The Trophy Plug

Submitted by Eric Rylander
Have you ever had one of those days when ‘ol reliable just won’t start? Well, I did.And to confuse matters more, all the ingredients were there. Good compression. A seemingly bright spark. Fuel. But pull that starter cord and it would give a weak pop or two, and on some pulls of the rope a big ‘ol snort and a back spin of the clutch as if to say HAHA!
Disgusted and needing to rest my sore rope yankin’ arm, I did what any sensible person would. I went in the house and mixed a tall, strong drink! While slowly contemplating why I even mess with this old stuff I wandered in to the den. Among the couple vintage helmets and my Schmidt Scenic beer can collection on the shelves was a trophy.

A trophy earned as more of a joke a couple seasons ago, proclaiming me the winner of Last Place in “Rat Rod DeLuxe” with one of my lower dollar efforts. And part of that trophy? A purple Beru brand spark plug, secured to said award right next to a well-scored two stroke piston.

Hmmmm, what did I have to lose? I drained my cocktail, set down the glass, got out my ever present Leatherman pocket tool, and freed the damsel of my desires, namely, the spark plug from its mechanics wire bindings.

See, I would have tried another spark plug long earlier, but I didn’t have one! I took this prized plug out to my top secret snowmobile resurrection lab (creaky wood two car garage) and quickly removed its malfunctioning predecessor, screwed in the purple one, and gave but one pull on the starter cord. BUB BUBUBbabababababbaba and I didn’t even have to use the squirt bottle.

Amazing! A couple minor adjustments to the low speed needle and the idle speed screw on the HR Tillotson carburettor, and she sat there, running as smooth as a “paint shaker” single can.

If any event organizers are reading this, spare parts incorporated into awards can keep on giving long after the dust has settled on the shelf.

That’s all the wisdom I have for this installment, just remember to keep that track side down, the bogies greased and the wife on your side.

This story was originally published in VINTAGE SNOWMOBILER magazine and is used with the author’s permission.


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Dream Sled Come True

Dream Sled Come True
Written by Dean Bedgar
Snowmobile enthusiasts are a true and often loyal breed, especially when it comes to brands. I was raised on Ski-doo and that is truly where my heart will always be, even though I do own a few Cats. 

My restoration story goes out to the fellow restorers who know exactly what goes into a true restoration. Now, my sled while being restored, may strike a nerve with the purists of the sport. But, the way I look at it, if it makes the sled a piece of art, why not, bring on the powder coat and polish. It started about seven or eight years ago, I was at a summer show in Boonville NY (where I grew up) and needed a correct recoil handle for my 76 Arctic Cat SnoPro clone.

A buddy of mine said “Hey, there is a guy a few trailers down that has a box of handles – can’t miss the trailer it has #31 Margo Racing on the side.” I rushed down, found the trailer and found the handle. I introduced myself and explained what the handle was for. The gentleman smiled and said “My friend, if that is all you need – it is yours.” That was the first time I had met Dick and Ronda Marckel and we have been friends ever since.

The 1978 Ski-doo Blizzard 340SS came to Dick the same year of our first meeting. A friend of mine had given the tunnel/birdcage to Dick to have the shock towers re-installed as this chassis was used for drag racing and had been converted to a rigid suspension. You see, Mr. Marckel has a great ability to reproduce Ski-doo SnoPro Clones for racing as well as correcting bad modifications that people do to the sought after originals. Well, I am sure some of you know how these stories go – the work was done and the bill needed to be paid. My buddy called me up and had admitted he had bitten off more than he could chew – if I paid the bill the chassis was mine.

So, I paid Dick and ended up with the tunnel and birdcage. I spent nearly the next six years searching and acquiring parts. Hood and duct work found up here, clutches and pipes found out there, suspension pieces found down there; you’re getting the picture. Slowly I realizedthe corner of my garage where the tunnel/birdcage was stored, was filling up. I had seen Dick over the following years, either at the National Snowmobile Shows or at the Boonville Races (Adirondack Cup). Which, oh by the way, was won this year by his driver Matt David – congrats to Matt, it has been a long road.

Dick and I had talked, I had told him I had a pile of parts and needed to put the sled together. We knew it would be a challenge but never the less; Dick just smiled and said he could make it happen. The build took place with Dick and Jeff doing all the work and I continued to hunt down parts as needed. I need to thank folks who, while their part may seem small, the success of the project could not have been completed without their help. Lee Frederickson, Ron “Goose” Thompson, Dave Spaulding, Bruce Pudoka, Kurt Krueger and Al Enno to name a few. After many phone calls, text messages and conversations, the day of completion could not come soon enough. I took delivery of the sled on February 5, 2015 – approximately a year and a half from the day I loaded all those parts into his trailer at the National Show in Boonville. My wife and I stood last night in the garage staring at the sled that had come into our possession as just a tunnel and birdcage. The result is stunning and the sled is of the highest quality. I would like to close with saying this, if you go to a snowmobile show; realize these machines from the past are usually a labor of love. Whether it is a sled restored with a spray can of paint or powder coating

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AutoSki SS400

This story was submitted by Gregory Morris.

Here’s a super rare 1975 muscle sled you never see, an AutoSki SS400. I was talking with a friend of mine, Aaron Zeoli of Pennsylvania and he was telling  me about an SS400 that had surfaced in southern Ohio. He was going to pass on buying it and thought I might want it since AutoSkis are one of the main brands I own. After many phone calls to the owner, I finally got him to sell it seperately from the others he had in a package deal.

Luckily the sled was mostly complete, right down to the Kelsey Hayes juice brake. This sled is #7. I already had #6, so to have two of the rarest Auto Ski muscle sleds built back to back is very special. There are difference between the two machines. #6 has the Mach style slide suspension with a cleated track while #7 has the wheeled suspension and all rubber track. The motors are the same specification as the 1974 MERC SnoTwister Kohler RS400 Motor.

One of the sleds will be restored to show, and the other will be a rider. Many thanks go out to Aaron Zeoli for telling me about the sled. This would have never come together without him. Thanks Double AA!

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Happy Holidays

From Bull Sessions member Polcat and all the guys at, We wish you a Peaceful and Snowy Holiday Season. Ride Safe and Treasure the time with family and friends.

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The Andy Englund Story

From Keith Adams and the Boys at OneLungers comes a new episode.

One Lungers: The Andy Englund Story

As some of you are already aware, we started a web series on vintage
sledding last winter and the episodes have been releasing since early
fall. One Lungers actually started as a short documentary about a
vintage snowmobiling club in central Minnesota, Long Lake Vintage
Snowmobile Racing. The people we met at Long Lake encouraged
us to explore the specialty further and we ultimately ended up with
several compelling stories about vintage snowmobiling. Most of
those stories have been released on the series site, and we’ve received excellent feedback from
everyone here at .

The original story that started this voyage, which is really the hallmark of the series, is releasing today. We hope you all find it as compelling as we did. We would like to recognize Andy Englund’s family and friends for opening their lives to us. Without their willingness to tell Andy’s story, One Lungers would have never been born. If you’re in the Minnesota area and have a love for vintage racing, check out their club –

We encourage you to take 10-11 minutes to sit back and enjoy the film. There is a great story about family and some really kick-ass racing sequences. If you’ve missed the other episodes, you can find them at Video Link:

One Lungers: The Andy Englund Story –

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