Top of The Lake Snowmobile Museum Sleds on Display

Top of The Lake Snowmobile Museum Sleds on Display.

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1969 Mercury 200 Prototype 1969 Mercury 200 Prototype
This is a 1969 Mercury model 200 that was fitted with a 599cc 3-cylinder Mercury engine for racing in the non-production USSA classes. This is a 1 of 1 prototype. This style hood was later used for part of the ’71 model year. At Rhinelander, WI, Gary Gilbertson won the Hodag 50, a 68 mile cross country race in the non-production class on this 200 Mercury. At Kaukauna, WI, Gilbertson competed in the non-production class II and took first place with a speed of 68.8 over the quarter-mile strip. The motor in the machine is one of the three original engines built for racing and product development.

1969 Skee Whee  SW 711 1969 Skee Whee SW 711
The Skee Whee was manufactured in Evanston, IL by F/S Industries. F/S stood for Freedman Seating Company. Literature illustrates that a wheel kit could be used to convert the Skee Whee for summer usage.

1969 Ski Doo "Puffer" 1969 Ski Doo "Puffer"
This Ski Doo, nicknamed the "Puffer" and given the Lucky #13, was the winner of the inaugural Soo I-500 race, held in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. It was a race that should have never been, but it happened on February 8, 1969. Forty seven snowmobiles and several brave drivers made history proving a snowmobile could run 500 miles in one day. The first race took 13 hours and 42 minutes with no gradings or red flags. The average speed was 36 mph. The three drivers of the Puffer were Otis and Leonard Cowles and Dan Planck. The sled owner was Victor Dicks. They donated the sled to the Soo I-500.

1969 Ski Kat 1969 Ski Kat
The Ski Kat was made in Detroit by Sport King, Inc. and was assembled in Rogers City, MI from 1967 – 1969. This 1969 machine has electric start and a single cylinder, 297 JLO motor. They also made some red and white machines. You could purchase a wheel kit to use this machine all year round. This model sold for $895.

1969 Ski-Bee    Scout 185 1969 Ski-Bee Scout 185
Brothers George and Allister Ingham (Ingham Industries) were active for many years in the development of various snow vehicles in Lanigan, Saskatchewan, Canada. In 1965 and 1966 they constructed and tested several new prototypes that were lighter, faster, and easier to turn. By 1967, the new Ski Bees were put into production. They were produced for the 1968 through 1970 model years. There were three basic designs. The “Scout” was a one or two person machine with either a 13 or 18hp engine. The “Stinger” was lighter in weight due to aluminum-alloy construction and offered larger engines and was the high performance model of the line. The “Commander” was longer and wider with a 20 in. track and was intended to be the family type machine. Several hundred were sold through dealers in Saskatchewan and a distributor in Alberta, Canada. Ingham Industries was sold in 1970 and snowmobiles were discontinued.

1969 Sno Ghia 1969 Sno Ghia
The Sno Ghia snowmobile was manufactured from 1967 through 1970 in Turin (Torino), Italy by Iso Rivolta for Ghia Spa, a subsidiary of DeTomaso. The Sno Ghia was touted as the “low-profile” snowmobile offering the advantages of better vision and a low center of gravity for better tracking. They were distributed in the USA by Ghia-US, Oceanport, New Jersey, and in Canada by Moleba Autoneige, Ltd. for the 1969 model year only. They were powered by a 297cc Sachs engine. Note the original Rose colored windshield.

1969 Thunderbolt 1969 Thunderbolt
This is one of two Thunderbolts ever built and the only one currently assembled with a motor and is operable. The second machine is in North Dakota. Henry Leseman of Ada, MN did specialized work for Arctic Cat and made parts for many other snowmobile manufacturers. He was encouraged to build his own snowmobile and he did so using the best features of Arctic Cat and Viking along with some ideas of his own. This was the start of Thor Industries and the Thunderbolt snowmobile. Two prototypes were built and tested in the summer of 1969. One Thunderbolt was sent to an East coast distributor to be shown at a show in Montreal, with the intention of encouraging dealers to sell this machine. At the same time, the company that was committed to the funding backed out since the industry was beginning to struggle. This particular machine was given to the distributor by Henry. Henry Leseman sold his business and began a company in Venezuela in 1972. Henry sold one of the Thunderbolt’s before he left for Venezuela to a man from North Dakota. In 1982, Mr. Ernol (Bud) Knapp of Cedar Springs, MI was doing research on the Thunderbolt and met with Henry, who lives in Arkansas. Bud was later able to purchase this Thunderbolt in Dover, New Hampshire.

1969 Wheel Horse 1969 Wheel Horse
This model has an 18hp Kohler motor and was only made for 2 years. The Wheel Horse Company also made lawn tractors. This machine sat in the rafters of a barn in Rexton, MI for over 20 years. The current owner is: John Ketcher Engadine, MI

1970 Arctic Cat Panther 1970 Arctic Cat Panther
Arctic Enterprises built 1015 Panthers with the 760cc JLO engine option in 1970. The 760 JLO engine was basically two 372cc singles put together on a common crankcase. Horsepower was rated at 45-55 depending on what specification sheet you looked at. All 760 Panthers came with the ACS Expansion Flow exhaust system. Because of the massive size of the engine there was no room for conventional mufflers. The 760 engines were not fast unless a lot of modification was done on the engine. Most Panthers (stock) would run about 55-60 mph on a good day. This machine was restored and raffled off by the ASBA Snowmobile Club in March, 2012. The $5122 raised from the raffle was donated to the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum Building Fund! Jon Selvig, winner of this sled, asked if he could put it on display at the Museum! Thank you to everyone involved

1970 Arctic Cat Speed Run 1970 Arctic Cat Speed Run
Arctic Cat built a machine with twin 634 Hirth motors meant to set the speed record. Unfortunately, every time they tested it, the track sprockets would fly off, so they dismantled it. This machine was built as a clone of that machine by Rod Jackel from Medford, WI.

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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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