Vintage Snowmobile Michigan
Michigan Made Snowmobiles /OSVs

Not much is known about the Over Snow Vehicle (OSV) Air-Sled-It.  It started out as a two-seat trainer before it was wrecked in 1930.  Two Michigan residents, John Caldwell and Robert Ellwell of St. Clair, removed the wings and mounted runners below the fuselage. Testing on Lake St. Clair in early 1931 they hit 75 MPH. These are the only known pictures. Can you help with more information?
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Manistique area residents Clay Anderson and his son Melvin built five snowmobiles in the late 1950s and early '60s. First in 1957 after seeing a sled in Popular Science magazine. Of note, Mr. Anderson designed and built the transmission with a High/Low range, reverse, and neutral. The machines were made to haul logs. A 1963 Anderson is displayed at the Top of the Lake Museum in Naubinway.
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Woodland resident O.A. Arnet looked at the early Automotive type sleds and thought they were too complicated. His Automobile Sled greatly simplified drive systems; novel ideas of an efficient brake mechanism where vehicle speed was regulated and the rear runners could be lifted when driving over patches free of snow and ice. Considering he filed for a patent in 1910 is impressive, very impressive.
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Barrel Sled 
Little is known, not even the correct name. Seven were made in Northern Michigan from 1962-1963. Of the two known one is Blue the other White. Powered by a Four-Cycle Wisconsin Engine. Pictures used by permission, thank you to The Winning Edge Magazine and Cliff S. Also, thanks to Cliff S and Steve H for info so far. Can you help with more?
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Big Boss
Big Boss Snowmobiles were made by Aurora Engineering just east of Ovid from 1970-1971.Of note, Fratelli Guidetti Engines from Italy were in the works but, mostly CCW and Sachs engines were used with a couple of Tohatsu motors.  Only one Big Boss racing snowmobile was ever made, it was powered by a 740cc Sachs Twin Free Air engine that raced in Central and Western Upper Peninsula; Northern Wisconsin.  A Big Boss option was an impressive four-wheel kit by Land-Grabber in Window, MN. Interesting to note, the Land-Grabber was the winner, Special Events Award category, at the 1970 Inventor's Congress.  Picture shows a Land-Grabber mounted on a Big Boss. Very few are known to exist.
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In 1914, Michael Buhr and Edward Russell of Hamtramck tested their Motor Sleigh on Sylvan Lake near Pontiac. Powered by a 52hp Pope-Toledo engine coupled to a six-foot diameter propeller they hit 128 mph without wide open throttle. Their goal was 140+ mph and to break all ice speed records on Orchard Lake soon. They were planning on a consumer, slower, version that could be used on thoroughfares and rural areas in Northern Michigan. Sadly, we are still trying to find out what happened and how they did.
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J.S. Chisholm's, from Detroit, idea was a power Motor Sleigh using helically disposed transmission runners where in theory the greatest possible load carrying and propelling efficiency could be obtained. He was right, on ice, light snow conditions, and low-medium hard pack. But, on medium-heavy unpacked snow ground surface pressure was too high and the end result was sinking up to the frame. Also, follow-on safety protection devices added a great deal of weight. Chisholm applied for a patent on May 5, 1916 (US1254749) and was awarded Jan. 22, 1918.
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Drake Invader
Drake Industries in Ferndale during the middle 1970s under a contact with Northway to build race sleds. The first "Invader" was labeled Northway; then Northway ceased operations. The 11-20 Invaders built were strictly for racing using at first Texas Products Single Track Manta chassis with Sachs 340cc and 440cc Free Air engines in '74/'75 and Kohler Liquid Cooled engines in 1976. Of note, Kohler heat exchangers were mounted in the skis. One Invader had IFS and with a 1977 Yamaha SRX engine. Drake Industries had a factory race team with two drivers on the MISA circuit and a couple SnoPro races; a few of Invaders were seen on the Michigan Summer MISA Grass Drag circuit. The factory team at one time or another used the three power plants along with a German Konig 246cc Type FA marine racing engine that created 58 hp at 11,500 PRM using Alcohol/Castor Oil Mix. On the picture don't look too hard at what type carburetors those are, specially built by Konig. Thank you to Shane S for help and photos.
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The Dupras name in the Marquette area is well known, not only because it is a very common name in that part of the UP, but they are hard working and intelligent folks.  Frederick Dupras greatly contributed to this legacy in the early 1900s when he designed and built one of the first human powered snowmobiles. He was granted a patent in 1903. Frederick died too young, but his drive to conquer the snow lived on through his relatives who made the Dupras Snowmobile decades later in the 1950s. 
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Two were thought made in the Marquette area in the 1950. Only one is known to survive in private collection.  From more information on the Dupras' family's efforts to conquer snow travel please see the Durpas bicycle on the Miscellaneous page. 
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Manufactured by the Dwyer Machine Shop in Wolverine only two Dwyer snowmobiles are thought to exist and were built around 1960. One is powered by a Clinton; the other a Kohler (both Four-Stroke engines). The Michigan Conservation Department used a Dwyer up to winter 1963
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Easy Rider
The Easy Rider made in Elk Rapids, Michigan started out as the PasseParTout in Quebec in the early '70s. It was touted as an ATV, but many consider it strictly a snowmobile and the marketing material by the Sales Department targeted it as such. In the late '70s the company was sold to Valquentin and moved to Alberta. After a couple years it was sold to Consolidated International, Inc., Columbus, Ohio, whose subsidiary Twin Bay Industries, Elk Rapids built the PPT under the name Easy Rider Twin Tracked vehicle. They also intended to sell it to the US Army, but production ceased in mid-80s.
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The phrase, "Necessity is the mother of invention." come to mind when thinking about Henry Engelhardt's OSV.  The 1920s family farm was 13 miles from Iron River, Michigan.  Most roads were not plowed and drifts well over 10-feet high in places made getting into town, well almost impossible.  Henry and his son made their first OSV around 1925.  They fashioned the hood and seating to a wooden frame.  Made two long wooden skis; along with hand making the propeller.  Using a motorcycle engine moving the  long wooden skis pushed the vehicle with ease like an Eskimo Kometic in the Arctic.  Over time they built made three Engelhardt models for offer.  Their biggest refinement was using airplane engines for the powerplants like the one in the photo.  We will never know, but one could surmise the crash of 1929 ended the Engelhardt because very few people could afford food let alone a snowmobile.
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Ben Erickson, a Swede, was like many that journeyed from Scandinavia in the late 1800s and early 1900s in search of a better life via the logging boom. The Nordics were a hardy bunch so when arriving in New England/New York or Sydney, Nova Scotia it made sense to recommend them to Michigan and Ontario where jobs were a plenty and they should adapt well to the snow and cold, that they did. However, Lake Effect was new to them--so much snow! 

