"Where the history of snowmobiling comes to life"
1950's Flexible Flyer

1950's Flexible Flyer

1950's Flexible Flyer: The "Flexible Flyer Airline Cruiser No. 65" sled was made from 1935-1949. It has a 65" length, 16" width, 8" high & weighs 24 pounds. It retailed for $8.95. It was made by the S.L. Allen Co., Inc. in Philadelphia, PA.
The rest of this "Ice Sled" seems to be something concocted probably in the back of a farmers barn with parts that were kicking around. It is made to hold 2 people. The seat reminds me of a boat seat.
It is a 2 cycle engine that is 3-4 hp made by L -M Manufacturing in Coatesville, PA. This company also manufactured chain saws and small tractors. By the looks of the engine, we assume this was built in the late 1950's or early 1960's.
A Desoto steering wheel is attached to the front of the sled which moves the runners and a skate that is added underneath the front. The Fred Flintstone style brakes consist of two bent pry bars that "grab" the ice when the handle is lifted.
The drive mechanism is a belt drive through a centrifugal clutch to a jackshaft and then a chain drive goes to the drive wheel. The drive wheel is mounted on a spring loaded swing arm so it always has down pressure on the ice.

Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum News Release-2023 On September 22, 2023 the Michigan Arts and Culture Council (MACC) in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced it would be generously awarding the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway an $8750 grant for operational support during 2024. MACC uses a peer review process to award grants. More than 700 organizations across the state applied for funding. Each grant application is competitively judged; awardees are chosen to ensure Michigan residents and visitors have access to the most authentic aspects of local arts and culture. Organizations receiving a grant award from MACC/NEA are required to match those funds with other public or private dollars. The Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum receives a great deal of donated monetary support through its memberships and visitors and plans to use these funds to match the MACC grant award. There are 141 active museum members not including lifetime members and more than 7000 visitors just last year.

The museum has plans to bring more local art-related activities to our conference room and develop a program for groups with special needs. This support will go toward the cost of wages and advertising for these activities. On Sept 20, 2019, The Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum was awarded a grant of $12,500 for Operational Support from the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA – ART WORKS). The grant was awarded through the MCACA peer review process and was one of 561 applications to compete for MCACA fiscal year 2019 funding. The grant requires a 1:1 match and helped the museum leverage the $12,500 of support from its annual income and the many donations from supporters. In particular the museum has received grants from the Graymont Community Economic Development Fund and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. It has also received significant donations from the Antique Snowmobile Club of America, The Midwest Vintage Snowmobile Shows, Inc., many snowmobile clubs, several recreational and snowmobile shows, the museum’s internal $1,000.00 Challenge, and many museum members. The grant funds will be applied to museum operating costs. Applicable costs include internal operations, marketing, travel to shows within the State of Michigan and cost of employees. The MCACA peer review process allows for each grant applicant to be competitively considered by a panel of in-state and out-of-state arts and culture professionals. This ensures the taxpayers, who support this project through legislative appropriations, and all other visitors or residents in Michigan will have access to the highest quality arts and cultural experiences. A complete list of grant awards around the state is available by contacting MCACA at (517) 241-4011, or by visiting the MCACA website at
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Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum
P.O. Box 2
W11660 US-2
Naubinway, MI 49762
Hours: 906 477-6298
Appointment: 906 477 6192

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