Antique Snowmobile Museum Articles of Interest
Below you will find many articles of interest about our museum, awards, friends, news, and sleds. Click on the More Info to view full story.
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||Snowmobile Pioneer Cut A Fast Trail for the Sport
|Edgar Hetteen built the sport of snowmobiling from a grain-silo conveyor belt, an old Chevrolet bumper and other spare parts lying around his farm equipment shop. Mr. Hetteen, who died Feb 12, 2011 at age 90, was founder of Polaris Industries and Arctic Cat, two Minnesota companies that supply nearly all of the snowmobiles manufactured in the U.S.
Despite pioneering snowmobile design and founding enduring companies with billions of dollars in total sales, Mr. Hetteen didn’t get rich off the snowmobile. “He’s considered by many people the father of the snowmobile,” said Loren Anderson, president of the St. Germain, WI based Snowmobile Hall of Fame. “But he had a temper and he walked away.”
Mr. Hetteen grew up on a farm in Roseau, MN, dropped out of school after eighth grade, and became proprietor of a machine shop, Hetteen Hoist and Derrick. The company manufactured hay choppers, pole setters and other farm equipment. As a side project, some of his employees fooled around with motorized sleds. In 1954 they came up with a functioning model, made of spare parts and powered by a 10 hp engine. A skeptical Mr. Hetteen dubbed it “Screaming Lena”, but the machine soon sold and the shop began producing new ones.
||The First Snocrosser
||Tribute to "Twin Track Legend" Robert A. Bracey
|Tribute To A “Twin Track Legend” Robert A. Bracey
By Steve Landon – The Winning Edge Magazine
© Reproduction of all or any portion of this story is strictly prohibited without expressed written consent.
The word legend is perhaps one of the most over used words in today’s world. Everywhere you look someone in sports or industry is being called a legend even when the title is not deserved. On March 26, 2003 the world of motor sports lost a True Legend with the passing of Bob Bracey.
Best known in the snowmobile community for his twin track designs, Bob’s talents reached far beyond snowmobiling. During his lifetime Mr. Bracey worked with his associates to develop race cars, boats, the MERA sports car, Transvan motorhome, TenderJet watercraft, a home water distiller, wind generator a corvette trailer, a mini champ race car powered by a snowmobile engine as well as countless other cutting edge products. If you could dream it Mr. Bracey could design and produce it.
||Twin Trackers Gain Popularity in Early 1900's by Steve Pierce
|The first twin-tracked snow vehicles gained popularity in the early 1900’s. Auto and tractor conversions were almost exclusive until the appearance of the single track vehicle pioneered by Eliason in the 1920’s.
Seeking to maximize floatation, some modern manufacturers returned to the twin track idea.
Hus Ski began production in 1962 in Pointe Claire, Quebec. A West Bend Power Bee engine powered a yellow tractor unit with no skis and two wooden cleated tracks, pulling the operator on a sled behind. Acquiring the company in 1965, Bolens produced the more refined Diablo Rouge, or Red Devil, from 1967-1969.
A single ski, rear engine Snow /bug was made by the Original Equipment Manufacturing Company of Sudbury, Ontario. A twin track prototype called the Snowpacker was developed in 1962, along with a five-foot-wide, triple-tracked version. In 1966, a dual 26 inch track model was introduced.
||Vintage Snowmobile Christmas Poem
|Written by Mike Boisvert, Pandera, OH
'Twas the night before Christmas
And all the through the shop
Not a piston was firing,
Not even a pop.
The sledheads were nestled
All snug in their beds
While visions of barn finds
All danced in their heads.
And the wife in her nighty,
And I with Viagra,
Had just settled down for
A little winter what have ya...
When what on the tv came on
So much disruption and static,
"A blast from the past!",
My response automatic.
The moon revealed a layer
Of new fallen snow,
And highlighted fresh tracks
On the yard down below.
When what what to my wondering
Eyes should appear,
But a shiny red Rupp
And eight minty John Deeres!
With such a skilled rider on a Magnum so quick, it had to be Stull, no wait, it's St Nick.
"Now Dator, Now Spitfire, Now Sprintfire, Now Snowfire,
On JDX, on Trailfire, on Horicon and Liquifire!
They tore up the yard and flew over the hill in a flash.
The little red Rupp got sideways and knocked over the trash.
The Red rider was scruffy and smelled strongly of gas,
And chuckled out loud as he tore up my grass.
The crew parked out back
And went into my shop, and went straight to work, only for beers did they stop.
As I peeked through the window I was amazed by the scene,
There sat my Centurion all shiny and clean!
With a new seat cover and new graphics and my trusty old triple, new paint on the tunnel, without even a ripple!
The work was amazing from the red and green crew.
They left as quick as they came after downing their brew.
Over the twin pipes I heard Santa yell into night,
"Merry Christmas to all and on the trails keep right!"
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