The Erickson Automotive Sleigh was Ben's idea to make life better in his new country and town of Mapleton. He thought changing wheels or modifying wheels with tracks was a waste of time. His double rim invention instantly change a wheeled vehicle to a snowmobile via pressed friction shoes. He submitted his idea in 1912 and granted a Patent in 1915.
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Erickson & Larson
Axel Erickson and Nicklars Larson of Skanee invented Sled-Runner attachments to convert bicycles into ice or snow cycles. They were awarded a patent in 1904.
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Made in the St. Ignace area. Not much is known about the Everleigh. The engine is most likely a 1914 Thor 50 degree V-Twin because it only has a single speed set-up plate where later Thor V-Twins had a two and three speed transmissions. Of note, the horizontal spark plugs in the heads and across from each other is unique. This one is in a private collection.
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From the Brimley area the Forrest family's Motor Sleigh had three impressive OSV advancements: 1. Replaceable front ski runners. 2. Replaceable rear drive traction teeth (studs). 3. First known swing arm of any powersports vehicle. Of note, the swing arm attached to the rear axle system of the vehicle that was left in place. Eugene Forrest applied for a patent on March 14, 1916 (US1210922) and was awarded Jan. 2, 1918. Bottom Line: The Forrest Motor Sleigh improvements were the earliest form of replaceable traction control devices, over fifty years before snowmobile traction control was made famous by two more Michigan companies: International Engineering and Manufacturing Inc (woody's) and Kalamazoo Engineering. 
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In 1910 W. A. Forsyth and R. J. Burr, of Standish, produced a practical motor sleigh from a 1908 Buick Model 10. 
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Built by Honest John Gendregske of Harrison in 1969.  The Gendregske is powered by a 140hp six-cylinder Corvair engine sitting on a 1969 ski-doo Nordic tunnel with many modifications.  Starting was both electric and hand crank.  It raced on Budd Lake and the Harrison Airport during the 1970s.  There is 8mm film, waiting conversion to digital, of it racing (and winning) against a 800cc ski-doo blizzard on Budd Lake.   
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Sidney Griffin, from Detroit, Motor Sleigh had the runners arranged to stay clean from accumulation of snow in co-action with ice or snow engaging and discharging from the drive wheels. This feature would prevent lateral displacement. Sidney filed for a patent on Feb. 28, 1923 (US1493339) and awarded May 6, 1924.
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Built north of Hillman by the Hubert brothers.  It started out in the late 1950s as a snowmobile with an auger drive out of Hay Bailer.  From there using two drive wheels with double roller chains in-concert  with cleats.  In the early 1960s it was converted into an Ice-Mobile using a wheel/tire with chains.  It is powered by a Mercury Chainsaw engine most likely from a Disston/Mercury Two-Person Chainsaw.   The skis are an early IFS Spring Assist type coupled to chainsaw bars.  It is in a private collection.
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Alfred H. Humphrey of Kalamazoo invented a track conversion platform to allow motorcycles for traveling on snow. He filed for a patent in 1966; awarded in 1968. 
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Ice Auger Machines
When you talk about Michigan Snowmobile or OSV Manufactures/Inventors history in general most people think nothing new has happened in a long time. Well, that's not the case. Ice Auger Machines is a great idea and project in work from an Upper Peninsula native son. Their website has videos and Social Media links at iceaugermachines
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Joseph A. Lacasse's, of Lake Linden, Motor Sleigh basic drive train is similar to the Rastello; however, unique because it took into account the various snow depths over the drive surface--power to the ground was the same even if the snow or ice terrain was uneven. Patent awarded in 1922.
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Latshow, a Paw Paw High School Instructor, made a motorcycle powered sleigh using sharp pronged wheel to transmit power to propel it. He was often seen in the winter of 1916 on Paw Paw streets.  Looking for more information, can you help?

