The snowmobile has come a long way since it's inception in the 1920's. Until the 50's they were more of a novelty item, with relatively few owners. As more companies began production, and more people gained access, snowmobiles were developed in new ways all the time. They went from a convenient winter vehicle to a full blown sport machine.
As sleds have become more advanced and streamlined, and more manufacturers and models have been developed, a considerable “leftover” pile has been created. Just like with automobiles, some are gladly forgotten by most people, while others have become coveted and sought after.
There are now a variety of dedicated events for vintage sleds, not to mention a booming industry built around collecting and restoring these relics of winters past. People from every region are getting more involved with these older machines, fixing, restoring, and just even just locating these treasures hold great rewards for the enthusiast.
Perhaps the most obvious part of this is vintage racing. There are many races around the nation that are dedicated to vintage sleds. They have various classes for different sled eras and styles. Some encourage customization and some require original parts.
There are other events as well, such as Live on Skis. This is a yearly gathering of vintage sled enthusiasts in Minnesota. It's designed as an “anti-event” event. Anyone is welcome to go up and just hang out, ride the trails, and share their love of vintage sleds with others with the same passion.
There are contests for the best vintage find of the year. Others compete for the best restoration. Some are looking for unique modifications. However you look at it though, people who love snowmobiles have a great opportunity to be involved in the fun with vintage snowmobiles.
If you decide to get involved, be prepared to do some searching and some work. One of the best parts of vintage sledding is finding the old sled of your dreams and putting your heart into restoring it. Getting the old beauty running again for the first time is almost as exciting as winning a race with it.
You may not be able to find all the original parts, so recreating them may be necessary. Custom snowmobile shocks can be made to the exact specifications of the original, for example. With a little searching though, you may just get lucky and find salvageable parts or someone selling an old stockpile. Join a community of other vintage sled lovers and you've got yourself ready for years of fun.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 3:02:15 PM America/Denver
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