Detail
1961

A LANDMARK
VISIT

Canadian Joseph A. Bombardier visits Gunskirchen

ROTAX ENGINES ALSO IN DEMAND OVERSEAS

High-performance Rotax engines become increasingly well-known through their use in a wide variety of vehicles, and attract attention from as far away as Canada.  After a private tragedy, Joseph A. Bombardier, a farmer's son from the Province of Quebec, becomes interested in the issue of motorized transport on snow. Bombardier’s son died of appendicitis in a blizzard, when the high snow drifts presented too great an obstacle to allow the horse-drawn sleighs to get his son to hospital, which was about 25 kilometers away. Help had come too late for Bombardier’s son and he decides to develop a motorized vehicle that can withstand these conditions. He founds the “Bombardier Snowmobile Company” and secures a patent for such a snowmobile in 1935.  But soon, Canadian in-house production encounters a problem: The engine power is sufficient for North America’s snowy flatlands, but rough terrain requires lighter and stronger propulsion.

BELITTLED BY SACHS, WELCOMED BY ROTAX

Purely by chance, Bombardier becomes aware of the WAJAX motorized fire pump, which uses a Rotax engine. Bombardier sees this as confirming the need to search for potential suppliers among European manufacturers. As so often happens in business, small details have far-reaching consequences. Bombardier is treated correctly, but in a businesslike manner at Sachs. So he is all the more impressed by the hospitality extended by Rotax managers Helmut Rothe and Karl Pötzlberger. Despite the language barrier, they have a similar way of thinking and make plans together.

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