Outboard motors are portable for use on different boats. Why can't there be something like that to power sleds and toboggans Robert A. (Bud) Lawrence of Brimley must of thought. He worked on his idea and in 1947 applied for a Patent that was granted in 1950 for his Lawrence Snow Tractor. I have seen either Lawrence's tractor or something like it years ago in the early 1970s with my father visiting an old Great Lakes Sailing buddy. Maybe by raising awareness in this project someone can find one or more information about it.
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Negaunee resident Frank Lehtonen's Automotive Sled was unique that converting an automobile into a Motor Sleigh only required removing the back tires and bolting on a track/runner assembly. His invention is a early adaptation of the now famous Rubber Track Conversion systems. The track(s) enclosed into a housing with runners minimized skidding and drifting on throttle up. You could leave the front wheels on or quickly switch out to skis. Frank's patent application (US1104682) was filed on Jan. 21, 1913 and approved on July 21, 1914.
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In early 1928 an Ice Boat built by Ben Limvna of Mt. Clemens demonstrated its capabilities on Lake St. Clair with Commander Walter Brennan of nearby Selfridge field in attendance. Equipped with a nine-cylinder engine, this OSV reached speeds just shy of 150 mph. Capable of carrying six persons stopping the streamlined craft was via a cast-iron spiked scab brake.
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Like the Snow-Trac (below) the Lorenzen Ice and Snowsleds were hand built by individuals using blue prints from the Lorenzen Propeller Company Niles, Michigan. Unlike the Snow-Trac, where you had to hunt down parts, you could buy almost everything you needed through Lorenzen much like the Simko Power Sled. Starting out as a Propeller company they learned during the Depression you had to diversifiy to survive. They even sold Motor Scooters. Using a Harley Davidson 45 engine during testing the Lorenzen Penguin model hit 75 mph using ice runners and 45 mph with snow skis.   Not much is known about Lorenzen after World War II, can you help provide more information?
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Manta | Raider | Trail Roamer 
Perhaps the most famous Michigan Made consumer snowmobiles designed and built by Bob Bracy and his team. All were Twin-Trackers. The Raiders of the early to mid-1970s; Mantas in the 1980s; and Trail Roamer in the early 2000s were the most popular.  Thankfully, there is an amazing website dedicated to Bob Bracy's creations.  Please visit twintrackworld for more information.
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Manta Racing  
    Single Track
Leisure Vehicles Inc (LVI) learned great deal about snowmobile racing after the 1972 "bandit" (see Raider Racing section below). The "bandit" was heavy, the nearly formed ARBE Products made it a mission to create lightweight, quality, products. With testing on and off the track in 1973/4 they created the 1975 Manta Single Track (MST) racer mainly to showcase many of their products. Most notable: Lightweight Chassis, Transfer Master Aluminum Slide Rail Assembly, Phase 1, 2, and 3 Cobra Ski Assemblies, Titanium Track Cleats, Hot Tip Studs, Aluminum Fuel Tanks just to name a few. Very few MSTs were built and at this time only two are known to exist. The MST came in at an unheard of 250 lbs net weight; offering either a 340cc or 440cc Sachs RX Free Air engine. 
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    Twin Trac
For detailed information on the Manta Twin Trac, please see this excellent article from Snow Tech Magazine.
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Marr Power Driven Sled was designed by Walter D. Marr of Flint. This OSV (Snow-Plane) vehicle was unique because of hydraulic lifting/lowering of wheels. Not much else is known except for the approved patent in 1943. Of note, the patent shows a sleigh (figure 1) in use with retractable wheels.  One would  think of Mr. Marr's talents were probably directed towards the war (WWII) effort.
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Many know that Massey-Ferguson (MF) snowmobiles were made in Des Moines, Iowa and then by Scorpion (re-branded) in Minnesota. But, most don't know that MF had some big Michigan connections. MF sleds starting in 1969 had everything going for it, rugged well build, a great dealer network via MF farm equipment dealerships, their own clothing line, and a marketing campaign 2nd only to ski-doo. Farmers bought a big percentage of them; however, MF sled sales were soft to the general population. MF's design team was in Detroit and was determined to re-invent its self for the 1973 models. Design team led by Thomas Denny and Jack Rose the new 1973 models MF touted as "... the most improved sled on the trail." And they were right, sales jumped 60 percent. The 1974 MF was basic 1974 re-brand facing other manufactures that focused on the newest biggest market -- the muscle inspired race sleds. Sales tanked and MF contracted out to Scorpion to start building re-branded Scorpions from 1975 to 1977. Also, MF sold re-branded Charlotte based GAP Sno-Cruisers as there own. They were one of the few that actually had GAP Sno-Cruisers in their dealership brochures.
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Montgomery Wards Mini 99 
Made by Yard-Man in Jackson, the Mini 99 is a Sno Cub with a Montgomery Wards scheme.   Here are some pictures showing the Wards Mini 99 on David's Site.
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Floyd A Moffitt in 1906 bought a farm west of Gaylord and found the winters in the heart of the southern peninsula snow belt not only brutal, but hard to get around. After a few years Floyd and his brother, Ross, started working on a better way for winter travel. Both were well versed not only with brains, but with Floyd being a farmer and Ross an expert in home and commercial construction (decades later Ross would be Secretary for the Lansing Building Trades Council) it's no surprise their Automobile-Sleigh Runner brought OSVs out of the dark ages with one of the first modern snowmobile tracks and slide suspensions in the mid-1910s (Patent Application).

