Sunday, 25 June 2017

The Inaugural Eastern Snowmobile Racing Hall of Fame

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           By "Midge" Rosebrook                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The first induction ceremony of the Eastern Snowmobile Racing Hall of Fame enjoyed a picture perfect day at Crane's Snowmobile Museum in Lancaster, N.H. on Saturday May 20th. About 50 were in attendance to witness this historic event. An event that for some of our first generation of snowmobile racers sadly, came a few years too late. First Inductees are: Bob Clark, Bruce Dunham, Bob Martin and Conrad Rollins.

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See the entire coverage of this event in the September 2017 issue of the Vintage Snowmobile Magazine!


New SHOF Display Building

For additional information contact:

SHOF & Museum (715) 542-4463

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Final Fundraising Push For New Snowmobile Hall Of Fame Display Building

Groundbreaking Ceremony Planned for Classic Sled Roundup Weekend May 27-28

The vision of a beautiful new building that displays historic snowmobiles and memorabilia is almost ready to happen at the Snowmobile Hall of Fame in St. Germain, Wis. With the Classic Sled Roundup weekend festivities just one week away, the SHOF hopes to bridge the final gap to its building fundraising goal in hopes of hosting a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday, May 27.

“We are so close to our goal of $350,000 that we can taste it,” said Craig Marchbank, SHOF President. “Thanks to so many generous donors, we’re on the cusp of being able to break ground on what will be a magnificent 60 x 100-ft., 2-story building adjacent to our current building.

“With one last push, and a few spare dollars from those who are able, we’ll put shovels in the ground for this important showcase of snowmobile history.”

To get there, the SHOF is asking for your help. A donation to the building fund this week will help ensure that the Hall’s vast collection of snowmobiles, displays, archives and history will be seen in its entirety, free of charge to snowmobile fans who come to see many of the most historic machines from the past five-plus decades.

The 14th Annual Classic Sled Roundup May 27-28, 2017, includes vintage snowmobile displays and premier swap meet in a fun, festive atmosphere in the St. Germain Town Park.

Donations can be made quickly and easily at the SHOF website Building plans can be seen there as well.

“Give what you can this week,” Marchbank encouraged. “If our goal is recognized, then we will host a ground breaking ceremony at 3:00pm on Saturday at the Hall and ask everyone to join us for what will be a historic event.”

About the Snowmobile Hall of Fame

"Dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich and exciting history of snowmobiling at both the recreational and competitive levels through the operation of a museum, hall of fame and library for the sport. Annual inductions honor the men and women that have played significant roles at the racing venues, design and manufacturing arenas, local clubs, state associations and national organizations."

