Welcome to rtxdoug.com. We love all old sleds, skiroules most of all. We collect, sell, swap, and buy skiroules and their parts, and just plain love to talk about them. Always looking for more information about the company and its products. Please browse, enjoy and feel free to contact us.
Skiroules were first manufactured in prototype form in Quebec, Canada in the early 1960's. Production years were from 1966 to 1976 with 1977 prototypes built but no real production before closure.
Check back occasionally as information and pictures will be updated periodically.
Brief Skiroule History
Perseverance paid off, and Rejean began Skiroule production for the 1966 model year. Sales increased dramatically over the next few years and a new modern manufacturing plant was built to keep up with the demand for sleds. Origin of Skiroule name: SKI Rejean hOULE.
The Coleman Company of "Lantern" fame wanted a piece of the action and on October 23 1969, a press release announced the purchase of Skiroule. A very few 1970 Skiroules may have had the Coleman logo on them, but all 1971 models did.
Beautiful styling borrowed from the 1971 RTX racers and advertised as 5 years in front helped to market the sleek 1972 models successfully, but the oil crisis, Insurance, and other factors beginning in 1973 had a serious impact on the whole industry and sales lagged, with the smaller companies gradually dropping out of site. Coleman probably could have weathered the storm and continued but Corporate Policy most likely said lets get out of this no longer profitable business.
Herbert M. Karol (HMK), an American Industrialist, bought the company and ran it until mid 1976. 1977 Prototypes were built but bankruptcy quickly followed.
I toured the factory in June of 1971 with The Ontario Skiroule Dealers and had the pleasure of meeting Rejean Houle and James Minson of Coleman. I toured the plant again in 2002. It is now a carpet manufacturing facility but the original compressor room is still in Skiroule Green, the Dyno Room is untouched basically except for the removal of the Dyno and the 1 1/2" thick sound deadener from the walls (the glue remains). There is still a "Babe in a bikini on a beach on a Skiroule" decal on the Dyno room window. Met some nice former employees too. Saw the area in front of the Dyno room that the Villeneuve brothers once used to work on the IFS Racers. More on Skiroule racing in a future report.
The Houle family farm equipment company is still going strong. Jerome Houle is over 80 and in good health, a book having been published in 2001 about him and the Houle family businesses. It is in French and I would dearly love to have it translated or at least the Skiroule section. Any offers?
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