CME Awards Program


Harry Zoltok (Motor Coach Industries)


Harry Zoltok was born in 1905 in Bialystok, Russia. After the First World War, Harry migrated to New York. From there he travelled to Montreal, Canada and continued West until arriving in Winnipeg in 1928. In spite of the depression, Harry wanted to have his own business so in 1932 he founded, Fort Garry Motor Body and Paint Works, Ltd. In 1933 Harry Zoltok turned his Winnipeg repair shop into the laboratory for the future of coach travel. He sketched his first vehicle design, an 11-passenger body on a Packard chassis, on the factory floor. His small manufacturing company found itself on the cusp of a new mass transit industry. In 1941 Fort Garry Motor Body and Paint Works changed its name to Motor Coach Industries Limited (MCI) and later was acquired by Greyhound Lines of Canada with Harry continuing as company president. Harry continued to grow the business for 30 years until his retirement in 1971. Harry Zoltok was instrumental in moulding the company in its formative years. He accepted the challenge to build a coach that was durable, reliable and met the needs of the operator and MCI continues with that tradition today.