Of note, Floyd's farm was only about 10 miles away from Ray Muscott (see below) lived.  I've got to believe it's very plausible Floyd and Ross'; Ray's paths crossed back in the early 1910s. Also, talk about Six Degrees of Separation, the Coal Fired Steam Locomotive with tracks and skis to haul lumber out of the Deward Lumber Tract was 10 miles from all three!  Floyd passed away in 1948 and his grave is a short distance near my parent's graves, when in the area I sometimes stop by and give thanks. 
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It is often disputed who made the first non-human powered snowmobile, earliest reports of one was in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan near the turn of the last century. It was a, Coal Fired, Steam Locomotive fitted with tracks and skis to haul lumber in the Deward Lumber Tract. 

Ray Muscott who lived near Waters at the time was granted one of the first joint snowmobile patents: In Canada (CA165326A, 1915) and in the USA (1188981, 1916). Was Muscott inspired by the locomotive, did he even know about it, located less than seven miles southwest of Waters? We will never know. We do know later models of the Muscott's "Motor Sleigh" was used to modify vehicles like the Ford Model T and others to transport supplies, people, and their belongings cross-country during winter. Of note, in the late 1910s and early 1920s three Motor Sleighs were used to transport Mail in Isabella County. 

Muscott didn't stop with his first invention, he improved it so much in a very short time he applied for another patent (Thread Belt Attachment for Trucks) on September 25, 1918 and on November 15, 1921 it was approved, 1397139. Many snowmobile historians feel Muscott, his family, friends, and workers have never got their credit due that has lead to so much utility and pleasure. His grave is a short distance from where I live. As with Floyd A Moffitt, when I pass by I often visit to give thanks on behalf of Snowmobilers everywhere.  CDN (1915): Claim | Dissertation | Drawings USA (1916):  Patent  | 1921 Patent
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Mystery Sled
Michigan Antique Mystery Snowmobile. Can you help ID or know anything about this sled? Parked next to a Dwyer for comparison at the Rogers City 2019 Event. Was obtained decades ago from Trout Lake (UP) area about 12 miles north of Brevort in Chippewa County. Was Coverland Electric utility services snowmobile. A Snowmobile Registration ID shows make Arctic Cat (but it is not an Arctic Cat). Front and back photos for comparison. Also, look on both sleds: Where the steering spindles go through the front to the skis; the steering boxes; speed control boxes; Front suspension frame mountings; and rear axle sprockets. Yes, back in the day many items built for "the farm" were common across platforms. But, this seems like a lot. Any help on further information would be greatly appreciated. Please contact us or the folks at the Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway if you can help. Thank you. 
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Karl Nilson, a Swedish immigrant that settled in Detroit, was very mechanically minded and fascinated with motor vehicles. With most motor sleighs of the time he though they were very heavy and sometimes rode like a brick that would give a good shake the occupants and cargo. His scaled down version of a motor sleigh used a motorcycle engine, the traction wheels in front of the drive shaft, and shock absorbing means that enable the machine to carry loads of varying weights with the minimum amount of vibration. Also, when finished with his first prototype it was one of the most futuristic motor sleighs of the time. He filed for a patent (US1574924) in 1923 and was approved on March 2, 1926.
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The Pasko Motor Sleigh was designed by John Pasko of Flint in the late 1910s and patent awarded in 1920. To boil it down it's half Sleigh and half (before) Sno-Motors with one screw drive in the rear. Sort of like a Marine Arneson Surface Drive only decades earlier for ice/snow travel.
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Premier RPC 
Premier Recreational Products Corporation of Holly, Michigan was started in the late 2000's out of frustration as the four remaining snowmobile companies had moved away from the family segment and were no longer building a mid-size snowmobile. Seeing the need for a modern mid-size snowmobile for families to ride together out on the trail, the Enforcer 300cc (and later the Enforcer 350cc) 4-stroke EFI models were developed to fill that market void with designs geared towards junior riders and smaller adults in an effort to offer a true trail-worthy, mid-size entry level snowmobile. Unable to acquire the financial backing needed to push the Enforcer into production, the project was abandoned in 2014.
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The Prior Motor Sleigh in a nutshell was to adapt the engine to accept a propeller assembly; hand linkage to a governor that controlled propeller speed. Porter Prior of Ypsilanti applied for a patent in late 1925 (US1697693) that was eventually awarded in early 1929.
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Raider | Roamer
The Raider is perhaps the most famous Michigan Made Snowmobile.  In early 1970, John Drawe designed a snowmobile with the driver seated in a cockpit style layout. It also had double tracks, enclosed body, and rear-engine placement. Mr. Drawe's company, co-partner along with Robert Bracy, was Leisure Vehicles Inc. AKA LVI starting out in Romulus.  The initial year in 1971 two models were offered, the Roamer (8hp, Four-Stroke, Briggs and Stratton); Raider (340cc, Two-Stroke, JLO).  About 100 Raiders and 50 Roamers that model year.  For more information on the Raider and Roamer please visit twintrackworld.

