Vintage alpine egg-shaped cable cars up for auction

Vintage red skiing cable cars are now for sale. Photo by Grand Massif.
Vintage red skiing cable cars are now for sale. Photo by Grand Massif.

All the way from 1973 to 2020.

The red, egg-shaped cable-car cabins that took skiers to the plateau of Samoëns in Haute-Savoie are up for auction after work started on a new, high capacity system. Introduced in 1973, the futuristic cabins became a symbol of modernity and skiing fun, and were featured in newspapers and magazines across the world.

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Innovative ideas

“They were the absolute top at the time,” said Alain Lachaud who has written a book about the history of skiing in Samoëns. "Their bright colour, the shape, and the fact they could be stopped so people could get inside easily were all new. And to be sheltered from the wind and snow while having a panoramic view, was magic!”

By modern standards, though, the eggs have aged. Their wooden slat seats and lack of space means that it is an effort for four large adults to fit in them. An auction of the 80 cabins is due to be held as soon as the government gives the go-ahead for auctions to resume after the Covid 19 lockdown.

In 2012 the station of Deux Alpes auctioned off 79 of its cable-car cabins, which had a rounded shape and which were also bright red, with a reserve price of €150 each. Many of the buyers said they wanted to have the 500kg cabins, each two metres high and 1.4m wide, in their gardens.

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