DAVID'S VINTAGE SNOWMOBILE PAGE.
RESTORING THE SPORT ONE PIECE AT A TIME.

THE HISTORY OF MOTO SKI
AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF MOTO SKI
SENT IN BY GEORGE DUFRANE JR AND GEORGE DUFRANE SR.


 
The Moto-Ski was built in LaPocatière, Québec by Jean Yves Bélanger and Raoul Pelletier in 1963.  This was not their first sled, as they built a contraption called "Le Cupidon" (cupid) first.  Le Coupidon was green with a big windshield and a cleated track.  The venture was financed by a Mr. C.E. Bouchard ( Industries Bouchard) for whom Mr. Pelletier was a salesman.  Mr. Bélanger was the machinist-mechanic behind the venture.  Mr. Bouchard owned a pharmaceutical manufacturing business (aspirin & cosmetics).

 
The Moto-Ski name was the result of a contest at a local school to name the new sled.

 
 My uncle and father were the first distributors in the U.S. or anywhere for that matter.  They bought and sold all they could make in the fall of 1963.  All machines were sold in the Northern, N.Y. area and most customers were signed as dealers for Dufrane Motor Distributors, Malone, N.Y.


1964 MOTO SKI
CLICK HERE FOR A LARGE PICTURE
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Harriet Dufrane 

1964 MOTO SKI
CLICK HERE FOR A LARGE PICTURE
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Harriet Dufrane


 
Beginning in 1964 ('65 models) they had fiber glass hoods and big metal trunks.  They also had leaf springs on the skis.  1965 was the first year for the long track sled and Moto-Ski was the first to have it.

1965 MOTO SKI
David: Any Moto Ski that looked like a 1965 with "Cadet" on the side & had a 10 hp
246 Hirth engine is a 1966.  A lot of times Moto Ski would use up previous years
parts on the Cadet.  1966 was the first year the name Cadet appeared on the hood

 
In '65 they were not yet called Cadet, Capri & Zephyr (the factory named them in late '65).  The engines were the 9HP - 247 JLO or the 12 HP - 300 Hirth.  The l966's had a new hood & chrome bumper, handlebars and grab rails on the sides.  Like the '65's they also had brakes.  The '64 didn't have brakes, but back then you were interested in going, not stopping.


1966 MOTO SKI

 
The '67's had a new design, hood and metal trunk, and new 15 HP Hirth 300cc engines.

1967 MOTO SKI

 
The '68's had a new hood design, body design, seat design, engine design (Hirth & JLO) and rubberized steel cleats.  The rubberized cleats didn't break nearly as much.  They also had plastic trunks.  1968 is the first year that the MS-18 is made.
BELOW IS A PICTURE OF A 1968 MOTO SKI MODEL

1968 Moto Ski with a Single Cylinder Hirth Engine 
 Serial number on this sled is 1395b8 - model #152
1968 MOTO SKI

 
The '69"s had dual headlights, new seat, cam driven clutch
and more powerful engines, including a 634 Hirth.

1969 MOTO SKI

 
The '70's had different designs with thicker seats, new cleat design and more engine choices, Hirth, JLO or Sachs.  The 1970 - year introduced the Grand Prix.  It was a Capri with a gold metal flake paint job and larger front cam clutch (11" vs. 10").  The MiniSno was introduced in late 1970.  They were the same as the '71's except with a white fiberglass engine cover.

1970 MOTO SKI GRAND PRIX

 
The '71's were changed again in colors, trim colors, hood and body styles.  The Grand Prix and the MiniSno were the first to have engine covers.  Some had plastic hoods (they painted some of the plastic ones and the paint peeled off).

1971 MOTO SKI - MS18 LEFT - ZEPHYR RIGHT

 
Dufrane Motor Distributors quit distribution in 1971 but had seen some of the '72 models.  Not much had changed from "71, except minor changes in hoods, seats and BSE engines.

 
The factory was sold in 1968 after the death of Mr. Bouchard.  Griffin Industries from Florida bought it, and was more interested in MONEY than PRODUCT.  Shortly after Dufrane Motor Distributors quit, Moto-Ski sold to Bombardier to avoid bankruptcy in Moto-Ski division.

 
Some photos are courtesy of Mrs. Harriet Dufrane wife of the late Al Dufrane.
She still resides at her home located in the small hamlet of Constable
only five miles south of the Canadian boarder.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would like to thank George Dufrane Jr. for creating and sending me a wonderful selection
of pictures and the history that goes behind the scenes at Moto Ski and Dufrane Motor Distributors.
Thanks also to George Dufrane Sr. and all of those who contributed valuable information.


 
TO SEE A BROCHURE OF THIS BRAND OF VINTAGE SNOWMOBILE
ON MY SITE, GO TO THE BROCHURE PAGE.

 
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THANKS -  DAVID

 

EXPO-SNO
IS A VINTAGE SNOWMOBILE SHOW &
VINTAGE SNOWMOBILE FLEA MARKET.

THE SHOW IS HELD EVERY YEAR IN THE FALL.

IT IS LOCATED IN THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC, JUST NORTH OF MONTREAL.

 FOR THE DATE, LOCATION AND ALL OF THE DETAILS ABOUT THE SHOW.
CLICK HERE




EXPO-SNO
EXPOSITION DE MOTONEIGES ANTIQUES ET CLASSIQUES
ET MÉGA MARCHÉ AUX PUCES
DE PIECES ET MOTONEIGES.
PRES DE MONTREAL, QUÉBEC, CHAQUE AUTOMNE.

NOUS ESPÉRONS AVOIR PLUS DE 100 MOTONEIGES
ET AUSSI UN AUTRE GRAND SUCCÈS AVEC NOTRE
MÉGA MARCHÉ AUX PUCES DE PIECES ET MOTONEIGES.

APPUYEZ ICI
POUR LA DATE, LOCATION & INFORMATION.


 

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