While Nilsson had seen existing snowmobile designs, he just thought they were too complicated. He agreed to the concept of using a single track for propulsion, a two-stroke motor for power and raised grab bar. Since he already had his own skis, why add them to the powered chassis? By sitting on the powered vehicle, he could lean side to side and direct his concept vehicle with his own foot-mounted skis. Since he would first use a very modestly powered chainsaw motor for his prototype, the idea should work. He simply wanted to travel back into the snowy areas to reach his cottage. His invention exuded simplicity. A single track virtually ran the length of the powered device, creating very good traction and flotation in a vehicle that weighed less than 150 pounds. Of course, once his caterpillar-like device became known and he started to produce the Larven commercially, he needed more power. Eventually he opted for a larger Husqvarna motor. Lenko, a manufacturer of machinery used in forestry, eventually produced the Larven snow machine, with an estimated production of 4,500 units. With its lightweight, easy maneuverability and compact size, the Larven was used by various armed forces. Today, production has ceased but you can still find some parts available. Story by: Jerry Bassett
Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum
P.O. Box 2
Naubinway, MI 49762
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