Vintage Hod-Rod Builders


                             By Olav Aaen For Vintage Snowmobile Magazine February 2017

Call it Hot-Rod Vintage or maybe Resto-Mods to borrow a term that is now popular among car builders. The vintage scene is teeming with activity right now, and it has a lot of long time snowmobilers enthusiastic about the sport again: These builders may have been young racers in the 70’s and 80’sand want to go back and have some fun building the ultimate lightweight lake racer or hot cross country vintage sled. Usually the vintage movement has been divided into racers and restorers, but this third group is creating a lot of new excitement, not just among older enthusiast but also younger sledders that want to ride in the winter but may not have the funds for a new sled. Fortunately, there are now lots of older sleds available for very low prices, and parts are plenty and cheap at the larger swap meets if you search around a little. Popular sleds for modification are mid to late 70’s from the Sno- Pro era , and mid 80’s to mid 90’s “Classic “ IFS style muscle sleds with larger liquid cooled engines. We have seen this develop here at the shop, because the builders often need custom fitted pipes for their new hybrid project. Mixing old and new is not uncommon, like some Yamaha SRX owners do. One customer put a 1999 700 SRX Triple engine in a 1980 SRX chassis while another went a little more subtle with a larger VMAX 600 engine in his 1978 SRX sled. This guy also has seven 1977-78 Yamaha 440 Exciters on his farm, all for use by his kids and their friends. They all have a single performance pipe, after he tried one and liked the extra power and weight saving. John Deere builders have a large following in Iowa and across the grain belt, as a lot of farmers received free sleds with their purchase of tractors or combines. The Deere’s were built strong and quite a lot survived with low mileage and are prime candidates for engine updates. Some like to install Polaris Indy 500 Twins and many updated to newer Kawasaki LTD and Interceptor engines. Polaris and Cat fans are plenty in Minnesota and this weekend at the Waconia 2017 Show they were well represented. We ran into Tommy Zeller, who did a lot of speed run competitions and set many speed records as part of Marlyn Englers Team. Zeller loves his older Polaris sleds but with newer engines and suspensions under older body work. He presently trail rides three of his creations he told us enthusiastically. One of his trail sleds is a 79’ TXL, but with a 500 Indy Twin engine with a single performance pipe and a longer suspension with a 121 inch track. Another TXL with the 500 Twin engine uses a PSI pipe with an original 136 inch suspension extended to have a 151 inch track, with the obvious extension mod to the tunnel. They both have 76 free air hoods, with the free air scoop closed using an aluminum shield, copying the look of the early factory X-country sleds. His hot lake racer is an 80 Centurion but with a Polaris 650 “Red Head” triple tuned with engine mods and triple pipes under a 1977 modified hood. We also ran into John Zeimetz at the race track in Waconia. He had just delivered several project builds to customers and was looking for new candidates to build. He told us that the new trend was towards larger liquid cooled engines for power and reliability, but often installed in earlier and lighter performance sleds. He just finished up a Rupp Magnum with an Arctic 800 ZR twin. We built some custom twin pipes for this customer who according to John spent most of the Eagle River Vintage Weekend on the local St Germaine lakes drag racing and handily beating new and larger turbo equipped sleds. Another builder into this new trend is Bill “Elvis” Stull. Bill is not only into racing his Kohler powered Rupp vintage sleds in the World Series Championship, but his body shop does a lot of chassis mods and he has a line of Rupp hoods and pans available. There are always several projects going at his shop and we get many of them at our shop for custom fitting pipes. The latest example is a Rupp Magnum with a triple 800 Hirth engine installed which required some different routing of the pipes. Since this chassis did not have a secondary shaft, but the older “inboard” clutch with a left side chain case, the wide motor ended up very close to the pan on the right hand side. This meant we could only route one pipe to the right while the other two went to the left around the clutch. It still came out looking kind of racy and trick. With the larger motor in the light chassis this is definitely a Vintage Hot Rod.

Someone recently asked if we ever hot-rodded a Mercury. You won’t see many of those even though the light chassis would be ideal, because they are very sought after vintage race sleds. Most of them are still to be found on the race tracks winning vintage championships. Quite a few older racers came by the Vintage Snowmobiler booth at Waconia, often in company with a young grandson. They were still enthusiastic about the sport and busy building sleds with their sons and grandchildren.” I never get tired of working on projects”, one builder told me. “It was so exciting in the 70’s when we raced and now I still have new ideas for projects I do with my grandson”, he said. I guess once you are caught in this exciting hobby it is still an amazing playground for new and exciting projects and creations!


22nd Great Southern Grass drag Nationals

  The Byron Snow Bears held their 22nd Annual Great Southern Grass Drag Nationals, Swap Meet & Vintage Sled Show Saturday Sept.24th 2016 at their Douglas location that is 5 miles NW of Rochester, MN. For those of you that have been at Douglas in the past 21 years are familiar with their 1 day Sunday event.  You may think that an advertised Saturday event was a mistake... but it was true, The Snow Bears listened to their racers concern about racing Saturday vs. Sunday, it came down to the racers getting a chance to relaxing after the day of racing vs. getting done at the track then rushing home so they can make it to work on Monday morning, with that said the event will be on Saturdays from this date forward.

  Two days before the event we received enough rain to put the race track and swap area under water then with Cloudy sky's with mid 60's temps for the next couple of days the Snow Bears event relied on Mother Nature's wind & field tile to dry up the event area. 

