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 Vintagesleds.com, 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,
www.onelungers.com and we’ve received excellent feedback from
everyone here at vintagesleds.com. .

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 -

http://www.vintagesnowmobileracing.com/

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 http://www.onelungers.com. Video Link:

One Lungers: The Andy Englund Story – https://vimeo.com/112667334

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1959 Autoboggan Resurrection

Bull Sessions member earnhardtnorth aka Ryan Koenig sent us this story months ago and after a bunch of technological bubbling on my part, finally appears for you to view. Huge apologies…..

1959 Autoboggan C-10-E serial# 675

I purchased the sled in Cambridge, Ontario but it came from New Hampshire to Cambridge. I have not been able to trace the history of this particular machine beyond that. After months of research that spanned from Maine, New Hampshire to Iowa to Minnesota to Polaris itself, it was determined that this sled was one of about 8 or 10 that were painted white in Roseau. Upon tear down the original white paint was visible on different parts all over the sled, a piece big enough to copy was found on the front drive sprockets to match the colour. Any metal was repaired to straighten out 54 years of use, a new track was fabricated, the engine was disassembled, blasted and repainted as was the entire sled. New wooden sliders and skis were built, a new frame was constructed for the new canvas cab to keep you warm on a stormy day. A new tag was correctly made using the same acid etching technique as the original and was made in England.

On and off the project lasted for almost two years and was completed in Sept of 2013 in time for the Toronto Snowmobile Show. There it was displayed with a period correct Polaris Freighter Toboggan in tow. The maiden showing was in the Antique and Classic Snowmobile Club of Canada’s display booth.

This project couldn’t have been completed without all the great people I have met thru the vintage sled community, my friends and local businesses, and vintagesleds.com. I want to thank all who helped with bringing this sled back to her original glory. And if you have any info on the history of this sled…I’d love to hear about it!

Thanks, Ryan

**LET IT SNOW**

Among the information that Ryan sent me were these notes:

Hand pinstriped by Rollie Guertin of Guelph Ontario. My good friend Art Seydel from East Grand Forks N.D. helped with the production of the new track among other things. The sled was painted by Paul Willie of Willie’s Custom & Collision in Wingham Ontario. My buddy “Dinky” helped with lots on the sled at every stage. 

The bottom 2 pictures were taken at the 2013 Toronto snowmobile show…the sled’s first showing! It made people stop and have a look and every kid there just had to kneel and pet the pelts! The sled was featured on three live TV shows that were at the show that weekend. And it made the trip there and back without a scratch despite being in a 22’ trailer with the Freighter Toboggan, my 1991.5 RXL, 1964 Comet, and my 1963 K-70-D.

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