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Raider (Racing)
In 1972, Leisure Vehicles Inc (LVI) tried their hand at racing with the limited build "bandit." About 50 "bandits" were made with mostly Hirth 440 engines, however; a few had 340s and a couple had the 650. At the end of the production a few came with Raider consumer CCWs. The "bandit" offered many safety features (enclosed cockpit; distance between engine and fuel tank were the biggest) over conventional race sleds. In the end the "bandit" was just too heavy to compete. LVI  turned their focus on building a lighter race sled (see Manta Racing)). 
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Charles Rastello of Hancock Self Propelled Sled is one of the most radical OSV designs to come out of Michigan. It might take you a few times to look at the patent (1913) drawings and read the description before you understand it. Just think of a screw drive garage door opener moving legs backwards, lifting them, moving forward, and lowering them to cycle again..
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Made in the Houghton area in 1966. The Rintala is a one off snowmobile with a 1958 Briggs & Stratton coupled to a Salsbury drive system. The track is an old conveyer belt with metal cleats; 1950s Plymouth Belvedere steering wheel. The Rintala is on loan to the Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway.
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Was a true ATV made by the New Frontier Corporation in Grand Rapids from 1964 until 1978.  Most of the production models were made between 1967 to 1971. Was marketed as a Land Mobile. Skis added in the winter. In hard packed snow there was no reason to add the optional cleated track. Owners report the machine is way more nimble than it looks. 
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Not the Scorpion from Minnesota, but from SRP, Inc in Michigan that introduced a new snowmobile with a classic name in the late 1990s. With five models in the works (500cc Sting, 600cc Whip, 700cc TKX, and the 800cc Sidewinder SS) TKX 890 was their flagship with a PSI/Scorpion Millennium 890cc L/C Twin engine with 160hp coupled to a P85 clutch to a Direct Drive system driving the axle from the secondary clutch.   Bottom Line:  No jackshaft and chain case. Here are a couple videos Video 1 | Video 2 of the TKX in action; two-page overview on David's Site (click pictures below for link).

