Vintage Snowmobiles

Snowmobile manufacturers have had all they can do to meet the demand by "snow-belt" families and sportsmen for snow vehicles. In fact, most companies claim they could sell more snowmobiles if they could make them, even though an estimated 250,000 new snowmobiles will flow into the booming market this winter.

It is understatement to say that the popularity of snowmobiling has been startling! Prior to 1964 (when American outdoorsmen first started to look at snowmobiles) only an estimated 4000 machines were being built by a handful of manufacturers. Most of these were meant for cargo hauling rather than for sport. Since then, the number of companies entering the snow-vehicle field has grown to over thirty and the annual volume has swollen to 250,000 units.

Understanding the sudden enthusiasm for snowmobiling is easy. Before the speedy snowmobiles (most can do 30 to 40 miles per hour) came onto the winter scene, many northern citizens were stuck indoors for lack of a suitable outdoor, cold-weather activity. But the snow machines came down the trail and sportsmen immediately responded to this new way to defy winter's monotony.

Inroads To The Wilderness

Snowmobile craze is sweeping the northland. The vehicles offer exciting outdoor sport during the winter months when cold weather and deep snow usually keep people indoors.

Once inaccessible, summer cottages or hunting and fishing cabins set far off plowed highways have become the centers of winter fun. The snowmobile has proved to be the only thing—save skis or snowshoes—that will get people there. Even winter picnics are also coming of age because the snow vehicle provides mobility to scenic areas. Some even claim there's a real bonus to winter picnicking—no ants!


Of all sportsmen, perhaps ice fishermen get the most benefit from snow vehicles. Tent and ice-fishing gear can be packed on the vehicle, driven right to the fishing site.

In addition to the sale of snowmobiles, complete lines of accessory items ranging from special snowmobile suits and boots to fancy tag-along cutters (sleighs) are also available. Naturally, special trailers for toting a snowmobile behind the family car have proved a boon to city residents.


Trailer is needed for transporting snowmobile from home to countryside. Simple flatbed model is adequate.

How To Drive A Snowmobile

Becoming a good snowmobile driver is a lot like becoming a good automobile driver. It takes some "dry run" instruction, some slow-speed practice and a lot of on-the-job training.

The best "road conditions" are provided by a snowfall of about 6 to 12 inches. Hard-packed or icy snow and deep powder snow make for tricky snowmobile handling. So does hard glare ice. The turn is perhaps the most important maneuver. The more you lean in the direction of the turn, the sharper you'll bring the snowmobile around. Get some help from your passenger, too. Keep enough power on to keep the machine moving. Too little throttle and you'll stall your turn.

After Market Purchases

Sno Camper is a versatile fold-out trailer designed to be towed behind a snowmobile. It serves as a snug hunting or ski camp in the winter woods.

The wide range of snowmobile accessories now available serves to extend enjoyment of this exciting winter sport. Accessory items take many forms—from special clothing to utility tag-along sleighs—and not much has been left off the list.

The tag-along sleigh has become the most popular accessory on the market. Since a snowmobile is designed to seat only two adults comfortably, the addition of a lightweight fiberglass cutter trailing along behind has made it possible for the whole family to join the outing. Most tag-along sleighs will seat two adults or haul up to four youngsters with ease. They will also haul guns, camping gear, trapper's supplies or ice-fishing tackle.


Propeller-driven snow vehicles are usually products of the home workshop, built for racing in open country.

Perhaps sportsmen haven't yet realized the full potential of snow vehicles. But an ever-expanding field of activities is unfolding before the imaginative snow- mobiler who makes common sense his guide to safe snowmobile fun. The people at Johnson Motors, who make the Skee-Horse snowmobile, have put together a common sense guide to snowmobile safety which should govern most situations. Combined with a little old-fashioned horse sense, they leave the trail clear for everything from exploration trips to still-unthought-of snowmobile sports.

Other Snow Vehicles

Besides the two-passenger, tracked sports models, several other kinds of snowmobiles are in use. Among these are the propeller-driven units which are often called airmobiles, or air-snowmobiles. A few manufactured models are available and are expensive, but most are products of home workshops. The main object of these is speed or racing and they are limited to open-country use.