Top of The Lake Snowmobile Museum Sleds on Display

Top of The Lake Snowmobile Museum Sleds on Display.

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1969 Thunderbolt 1969 Thunderbolt
This is one of two Thunderbolts ever built and the only one currently assembled with a motor and is operable. The second machine is in North Dakota. Henry Leseman of Ada, MN did specialized work for Arctic Cat and made parts for many other snowmobile manufacturers. He was encouraged to build his own snowmobile and he did so using the best features of Arctic Cat and Viking along with some ideas of his own. This was the start of Thor Industries and the Thunderbolt snowmobile. Two prototypes were built and tested in the summer of 1969. One Thunderbolt was sent to an East coast distributor to be shown at a show in Montreal, with the intention of encouraging dealers to sell this machine. At the same time, the company that was committed to the funding backed out since the industry was beginning to struggle. This particular machine was given to the distributor by Henry. Henry Leseman sold his business and began a company in Venezuela in 1972. Henry sold one of the Thunderbolt’s before he left for Venezuela to a man from North Dakota. In 1982, Mr. Ernol (Bud) Knapp of Cedar Springs, MI was doing research on the Thunderbolt and met with Henry, who lives in Arkansas. Bud was later able to purchase this Thunderbolt in Dover, New Hampshire.

1969 Wheel Horse 1969 Wheel Horse
This model has an 18hp Kohler motor and was only made for 2 years. The Wheel Horse Company also made lawn tractors. This machine sat in the rafters of a barn in Rexton, MI for over 20 years. The current owner is: John Ketcher Engadine, MI

1970 Arctic Cat Panther 1970 Arctic Cat Panther
Arctic Enterprises built 1015 Panthers with the 760cc JLO engine option in 1970. The 760 JLO engine was basically two 372cc singles put together on a common crankcase. Horsepower was rated at 45-55 depending on what specification sheet you looked at. All 760 Panthers came with the ACS Expansion Flow exhaust system. Because of the massive size of the engine there was no room for conventional mufflers. The 760 engines were not fast unless a lot of modification was done on the engine. Most Panthers (stock) would run about 55-60 mph on a good day. This machine was restored and raffled off by the ASBA Snowmobile Club in March, 2012. The $5122 raised from the raffle was donated to the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum Building Fund! Jon Selvig, winner of this sled, asked if he could put it on display at the Museum! Thank you to everyone involved

1970 Arctic Cat Speed Run 1970 Arctic Cat Speed Run
Arctic Cat built a machine with twin 634 Hirth motors meant to set the speed record. Unfortunately, every time they tested it, the track sprockets would fly off, so they dismantled it. This machine was built as a clone of that machine by Rod Jackel from Medford, WI.

1970 Hellstar Tiger, Go Kat 1970 Hellstar Tiger, Go Kat
The Hellstar snowmobile was manufactured in Wahoo, Nebraska by the Hellstar Corporation for the model years, 1969 through 1972. The Hellstar machines were promoted as “the first truly 4 seasons family sportsmobile” since they could be purchased with an optional front wheel kit. This snowmobile has a Chrysler, 220cc engine. They also featured coil spring ski mounts (with a 5 year warranty), and a shock-eze handlebar assembly. Elvis Presley owned a Hellstar, Jetstar, and used it to ride around his estate at Graceland. The first commercially sold Hellstar was delivered to the Farm Bureau Service in Lansing, MI on Aug. 11, 1969. Owner: Marilyn Vallier

1970 Porsche Ski-Bob 1970 Porsche Ski-Bob
This small and collapsible ski-bob, basically a bike for the ski slopes, was built through collaboration by the Arova Company and Porsche design. It was built with a front & back shock system. The body is made from moulded poly-foam. It’s also able to break apart, with the ski components storing nicely inside of the hollow fiberglass body. Assembly time is about 1 minute. Oddly enough, the 212 was originally made to carry 2 riders. It comes with a pair of skis for the driver to attach to his boots. This machine was found at a flea market in Alpena, MI.

1970 Ski Lark 1970 Ski Lark
The Larkin Aircraft Company of Freedom, CA produced the Ski Lark from 1970 through 1975. This mini sled weighed 106# and used a 4hp Tecumseh engine. Larkin also manufactured an even smaller sled, the Wee Lark.

1970 Snowbug    Luvbug 1970 Snowbug Luvbug
The Snowbug brand snowmobiles were built by Noront Steel Company in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. The Luvbug model featured electric start, lights, a 22hp Sachs 2 cycle engine, forward and reverse transmission, and seats 2 side-by-side. Only 50 units of the aluminum chassis side-by-side model were built.

1970 Wee Lark 1970 Wee Lark
The Wee Lark and its big brother, the Ski Lark, were manufactured by the Larkin Aircraft Company in Freedom, California. The Wee Lark was produced between 1970 and 1972 using a Clinton 92cc 3hp engine. Later the rights to the Wee Lark were sold to ZurowSki Enterprises of Watsonville, CA and were manufactured for a short period of time using a larger 5hp Tecumseh 133cc motor. The Wee Lark was advertised to be the smallest of all the mini sleds at 82# and was capable of a top speed of 12 mph.

1970 Wildcat 1970 Wildcat

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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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