Ski Lodge Snow Machine: Poncin Mini-Bus VP 800

We get fairly used to seeing long-forgotten vehicles of every kind hidden away in barns, forgotten garages – even the occasional cow pasture. But finds like this one on a remote mountain in Norway remind us that barn finds can live anywhere, and that any number of circumstances can cause vehicles to emerge decades later virtually unused. This Poncin VP-800 “mini bus” looks like the sort of vehicle you’d see ferrying guests around a ski resort, and while that very well may have been the reason a previous owner purchased this snow machine, it ended up being hardly used and is now listed here on with just 120 hours on the clock.

When I see finds like these, it opens up an entire dimension of other possible avenues for finding hardly-used vehicles. Think about every town where it snows reliably for half the year – more than likely, there’s a ski lodge and mountain somewhere nearby. Most of them all have a few ATVs, pickup trucks, and other service vehicles that are only used half the year, and for short-distance driving at that. You start to realize that for some smaller outfits, replacing a vehicle every year isn’t feasible, so rigs like this take up long-term residence seeing only occasional use. The Poncin is a French ATV, and the original designer evidently had a diverse product line featuring six- and eight-wheelers, as well as pickup trucks.

When you say the plastic is still on the seats of your barn find, most enthusiasts automatically think of the most romantic discoveries, like a Jaguar E-Type or Mercedes Pagoda. Or even a pristine Cadillac Eldorado. But a snow machine with tank tracks? That’s unheard of. I’m more curious why someone kept the plastic on the seats in the first place. But what’s interesting is that of the few videos I could find of these French-built rigs, they all seem to be used as wintertime pleasure crafts. The owners seem to drive them with a fairly high degree of aggression through the snow, popping what looks like a solid handbrake turn at every opportunity. Poncins were, seemingly, built for fun at the beach or on the slopes, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they were marketed as a six-wheeled plaything for the wealthy.

Engines typically came from other French makes like Citroen and Renault, so there’s a chance parts sourcing isn’t all that difficult despite having never seen one of these before. The seller claims this model comes with a Peugeot-sourced diesel engine, which can be a long-lived mill if treated right. The cosmetic details seem to reinforce the low mileage claims, with manufacturer stickers like this one in the windshield showing virtually no signs of wear from the windshield wiper passing back and forth or prolonged sun exposure. The asking price is 80,000 KR, which works out to just under $10,000 US – and seems like an absolute bargain for such a rad personal snow machine.

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  1. Frank Sumatra

    Could use that here in the Northeast this week!

    Like 7
    • bobk

      Here in Kansas City as well – for the past week and the coming week, LOL.

      Like 6
      • Dave

        Texas too!

        Like 10
  2. Tony Primo

    It needs a blade on the front to plow my driveway. We have 12 inches of snow on the way to Toronto.

    Like 5
    • MBorst

      Hahahaha, 12″ of snow ? Try 12″ over nite on top of 3-4 ft already on the ground ! Try 7 ft drifts just to get to where you park your truck ! 4-8 miles of road like this.

      Like 2
    • robert macdonald Member

      nope gonna miss us sorry buffalo
      only a messily six inches

  3. Skorzeny

    Western Washington State got hammered this weekend as well. We relied on a Subaru…

    Like 3
  4. jim Gifford

    I would pay that, but how do you get it to MidMo?

    Like 4
  5. MBorst

    This may be a great buy ! Maybe not.
    Is it in the US ? Or do we have to pay for shipping and HOW LONG WILL THAT TAKE?? The condition of the rubber on the tracks is off ut most importance ! Weathered from the elements ? The proper rubber is mandatory ! Could have another 10g into keeping it useful…

    Like 1
  6. Mark Member

    Less than 10k. If I still had my ranch or owned a mountain property this would be on my list. I wonder if any of these are in the US?

    • MBorst

      They are expensive here ! Several websites selling used, usually ski resort ones.

  7. chrlsful

    pretty hard to see what’s going on here. Seems on a finnish site. Not able to see the manafacturer in france either. I like it as an 8 (or is it 6) passenger ‘bus’. A MVP of the sno land, take off the tracks for swamps? The 5 or 400 might B more my size? (if there is such ofa thing).

    Like 1
    • MBorst

      Tracks stay on buddy !!!

  8. bone

    Does anyone want to play “Lost in Space” ?

    Like 6
    • Ike Onick

      Only with one of the characters and it ain’t Dr.Smith.

      Like 9
    • William

      The “Chariot” I believe? Suddenly it is 1965 again.

      Like 6
  9. local_sheriff
  10. EPO3

    I wish I could use it in Klamath falls Oregon.No good snow this year hopefully next year

  11. L. Ryan

    This vehicle reminds me of the movie, “The Shining”, where several scenes featured a snow vehicle just like this. As an avid snowmobile owner and rider, this would be great to bring to camp just to cruise around. Very nice find. Too bad it’s over seas. I can’t imagine what the shipping costs would be to get it to the states. And that’s just getting it to our shores. Then there’s trucking on top of that.

    Like 1
    • MBorst

      L. Ryan Shining machine it was a Thykhol snowcat. I’m quite sure. I have one like it. And so you know the one from the Shining was for sale last year ! It was yellow and if I’m correct cab n 1/2 4 door. This one is more like Lost in Space craft.

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