1970 Chaparral: Sled was built by Steve DuCheney, Don Brown's nephew and this was written by Steve DuCheney. I Started with a 1970 Chaparral Executive with a 493 Hirth motor that I purchased about 1992. Same year/model sled our family had as kids growing up.
Mice built a nest in cooling shroud causing motor to burn up first couple years of owning. Hung it from the rafters in my barn where the red squirrels made it their residence for about 20 years packing it with walnuts and nesting materials.
Don Brown, 1970 I-500 winner, is my uncle. I was 8 years old when he won that race and it left a lasting impression on me. I still remember to this day the sound of that old triple on the final stretch as they aired it live on the radio that night.
This is a project I had wanted to do for MANY years. After last year's Soo race (2018) I decided with the coming year, being the 50th year anniversary for Don's win, and none of us getting any younger, it was now or never to do this build. I had great reference with the photos that Don had saved, along with much other memorabilia. As Don recalls, there were only two of the Chaparral factory built 1970 race sleds in Michigan. Both being in Traverse City. The sled that Don drove was owned/sponsored by West Bay Distributors, a Chaparral dealer in Traverse City. The other sled was owned by the late Jerry Payne who also owned a Chaparral dealership in Traverse City.
Set a new record leading 186 consecutive laps. Qualifying speed 60.1 mph. Too big for tech shed, had to tech outside. Win from furthest back in starting field. Largest margin of victory, 18.7 laps. Broke previous race time by 2 hours, 11 minutes. Average race speed just under 50 mph. 1 hour, 38 min red flag for track repairs as a sled caught fire on south end.
Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum
P.O. Box 2
Naubinway, MI 49762
Hours: 906 477-6298
Appointment: 906 477 6192
Copyright © 2009 - 2020 Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum. All rights reserved.