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1965 Bellanca Drifter

This homebuilt snowmobile was made by Henry Schildt of Alexandria, MN. Henry was the head welder at the Bellanca Aircraft Company, also located in Alexandria, MN. Henry began construction of the sled in 1964 and it was completed by winter 1965. The machine had its share of bugs to work out, but by the end of the 1965 season, it was a very reliable unit. Around 1970, the machine was donated to the Rhuestone Museum in Alexandria. It remained on display there until the late 1990’s when the new museum curator deemed it “not museum worthy”. The machine was stored out back of the museum until 2003 when a snowmobile collector found it and brought it home. The machine was stored in an open field awaiting a new lease on life. The sled was beyond repair. The track was rotted off and the seat was missing. After several months of hard work, and parts hunting, the machine was once again ready for snow or show. The sled was entered in the inaugural Homebuilt Class at Waconia and won first place. This snowmobile is also thought to be the model that the Brut snowmobile engineers modeled their machine after. The hardest part of the restoration was the engine/clutch combo. Rather than driving the machine from the PTO side of the engine, the flywheel was machined into a bevel and it became one half of the homemade clutch setup. This setup, which caused many headaches trying to figure out, propels the machine perfectly. Here is the known list of parts for this machine: 1966 Johnson track (shortened) 1948 Plymouth bumpers (skis) 1955 Johnson 25hp outboard engine 1964 Chevy tail light 1950 radiator Homebuilt suspension (closely resembles Arctic Cat) 1964 Allis Chalmers temperature gauge Seat riser/toolbox is an IH pickup bedside Homebuilt manifold for exhaust & water cooling Homebuilt dash, hood and belly pan Motorcycle handlebars Homebuilt tunnel Homebuilt primary & secondary clutches Gas tank?? Unknown Homebuilt go-kart style v-belt brake system Owner: Paul Shearer Lisbon, ND


Top of the Lake Antique Snowmobile Museum
P.O. Box 2
W11660 US-2
Naubinway, MI 49762
Call 906 477-6298 for museum hours or call 906 477-6192 for an appointment.


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