Newfoundland teen drives vintage Bombardier snow bus to school

Vintage bombardier

Seventeen-year-old Joey Young’s snowmobile definitely isn’t as sleek as the machines you’re used to seeing, but it sure is eye-catching.

He drives a 1957 Bombardier snow bus around Newfoundland’s Bonne Bay area, even taking it to his high school in Woody Point.

Young can recall his grandfather taking him for rides in a vintage Bombardier when he was young, and a couple of years ago, he wanted to get the unused machine running again.

“She was just sitting there, so I decided we should go up and get her going,” Young told CBC News. But his interest in the old machines didn’t stop there—this past year, he even bought one of his own. 

They might not be cheap, or easy to come by, but Young managed to find a bright red one online. And like any teen with a new ride, he drove it to school to show it off.

“They’re all looking out the windows, taking pictures, Snapchats, stuff like that,” he told CBC. “Everyone wants to go for a ride, [even] the teachers.”

The interior of Hemblah Young’s 1957 Bombardier. Photo by Joey Young.

Lucky for them, there’s lots of seating. Like modern day snowmobiles, it has two skis, a motor, and a steering wheel. What’s very different, though, is the extra track and a shell that seats up to 12 passengers.

Young’s grandfather, Hemblah Young, told CBC News that he and his father used a similar machine in the ’50s to bring people in and out of the woods on weekends. They’d also use it to transport freight back and forth from Deer Lake to Bonne Bay when the roads weren’t plowed.

In fact, Bombardier didn’t open its first production plant until 1947, and early 1950s designs—the SW Snow Groomer and Muskeg—were utility vehicles, used for forestry, mining, and other industries. Smaller machines designed for recreational use, like those we know today, weren’t launched until 1959.

Photo by Joey Young

But even before it was officially a sport, Young’s grandfather says he had a lot of fun riding around with his family as a kid, and now, he’s passed that feeling onto his grandson.