In 1959, Canadian inventor Joseph-Armand Bombardier began production of the Ski-Doo, a practical light weight snowmobile designed for 1 or 2 passengers. Throughout the 1960s smaller, lighter and more powerful engines helped fuel a rise in snowmobile manufacturers and by the 1970s more than 100 companies were producing a variety of different snow machines. 1971 was the peak year for snowmobile production with over half a million sold.
The 1972 Ski-Doo TNT Silver Bullet 440 and 1971 Skiboose trailer featured here came to us worn, rusted and torn after years of winter fun. We treated it like a vintage car restoration; the paint and rust was media blasted off the body and under carriage, right down to bare metal. Body panels were straitened, sanded, blocked, primed and painted here in our Rutland, MA shop. The engine and all other mechanical components have been refurbished, making this Skidoo perform like the day it made it’s first tracks.
The history of the snowmobile began at the turn of the 1900s with a variety of ingenious machines designed for transport in northern climates where road travel was impractical in winter. In 1916 the first US patent was issued for a snow machine resembling the modern snowmobile–skis on the front and tracks on the rear. Soon after people began modifying Ford Model Ts with skis and tracks for rural mail delivery and commercial use in the North Country.
The ingenuity of early snow machine builders brought a number of unusual designs into production throughout the US, Canada and Russia. Small vehicles with motorcycle engines for 1 or 2 passengers, large multi-passenger machines with tank like tracks and V-8 engines for transporting groups.
If you would like to find our more about the history of snowmobiles and other snow machines check out the following links: