The often-glorified, sometimes-maligned Alouette brand of snowmobiles had a colorful history — one that included a very direct tie to the famous Villeneuve legacy in Quebec, an incredible speed run project machine called “Big Al” and a lot of, um, interesting business situations. A random grab out of Snow Goer’s back-room files led us to this: The press materials for the 1976 Alouette lineup.
On quick background, Alouette was founded and first operated out of Quebec by the Featherweight Corp., with first production snowmobiles in 1967. In its 10-year life went through several owners, leading it Maine, Connecticut, a period owned by Coleco and, eventually, into the hands of Rupp Manufacturing in Ohio.
In its final year, though, the Alouette line of snowmobiles was limited to just four models (though, with engine choices, some may be consider it seven) including the Brute 340 and 440, Super Brute 250, 340 and 440, Sno Brute 440 and Sno Duster 340. Each was actually just a Rupp clone, but there’s even more to the story: Because Rupp was itself riding the rough waters of the snowmobile industry at the time, it didn’t even produce that 1976 line itself — it was in fact subcontracted to Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls, Minnesota.
Below you will find three press releases and all four pages from the 1976 Alouette brochure that were recently unearthed recently from our files. Enjoy. Oh, and don’t both trying the address and phone number in the press release: the address shown was actually for the small ad firm taht Rupp used at the time; the same building is now being used as a dentist office. The phone number belongs to a private party.
Editor’s Note: This review was originally published in the October 2020 issue of Snow Goer. Every issue of Snow Goer magazine includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more! Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive issues delivered to your door or your computer for a low cost.