After weathering many a storm, Papineau Motors still runs like a well-oiled machine
By Vince Clark
Papineau Motors has been a staple of the community for a long time. Built in 1959, it was the brainchild of Rene Papineau and Gus Dubé. The shop was simply named Gus & Renes garage. When Gus and Rene decided to part ways, it was renamed Papineau Motors.
Rene’s sons Eddy and Ron, began to take a liking to their father’s work. Even at the young age of 12, Eddy was already helping his father after school and on weekends. At 17 years old, Eddy dropped out of high school to work full time at the shop. He never left. Fifty-two years later, he is still going strong. His brother Ron, who started at the garage a few years after Eddy, stayed on until he sadly passed away in February of 2015.
The shop has undertaken a large number of business ventures over the years. They were a ford dealership for a number of years. They sold farm equipment. They sold snowmobiles. They were also a body shop, before autopac was created. They were even a gas station until as recently as 2008, when the pumps were finally removed.
As local snowmobile dealers and mechanics, Eddy and his father Rene were brought on the infamous 1970 Maskwa Club Norway House Snowmobile Trip. “It was quite the trip.” Eddy stated. With the sleds of the era certainly not known for their reliability, Eddy and Rene had their work cut out for them. “Spark plugs and belts had to be changed every day, just to start with” he said. All 27 sleds on the trip were towing sleighs, two of which were filled exclusively with parts. Try as they may, approximately 8 snowmobiles broke down beyond repair along the way, Eddy’s included. “We were 8 miles out from Pine Falls on the return trip when my sled broke down. I was so heartbroken” he stated.
When the local paper mill shut down, in 2009, like many other local establishments, Papineau Motors feared they may not be able to survive. “When the mill went down, we thought, oh my god, this isn’t going to be good.” Eddy said. However, by laying off a couple of employees and carefully budgeting their funds, they made it through.
Papineau Motors currently employs 5 locals, Eddy, his wife Karen, who handles the administrative side of the business, Terry Vincent, Franco Antinosovic, and Armand Ducharme.
If you want quality work, honesty, integrity, and fair pricing, look no further than Papineau Motors.