochville

A permanent exhibition featuring 68 vintage snowmobiles is getting people all revved up in Murdochville, Que.

68 vintage snowmobiles now on display from collection that totals 215

Many of the snowmobiles on display date from the 1960s and 1970s. (Radio-Canada)

A permanent exhibition featuring 68 vintage snowmobiles is getting people all revved up in Murdochville, Que.

The snowmobiles are part of a collection of 215 machines owned by brothers Jacques and Bernard Gauthier.

The brothers operate the Copper Hotel, where the vehicles are on display in the basement along with other snowmobiling paraphernalia they've collected over the years. 

Many of the machines date from the 1960s and 1970s, when the snowmobile industry was crowded with competitors.

Brands on display include Bombardier, Polaris, Arctic Cat and even Harley-Davidson.

The brothers's collection began with a 1962 Bombardier snowmobile and really took off around 2000 when they acquired around 50 machines from another collector.

While most are in pristine, showroom condition, the jewel in the Gauthier brothers's collection is a rusted, homemade machine built in 1944 by a Trois-Pistole teenager named Aimé Plourde.

"He built a little machine to get him over the snow to the village to buy milk," Bernard Gauthier told Radio-Canada.

Many of the snowmobiles were found online, but word of mouth has been key, the brothers said.

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