Simko Power Sled 
You could either buy an entire Simko Power Sled or order a kit. There were made in Allen Park and Ecorse by a company started by Jim Simko.  They were a big hit on Lake St. Clair and the Saginaw Bay in the late 1950s to late 1960s. They came in many different models (lengths, number of passengers, and engine size). Also, very popular on the many frozen waterways in Northeastern Michigan. If you look hard enough you can still find them in Yard Sales or a couple times a year on Craigslist.  A racing Simko with a 10hp Briggs and Stratton and a Tillotson Carb with a metal ram tube hit 60 mph in 1965 during the Detroit Power Ice Boat races. Most Simkos were powered by a West Bend Power Bee Go-Kart engine.  The Simko was in the January 1966 issue of Popular Mechanics on pages 130 and 131.  Here is a 1962 Simko video.
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One of the most loved and highly sought after Michigan made snowmobiles.  Based out of Metro Detroit by Sport King in the late 1960s. Also, an optional wheel kit was available. They were manufactured in Rogers City.  Please visit David's Vintage Snowmobile Site for many more Ski-Kat pictures and information.
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Almost all Skiroules were made in Quebec until 1977.  By ways of business dealings and buy outs the last skiroules were made in Michigan.  The first few were a mix of a lot of different year parts and pieces, all NOS.  In 1979 the skiroule Sprint srx-440 was introduced.  About 15 were produced and if you are lucky while attending a Vintage Snowmobile Show you might see one.  Most Michigan skiroules were 1979 models.    In 1981, another Sprint, this time a prototype was made.  This sled in now in Canada.  The last skiroule was made around 1990, the  RTX 447.  Special thanks goes to Doug M and Les H for pictures and info on the Michigan skiroules.  |  Some great pictures and information on the 1979 Sprint srx-440 are on this page on David's Site; more pictures also here on David's Site. Also, if you are on Facebook, this page has a great deal of information and pictures on the Michigan skiroules. 
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Sno Cub 
Made by Yard-Man in Jackson, the Sno Cub is a few of the true mini-sleds.  Made for a few years starting in 1971 they came with the bullet-proof one cylinder JLO 99cc engine.  Accessories, sold separate, Kick Stand, Light Kit (Head/Tail), Saddle Bag, and a "Sno-cover".  Of note, many times the dealer would just install the kick stand out of the crate-- made it easier to move around.
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Snow-Motors Inc 
Perhaps the most unique Michigan Made OSV came into being in the 1920s when a few Motor City automakers joined forces and started Snow-Motors Inc. The product was twin screw-drive system they applied to the Fordson tractor (sometimes called the Fordson Snow Devil) and Chevrolet automobile. The concept was patented in 1923. Orders were taken from Canada, Norway, Sweden, and of course the USA. If you click on the video picture it will take you to a great 10 minute YouTube video.
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The homebuilt Snow-Trac was featured in the November 1963 issue of Popular Science (PS) magazine starting on page 122.  E.F. Lindsey, who wrote many articles for PS and others did a great job as usual covering the Snow-Trac. There are at least four Snow-Tracs in Michigan. All with a little different twist as the builders put their touchs and modifications on their own. Examples: Some had a hand drive engagement and some used a Salsbury 500 drive system; all had fuel tanks in different locations. Plans and PS article as follows:  Page 1 and 2 | Page 3 and 4 | Page 5 and 6 | Page 7  Also, here is a great video of a Snow-Trac in action thanks to Cliff S.  Also, special mention to Steve L of The Winning Edge Magazine for the color photos.  We are working on who and where the Snow-Trac designer is.  Good chance with as many in Michigan it is here; if you know more please let us know.
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Two Stanaback snowmobiles were made in 1967, in Grand Rapids.  The first one used a Villiers engine made in England that had a kick start (Villiers engines were also used in early Sno Bug snowmobiles made in Sudbury, ON).  The second had a Lloyd Engine bought via Trail-King International in Portland, Michigan.  For more information and to see the surviving sled on display please visit the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway.
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Stanaback TAV
Besides the Stanaback snowmobile, Ken P Stanaback designed the Stanaback Trans Axle Vehicle (TAV) platform to use in-concert with a motorcycle. He applied for a patent in 1965; awarded in 1968.   Ken was a talented person, he designed and built a quarter-scale train with a Subaru engine to power the locomotive and six seat passenger car. His track was about 4,000 feet long and had a trestle over a half acre pond.
