Do You Remember? Memories of the Pengor Penguin

Do You Remember? Memories of the Pengor Penguin




Photo-Linda Coburn Coleman in the Penguin that was raffled off. She was Miss Carleton Place and Miss Eastern Ontario. The other people in the photo are, left to right : Police chief Herb Cornell, Milt Phillips, Bruce MacDonald, and from Pengor – Ed Kay and John Smeaton. It was the 100 that Club raffled off the Penguin and it was William Lowry that won it.–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


“The Penguin is a 4 wheeled, two seater vehicle. It is amphibious. On land top speeds of up to 40 mph were claimed and in the water 4 mph is its limit. It is two wheel drive and is powered by a two stroke gasoline engine driving the rear wheels through a 4-speed transmission. Water propulsion is provided by the rear wheels only.

It is 48″ wide, 75″ long, 30″ high and weighs approximately 420 lbs.

The first Penguin was built in Toronto, Ontario sometime in 1962. In 1963 a small manufacturing plant was leased in Ottawa, Ontario by Pengor Ltd. and production began. In April, 1964 the Ottawa plant was forced to close down and production moved to Carleton Place, Ontario. In November of 1964 the company filed for bankruptcy, and in May, 1965 a sale was held to sell off complete machines, parts etc. The total number of machines built was approximately 800″.–-Kevin’s Penguin and Beaver Page

The Pengor company set up their assembly factory by the town yard in Carleton Place in the former Bates and Innes Mill on McArthur Island between the bridges. They initially planned to produce 100 Penguins a day and the maiden voyage of a red and white Penguin went into the mighty Mississippi River.  

A blue and white Penguin complete with a trailer was presented to Prince Philip and *Queen Elizabeth during a Royal Visit to Canada, in October, 1964. Unfortunately, in November of 1964 the company filed for bankruptcy, and in May, 1965 an auction was held to sell off all machines and parts.

Kevin Percy, (Kevin’s Penguin and Beaver Page a Carleton Place resident, has been collecting, researching and showing Penguin amphibious vehicles for many years.  John Armour also mentioned that his uncle Weldon Armour had two of them.–With files from the The Carleton Place & Beckwith Historical Society Update 2012





loriandkevininbeaver.jpgPhoto-“This photo was taken by Bev Shoots as Lori and I left the 2005 Carleton Place Car Show”.–-Kevin’s Penguin and Beaver Page “The red machine with matching trailer is a Beaver. It was very similar to the Penguin.”– from Kevin himself!!!!




*Royal Penguin Update, January 2009
The question – “I wonder where the Penguin that was presented to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip ended up?”, can now be answered. A recent query to Sandringham Estates in Norfolk UK has confirmed that the blue and white machine is in their care. It is not currently on public display, and no comments were made regarding any planned change in this status, or on it’s current condition.
Sometime after the Bankruptcy Auction at Pengor in Carleton Place, a somewhat similar vehicle called “The Beaver” was produced by Wheeler Mobile Ltd. of Keswick, Ontario. The one was pictured below had one owner before me, he purchased it as a demo model in 1967. –-Kevin’s Penguin and Beaver Page


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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal24 Apr 1964, FriPage 37

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal09 Jul 1964, ThuPage 16


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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal09 Feb 1965, TuePage 3


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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal17 Dec 1964, ThuPage 27


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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal26 May 1965, WedPage 16



The Pengor Penguin presented to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip during their visit to Ottawa in 1964.–Kevin Percy said–They had less than a week to prep this for the presentation ! Photo- Kevin Percy


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun


Related reading

Rollin’ Down the Mississippi River —- Tunes and Cars of Carleton Place 1971


Should Cows and Smart Cars be Tipped?

The Benefits of Having a Large Human Chassis for Traction



About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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