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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Michigan One-Time Registration Status Michigan One-Time Registration Status
On June 29, 2010, a large contingent of interested antique and vintage snowmobilers attended the Michigan House of Representatives Tourism, Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resources Committee meeting on House Bill No. 6261. In attendance were snowmobile representatives from all areas of the state as well as interested out of state parties. Registration Update: SIGNED BY GOV GRANHOLM 12-22-10 Michigan historic sled registration - OK so we can take a breath now that the Gov has signed the HB6261 into law. It has also been formally recorded with the Secretary of State too. There are now several other steps in the process to getting the first sticker onto a Historic sled. I will try to summarize the what's and how's as it's been explained to me by MSA Executive Director Bill Manson; 1. Since we have a new Secretary of State- Ruth Johnson- who will take office after Jan 1, 2011, the process will be very fluid until somebase line info is established. Mainly- will she keep the existing upper staff in place or will she bring in all new people. This will have an affect on this process as the 2 persons who are in charge of this section and who may or may not still have a job after Jan 1st. If there are new people in place then there will be some additional time to the process. If the current staff stays then we will move forward with meeting with them on sticker design. 2. The long and short of it is- and why we were being so cautious on what was being written on this thread- is that the outgoing Secretary of State Teri Lynn Land was very much Opposed to this legislation and there were behind the scenes political things being done to prevent this from even making it to a vote. 3. Well thanks to MSA, their lobbyist's, some strong support from many Senators and Representatives, and the impact we all made on the legislature as a whole when we all gathered in Lansing for the House Cmt. hearing- everyone was very well dressed and presented this hobby as a group of family and community minded people from all corners of the State (and other States too) - It is because of this we were able to get the Bill passed by both the House and Senate and got the Gov's signature too. We've got HB6261 signed into law- and now have a Michigan Historic Snowmobile Registration- everyone that helped in any way should be very proud- period!!! 4. MSA has already had discussions with the 2 persons from SOS about moving this forward. There will not be any meetings or further action until after the holiday break and until after the new Sec Of State takes office. 5. The current 2 persons from SOS have agreed with MSA that they will meet with our Historic Registration Committee and will work with us on specific sticker design/size/color/security etc. 6. SOS staff did advise that they will also have to complete the following: *have IT write a new computer program for this process * train all local SOS branches on new law and process * print and distribute Historic Stickers to all local SOS branches * begin selling the Michigan Historic Snowmobile Registration sticker/decal As you can see there are still many hurdles and things that need to be accomplished before we see one of these on a sled. So as anxious as we all are- and trust us "we do understand that feeling"- please be patient. We have come a very long way in a very short time in the world of politics and legislative process, and we are realistically way ahead of the game. Thanks to all for their help in this process- we will keep everyone posted! Merry Christmas to all. Doug -On behalf of the Michigan Historic Snowmobile Committee; MSA- President Jim Dickie, MSA Exc Dir Bill Manson, Roger Jordan, John McGuirk, Bernie Reid and Doug Lubahn
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Model T Conversion by the Snowmobile Co. Inc Model T Conversion by the Snowmobile Co. Inc
Until the 1930’s, the snow on rural roads was packed, rather than plowed, to facilitate travel by horse-drawn sleigh. In 1917, Virgil White, a Ford dealer in Ossipee, NH, received a patent for an attachment to convert a Model T into a “Snowmobile”. Sold exclusively through Ford dealers beginning in 1922, the $395 kit included skis to replace the front wheels, a heavy-duty rear axle and rear-mounted tracks. Able to travel over 2 ½ feet of unbroken snow at 18 mph, the “Ford on snowshoes” became indispensable for speedy winter travel by doctors, mail carriers, fire departments, power companies and others.

Polar Manufacturing Company-Birth of the Cat Polar Manufacturing Company-Birth of the Cat
In a converted warehouse in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, Edgar Hetteen opened the doors to Polar Manufacturing Company on January 2, 1961. The venture was funded by local businessmen. Electric steam cleaners and the Bug-O-Vac were the first products manufactured while snowmobile prototypes were being developed. A production model was completed by December, 1961 and ads appeared for the new Polar 500, an all purpose, all season, all terrain vehicle.
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Racing Roots   by Steve Pierce Racing Roots by Steve Pierce
Snowmobile racing has always been the heartbeat of the sport. “The first race was held the day the second one was built” is a familiar axiom. When and where the first race took place will remain a question for the ages. Perhaps a more fitting query is what constitutes a snowmobile. No doubt, there were many impromptu contests between motorized contraptions long before Virgil White applied the patented “snowmobile” name to his Ford Model T conversion in 1923. You can bet rural mail carriers utilizing these vehicles were charging down the street side-by-side and hard into the corners enroute to making their deliveries. One early documented race was near Three Lakes, Wisconsin, in 1926 between two converted Fords. Emmitt Tucker won a race between three auger-powered snow vehicles in the high Sierras of California around 1930. The race was captured on a promo film as Tucker tested ideas for what would eventually become the Sno Cat. The Trappers Festival at The Pas, Manitoba, was site for racing in the late 1950’s.
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Rebuilding of Arctic Cat - 1982 Rebuilding of Arctic Cat - 1982

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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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