View Full Version : Vintage Trivia

05-04-2016, 08:00 PM
A pretty good read for those of us fond of the Old Iron. Some stuff you already knew and some stuff maybe not. I can't verify accuracy so there may be some discrepencies as this was posted on Totally Yamaha. Pour yourself a beverage and set back and enjoy the read.

Name a Pink snowmobile...
1972, Scorpion introduced the Stingerette, a sled marketed towards the female rider. Besides the standard model colors of the day, the color line up for this sled included metallic purple and Pink! Engines were 290cc CCW.

What year did Arctic Cat change to model names instead of numbers?
1962 through 1965 AC had numerical designations, the Panther was introduced in 1966 changing that trend.

Where did Skiroule get its name?
Rejean Houle, working out of his fathers farm equipment business in Wickham Quebec, started production in 1966. The origin of the Skiroule name: SKI Rejean hOULE. Production lasted for 10 years.

What are you supposed to do with used motor oil?
According to the 1972 Motorcycle Repair Manual (Lubrication: 2 stroke & 4 stroke by Pete Estrada - Motorcyclist Magazine) for disposal of old oil: A "sanitary fill" in some dark corner of the yard, or along the side of the house to keep termites away, is the best place for this mess. Wow!

What is the longest snowmobile race in the world?
The Tesoro IronDog race in Alaska is the longest snowmobile race in the world which usually runs about 2000 miles. Very little about this race makes it to the lower 48 which has been run continuously since 1984 (cancelled once) and takes 3 days to run. Teams of 2 riders/sleds make up each entry. A major accomplishment to win, or even finish this one. Do the math on this one, that's over 600 miles a day for two people, for three days straight.

What was the last production free-air sled?
The 1984 John Deere Snowfire was the last sled with a free-air engine. Its cousin, the Sprintfire, featured a liquid cooled 340cc Kawasaki engine. Both were direct drive. These were the last sleds with the Deere nameplate.

Name 4 "firsts" on the 1972 Blizzard...
1. First use of a Rotary Valve induction on a Ski-Doo
2. First front mounted engine on a Ski-Doo
3. First jack shaft mounted driven pulley on a Ski-Doo
4. First use of a hydraulic brake on a Ski-Doo

"We build them tough because we've seen you drive"
An ad from Scorpion in 1980 claimed this. Also in fine print it says "Jumping not recommended" - go figure.

Who is Ralph Plaisted?
The first scientifically verified overland arrival at the North Pole was made by four amateur explorers led by Ralph Plaisted in 1968. Using Ski-Doo Olympique snowmobiles these men became the first to reach the Pole by motorized surface travel. This arrival at the Pole was verified through the use of a U.S. Air Force weather plane which recorded their trip.

Name 3 things the 1970 Polaris TX was notable for.
1. The first twin & triple Fuji engines
2. The introduction of the "as we know it now" Polaris clutch
3. The use of a fiberglass slide rail, aka "Power Slide"

A Sears and Roebuck snowmobile?
You bet. Starting in the mid 60's, Sears sold sleds manufactured by Scorpion, AMF, OMC, & Polaris under their own name. Not to be outdone, JCPenney and Wards also offered sleds. 1972 was the last year sleds were sold by the catalog retailers.

What was the first sled to crack the 100mph barrier?
On March 14, 1968, a specially prepared Trade Winds Cheetah with a 594cc opposed-twin JLO motor recorded 101 mph. The record was set on White Lake near Manawa, Wisconsin. Trade Winds made the Evinrude Bobcat and Johnson Challenger for OMC for the 1969 model year. 1970 was the last year sleds were made by Trade Winds under the Gilson name.

What snowmobile did Elvis Presley own?
A Jetstar (early 70s?) made by Hellstar of Wahoo, Nebraska. The sled featured a primitive IFS system, much like the Yamaha strut system except with an external coil spring. Reportedly on display at Graceland.

How many miles of snowmobile trails in Minnesota?
About 18,000 miles. This is nearly 2/3 around the circumference of the world!

In 1968 Ski-Doo introduced the T'NT series. What does T'NT stand for?
'Track N Trails' The 68 T'NT had a 600cc fan cooled vertical twin with two carbs in a " V" shape. The 600cc engine was the first engine Rotax made specificaly for a Ski-Doo. The 68 T'NT is a very rare sled because Bombardier only produced 125 of these Ski-Doo. Two models were produced for 1969, a 399cc and a 669cc machine. In 1970 the line was expanded to 5 models. Also, an optional slide suspension was offered for an additional $20.00.

Source; TotallyYamaha.com

05-04-2016, 08:14 PM
that's good stuff !!!

05-05-2016, 10:02 AM
Well, for the life of me I can't picture Elvis Presley coming down the trail riding snowmobile. Sounds like one of those dreams you wake from and say, whoa! Anyways, here's a link with lots of info for the Jetstar, rumoured to be the snowmobile choice of "the King".


Eagle River Mike
05-05-2016, 10:05 AM
I read recently that they are going to be making a movie about that first snowmobile trip to the north pole. Its going to star Will Ferrell and its similar in nature to the movie Wild Hogs. Should be a great watch for us snowmobilers.

05-05-2016, 12:42 PM

05-06-2016, 09:18 AM
This is good stuff Gary. I knew a few answers but had no idea on most questions.

For example, I didn't know that the 1984 Snowfire was the last free air sled. This was a cool little sled (direct drive like the Spitfire) and pretty rare, especially the 1982 (175 built) and 1984 (276 built). I saw a pair come up for sale a while back that had a price that wasn't in orbit. Had they been closer to home I might have been tempted.

Here's a photo of the little beauty when they were new.