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It started as a 1923 Chevrolet Touring Car from Surrell Chevrolet in Newberry. In late 1926, Charles Surrell and friends constructed transformed it by making wooden skis for the front and two sets of Chevrolet wheels with tractor belts with hand-made lugs for the rear. The Surrell ski might be the first known use of hand grips at the front of a snowmobile ski. It was made at the Service Station in town, also owned by Surrell family.  It is not know how many total were made. There was a need for such a vehicle in the rugged Upper Peninsula; however, timing might of been an issue. A short time later in 1927 the Stock Market crash spelled the end to many early snow vehicle inventions and creations. 
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Like Penny-farthing? What!  AKA High wheel or High Wheeler bicycle. They were popular in the 1870s/80s. You know somebody from Michigan seen one of those and thought I'm going to make a snowmobile out of this beast!  Well, John D. Thomas and Amos H. Tyler from Petoskey did and received patent for it in 1889 for their Sled-Propeller. With outriggers for stability their Thomas-Tyler OSV must of flew on ice and hard packed snow! Of note, this is the earliest we can find anything related to a snowmobile this far back in Michigan. 1889 is a long time ago! 
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Made for five years in Sault Ste. Marie, MI by Northsport Industries (NI) starting in 1969.  One is on display at the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway. In 1971 NI offered three different models: 395 (JLO single), 400 (JLO Twin), and the 800 (JLO 744 Twin).  NI had plans to build a Racing Timberwolf for the I-500 most likely using the JLO 744, but nothing at this time is known about that effort.  Here's a rare video showing the Timberwolf before the start of the 1971 Soo I-500 race.   For more info and a picture click here
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Trail Roamer 
Made around the turn of the last century, part of Bob Bracy's creations.  Please visit twintrackworld for more information. 
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Kalkaska resident Edward Vipond's Motor Sleigh invention was to propel the vehicle by alternating rear runners (two on each side). In forward motion each runner would: move backward while contacting the surface, lift up, move forward while up, and down to start the process over. Vipond patent application (US1202338) was filed on March 14, 1916 and awarded on Oct. 24, 1916.
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Two Vroman snowmobiles were made in Wolverine in the very early 1960s by two talented brothers who were Tool and Die makers. Their first machine was powered by a 7hp McCulloch Chain Saw Engine. They learned a great deal with this first sled; a major issue was inadequate power. The second Vroman (in a private collection) had many refinements over the first; the Briggs and Stratton Model 23(hp) was a huge improvement. I learned a great deal about the Vroman from Roger J and John M at the 2019 Rogers City Event. The first picture is from the Roger and Karen J's Dwyer display often seen at the shows. The rest from John M.
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Ralph Webber of Trenary made the Waywego in the mid-1960s. There are five left known to exist. The Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway has a beautiful restored Waywego on display; the others are in private collections.
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Bob Wentworth from Metro Detroit, had a rare skill of being an expert in electrical,  fabrication, and mechanical disciplines.  There are and continue to be many well known Michigan snowmobile racing builders who modify, sometimes heavily, sleds to improve them for a specific race or circuit.  But, Mr. Wentworth deserves special mention and identified as an inventor, because like Burt Monroe with his motorcycle, over decades he was always trying to find ways to improve his creation--well into the mid-2010s.  The end result of a Kawasaki Triple 750 motorcycle engine coupled with his electrical spark timing system along with just about everything else he hand made resulted in one of the quickest snowmobiles ever made under 800cc, if not ever.
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The only Westendorf was built in 1936 in Bay City.  More of a power sled than a snowmobile it was used on ice (fishing) and hard-packed snow. Power to the ground was via a small tire with many chains (see picture below).  You can see another picture here and in person at the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway.
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Wheel Tra
Lakeside Machine in Lakeview, Michigan built the Wheel Tra Trail Bikes.  They also built three Wheel Tra snowmobiles. Picture is a left over decal never put on a machine.  Very rare.   Looking for info and more pictures for both the snowmobiles and trail bikes, can you help?
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CB Wing from St. Ignace built his first Aero Sleigh (AKA Snow Plane) in the mid-1910s what would be the first of many. The Wing Aero Sleighs were an excellent form of transportation for a variety of purposes. Production stopped in 1957. The second picture is the same Snow Plane as picture four taken decades later when used for transporting people and goods to/from Mackinaw Island.
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Michigan Branded 
Snowmobiles often thought built in Michigan, but were not. 