Friday some local collectors started dropping off their trailers along with Kent Rundquist on his Minneapolis Moline tractor with 2 trailer loads of sleds, Kent has been bringing his OMC's by tractor for 15 years.  New for the show this year was a Rat Class & the "King of the Rats" Brian "Rampage" Montgomery from Las Vegas showed up with a 1928/1970 Ford- Johnson Super Rat that was a true RatSled. Also, new for 2016 was a Metal Flake class that was won by Tom Steven from Northwood, IA. with his 71 Super Stinger. Carson Hienecke of Rome,Wi. brought home 2 - 1st place plaques for his 1965 Arctic Cat 140D & his 1970 Rupp Magnum while Tom & Ronda Wentworth took home 2 plaques back to Kensett,Ia., a 1st place with their 1973 Brut " Make a Wish " sled along with a 2nd place in the Metal Flake Class. The Vintage Show was lucky enough to get a visit from a couple of Minnesota Viking Cheerleaders who showed up for a picture shoot with Tom & Ronda's Viking Vigilante, knowing Tom that meant more to him than any trophy. 3 Lake City, Mn's. vintage sled head's took home 8 trophy plaque's led by Dan Diggins who brought 7 sleds this year & took home 5 Trophy Plaque's, while Brandon Herzig brought home 2 Plaque's & Samantha Henning topped off the run taking 1 Plaque back to Lake City. Brandon's 71 Polaris TX has the best snowmobile accessory...a rear mounted cooler filled with Schmidt Beer scenic cans. Maurice & Renae Behling from Menomonie,Wi. were first time show participants and took home 2 plaques home including a 1st place in the Custom/Clone Class with their 73 Polaris 340 Offset. Other 1st place winner were Chuck Vancanneyt from Zumbrota,Mn. with his 67 Yukon King, Chuck's Yukon King was awarded Best of Show at one of our earliest shows. Kevin Mehus made the drive from Winona,Mn and brought home a 1st Place Plaque for his Original 71 Viking Vigilante & Brian Bronner from Owatonna,Mn.won his class with his restored 76 Polaris TX. Mark Kickoff from Brooten,Mn. won his class with his 75 Scorpion Super Stinger and James Krubsack a first time participant from Prescott,Wi.brought his 77 Arctic Cat Z to the show & brought home the plaque with his 76 AC Sno Pro. James was kind enough to let my 3 years old grandson sit on his Z for a picture shoot, Lucas looks like a natural. Chad Meyer was happy he made the drive up from Dorchester,Ia., he went home with a 1st place plaque and Best of Show with his 73 Polaris Starfire.   Locals that took awards were Mitch Miller from Mantorville, Mn., Mitch took home 2 Plaque's for his Alsport in the Twin Track Class and Custom/Clone Class & another Mantorville native Gary Bromley won the Presidents Choice Award with his Scorpion Bullwhip while Gaylen Figy from Douglas won the Classic Class with his 92 Yamaha Vmax 4. I'd like to thank my crew for another job done well...Thank You to my loving wife Jolene for her help with registration and my son Tom Anderson Jr, with Gary Bromley and Dylan Sinnwell for their muscle and ability to sep-up and rope off the show.

The move to Saturday wasn't the only big news for the Douglas event, our Race Promoter Perry Schluter from the NSRA retired from running races and the Snow Bears were lucky enough to have Tony Kruger and his crew from the PSDR take over the grass drags. Another change will be the introduction to vintage racing, Tony and crew have run numerous races in the past on ice and this will be his first shot on grass. Now here's a note about the event from Mr.Kruger  " I would like to thank the Byron Snow Bears for all their hard work in getting this event pulled off this year. With Mother Nature dumping a bunch of rain on this site 48 hours before it was scheduled, it went very well. I also would like to thank Wade Schroeder, the race director from the Snow Bears. A great guy to work with, and took care of anything we needed. They even had to tow a few trucks and trailers out Sunday morning as another small shower came through and made it just muddy enough that trucks couldn't get out. A big thanks to the racers that came to the first PSDR event. I had a great time talking with many of you Friday night and Saturday. There were some nice payout received by many racers. Turner Childs had a fantastic day on his 81 E'ltigre 500 sled. He took home over $650.00 in winnings. It just so happened to be the very same sled his Dad built originally over 30 years ago. They were lucky enough to come across it while looking for a vintage sled to build for this grass season. The Rochester paper had a nice article printed in the News Paper about their story. I remember racing against that sled many years ago. Guess that makes me kind of old LOL. Another big shout out to our crew, Charlie & Bree Root, Mark Gruis, Steve Boyer, Wendy Kruger, Larry Spindler, Chad McCosky, Arica Gehloff, Sarah Kruger, Adam, & Chris Hanson. 

Hope to see you all on the ice this winter! "

  For those of you wonder what it takes to run an event like this the Snow Bears Club and members from other local clubs filling in 170 jobs & shifts. The Snow Bears would like to thank the students from Byron High School for a great job with the parking and we would like to thtank the Stewartville Snowdrifters for the awesome job they do with trash pick-up. Other Clubs that helped were the Faribo Sno-Go Club, bassoon-Mantorville Snowdrifers & the Zumbrota Covered Bridge Riders. 

Tom Anderson with contributions from Tony Kruger and Larry Shepherd

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