Remember That Time Porsche Introduced a Skibob?

Published on November 28, 2023 in Buzz by Guillaume Rivard

With winter right around the corner and many parts of the country already covered in a thick layer of snow, now is as good a time as any to talk to you about a unique vehicle that bears the name of Porsche.

The maker of the legendary 911 has sold a wide range of products beyond automobiles over the years, from watches to e-bikes to running shoes and even desk lamps. Over a half-century ago in 1970, it partnered with a company called Arova (which no longer exists) to develop and launch a skibob, or snow bike if you prefer, long before these things became the latest trendy winter pastime.

It just so happens that one example of their 212 model is listed on the website of RM Sotheby's. Curiously, it is located in Houston, Texas, hundreds of kilometres away from the nearest ski slopes.

Photo: RM Sotheby's

Unlike most modern skibobs, this Porsche-branded design features only two fiberglass skis in a tandem layout and nothing to rest your feet on. What’s more, the frame is fully boxed and capped by a leather seat with hinges on one side.

Designed to absorb bumps and landings from jumps, Suspa shocks are connected to the frame. While the pictures don’t show it, the aluminum struts connecting the skis to the frame can fold and the handlebars can be stored under the seat to facilitate transportation. In fact, the Arova-Porsche 212 weighs no more than 30 lbs approximately and used to fit in the trunk of an early-70s 911. Clearly, they thought of everything.

In case you were planning to bid on it through RM Sotheby's, you should know it is being sold with no reserve but could be worth anywhere between $6,000-$8,000 USD, or about $8,100-$10,800 CAD at the current exchange rate. Brand new and much more versatile skibobs from companies like SNO-GO cost only half as much.

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