    Big Boss
A couple were Northways; rest made in Michigan. 

    Chrysler Sno-Runner
Made in Wisconsin. 

    Lansing (OSV)
Lansing Snow Plane was made in Toronto, Ontario.

    Ski King
Lionel Industries in Quebec for Outer Sports in Lansing.

    Sno King
Lionel Industries in Quebec for King International in Portland.

    Trail King
Lionel Industries in Quebec for Snow King International in Kalamazoo.

Made in Canada for Tour-A-Home in Port Huron.

Dedication and Thank You
Dedicated to those who invented; designed; made; sold; serviced; and owned Snowmobiles, Over Snow Vehicles (OSV), and End Item related OSV products made in Michigan. Thanks to those who helped contribute with special mention US Patent Office, Google Patents, Google Books, Popular Science magazine, The Winning Edge Magazine, Lisa from the Lakeview Area Museum, Oakland County Historical Resources, Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum, Richard L (Editor and Publisher of the Presque Isle County Advance), twintrackworld web site, the late Bud Knapp for inspiration, Chris B of Premier RPC, Bob H, Bob L and Norma in Special Collections at the Alpena County Library, Bob W, Brent C, Charlie and Marilyn V, Cliff S (Mini-Bike OSV Section and Snow-Trac), Doug L, Doug M, E.F. Lindsey, Edward J, Holli T, Jeff H, John Gendregske, Kevin M, Les H, Richard H, Roger and Karen J, Shane S, Steve B, Steve H, Steve and Sherry L, Todd K, and John M for access to his extensive research and photos.