Revved up: Saving a piece of snowmobile history

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 23, 2013 - 7:32 AM

Snowmobile collectors and fans from across the United States will gather this weekend at Lake Waconia to show off and inspect some 800 vintage sleds dating to the 1950s.

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beavis38Jan. 22, 13 9:32 PM

Good for you, guys. I would love to have the time and money to have such a fun hobby. I grew up in the 80's and remember many of the sleds of the 70's running around. You don't see them around anymore. They are right that it takes a lot of cash to ride a new sled now days. Have a fun weekend!

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oimmigrationJan. 22, 1311:00 PM

10 grand for a new sled. Outrageous. I like the old classic snowmobiles anyway, I think they look better cleaner lines, and are cheaper to buy and probably own. The new snowmobiles look like insects or bugs to me, and they are big and heavy too, not like the lightweight and nimble snowmobiles of yesterday. Bring back the classic snowmobile!

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reactiontimeJan. 23, 13 9:33 AM

We grew up wanting the fast machines but usually could only afford a used one.. We worked on them, rode them, often broke them too quickly, swore at them, and then repaired them only to go out again... It still stuns me how many different manufacturers there were in the late 60's and very early 70's.. If you get a chance go to http://www.vintagesnowmobiles.50megs.com/ Just about every manufacturer and brand is represented in pictures and original brochures there...

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davehougJan. 23, 1312:11 PM

Saw an oldie that had only ONE ski. It was used for going thru heavy brush, where two skis would catch on the stalks of brush.

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annieoakJan. 23, 13 1:04 PM

Loved this article. My dad was a Polaris and Fox Trac dealer back in northeastern Wisconsin in the 60s and 70s and even sponsored his own racing team. They went to Eagle River, Rhinelander, and lots of the local snowmobile derbys that popped up. I agree wtih reactiontime on how amazing it is to see how many different brands there were.

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tedjJan. 23, 13 2:18 PM

I also remember many of the old sleds. Loud...smelly...GREAT! I predict that, with the $10K + prices on new sleds, the current dealers will soon see a decline in buyers. Hopefully they will at least provide some cheaper alternatives for buyers. If the sport becomes too expensive, I guess we'll need to hang it up...or revert to vintage sleds as a hobby.

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arielbenderJan. 23, 13 4:17 PM

I used to live up in the UP of Michigan back in the early 70's. My favorite memories are snowmobiling with my dad on our Ski Doo TNT...that thing was a beast...loud and fast as hell.

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laisonJan. 24, 13 7:23 PM

Bolens Husky, Tradewinds Tiger, Herters, Snow Pony, as kids we listed over a hundred different sled companies. Dad's first was an brand new, rear engine L70 Polaris Snowtraveler he raced at the first Eagle River race. Every winter weekend for the next 15 years were at snowmobile races all over WI and MN. It was a great time!

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