Top of The Lake Snowmobile Museum Sleds on Display

Top of The Lake Snowmobile Museum Sleds on Display.

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1961 Eskimotor Tee Nee 1961 Eskimotor Tee Nee

1961 Snowbug 1961 Snowbug
The word Snowbug is a generic name for winter insects, native to northern countries, that floated over the snow. In 1957 this machine was invented by Howard Schraeder , Sudbury, Canada, for trappers originally. He made 8 in 1958 and in 1959 they were made by Noront Steel for mass production. In 1960 , this open cockpit cab was designed, with a Villier’s motorcycle motor. It has a kick start mechanism for starting, a foot-operated clutch on the left and gas pedal on the right. The lever is the gear changer. It is difficult to find 2 identical machines. Howard was continually improving his invention. Close to 1000 were produced until 1977.

1962 Bear Cat 1962 Bear Cat
Merit Gear in Antigo, WI, started manufacturing snowmobiles in 1960. Only about 15 were made over five years of production. Merit Gear focused on manufacturing gears, sprockets and spline shafts. The snowmobile project was little more than a fling, which turned out to be a great project. The Bear Cat was intended as a workhorse, with two speeds forward and one reverse, a light switch, ignition switch, shifting handle and a foot operated gas pedal. The gear box was state of the art when considering transmission engineering of this time period. Operation of this machine was much like a small tractor. It has a top speed of 20 mph. The 23 inch track was made from a heavy roller chain and sections of snow fence posts. The post sections were then welded to the drive chain as cleats. In 1965 a company from Chetek purchased the design for building the Bear Cat and it faded away after that. Donated by the Karl Thorsen kids; Dan, Kris, Matt, Mitch & Tim Rhinelander, WI Restoration done by Randy Walters, Twin Lakes, WI

1962 Polar  Model 500 1962 Polar Model 500
Polaris co-founder, Edgar Hetteen, left Polaris in 1960 and opened Polar Manufacturing in January of 1961 in Thief River Falls, MN. He designed and built a portable steam cleaner, the Polar Model 24 and an insect killer, the Bug-O-Vac. These two products allowed him to work on a new snowmobile. The first snowmobile, the Polar 500, was crude and heavy, weighing 590#. By 1962, the company name was changed to Arctic Enterprises, Inc. and the name Arctic Cat was born. This model 500 is serial number 7 and is powered by a 9.5hp Kohler engine. Records for the number that were built vary from as few as 20 to a maximum of 100.

1962 Ski Doo   Model K-62 1962 Ski Doo Model K-62
This particular Ski Doo is a unique model K-62 as the cab design is that of an A-62 model. J-Armand Bombardier was looking for ways to reduce weight and to improve the performance and durability of the new Ski Doo’s. The results of his weight reduction program became available on a 1962 model name the Alpine, which only weighed 250#. These machines were to have a 6hp engine and a new flexible suspension system with additional bogie wheels. The name Alpine was never used on the machine and the new lightweight Ski Doo’s were simply given the model number A-62. The K-62 (Kohler) and J-62 (JLO) were the other models for 1962. A little over 3,500 machines were manufactured for 1962. The A-6 model steel cab pushed in to 24.5” at the top, while the K and J models were straight sided and 27.5” at the top of the cab. This particular sled is unique in that the cab is bodied as the A model but has the K model engine and serial number.

1963 Anderson 1963 Anderson

1963 Arctic Cat    Model 100 1963 Arctic Cat Model 100
The Arctic Cat Model 100 was the first front-engine Arctic Cat and the first “sport model” built by the company. The model 100’s were instrumental in the rapid rate of growth in Arctic Cats in the early 60’s. The initial Eagle River, WI snowmobile derby held on Dollar Lake was created by Sparky Meyer, one of Arctic Cat’s original distributors, and by John Alward, a local Eagle River resort owner. They met while Sparky was selling a load of Model 100’s. Of course, this annual derby went on to become the World Championship Snowmobile Derby, held annually in Eagle River. Roger Skime won the 9 horsepower class on a 9hp Model 100 in the inaugural event. The model line-up for the 62-63 season included two industrial models plus the 100 sport model and the 170 rear-engine sport model. Charlie Vallier

1963 Arctic Cat Model 450 1963 Arctic Cat Model 450
“The Arctic Cat Model 450 was the most versatile machine of its kind. Forest Rangers, Game Wardens, Utility companies or anybody who had a tough job to do could do it better with this model.” This machine has all tubular frame construction, automatic clutch, variable speed drive, reversing transmission and a wheel kit available for year around use. Gordy Breeding owned this machine and donated it and his wool suit to the Museum. It was also featured in the painting done by Steve Witucki, and is available at the Museum.

1963 Bonham 1963 Bonham
The Bonham Corporation of Provo, Utah started manufacturing two wheel Tote Goats and other off-road vehicles in 1958-59. In late 1963, early 1964, they manufactured the Spartan 660 motor propelled toboggan for a short period of time through their Powered Equipment Division before a management change stopped the production of the Spartan. Bonham advertised the Spartan 660 as “the vehicle of a thousand uses”. A wheel kit was available for year round use. A 6hp Tecumseh motor was used in conjunction with a two speed forward, one speed reverse transmission. The Spartan rides on pneumatic tires and drives the 20” track off the back axle. An overhead canopy with side curtains could be ordered as an accessory. The Bonham Company sold out in 1972.

1963 Ski Doo RD 8 1963 Ski Doo RD 8

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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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