Over the last few years racing vintage snowmobiles has grown into a major sporting event on the
What started with 3 or 4 older ex sno-pro racers (and their ego clashes), is history.
Born from the utterance of thinly veiled threats of dominance within the geriatric group, the event has
grown by leaps.
“Ya know, I still have an old Sno-Jet.”
Not able to leave it at that, his buddy responded,
“Yea, and I still have a Cat that will blow your socks off.”
And away it went.
None of us had the physical stamina, and the $20,000, it would take to field one of our old sno-pro sleds.
But we all have the memories of the race, the thrills, the satisfaction and the
camaraderie of the old days. (I’m stuck somewhere in the early 70’s.)
Mere interest wasn’t all that was required however.
What to race?
What to race and still survive to function as grandpa!
“Singles.“ someone suggested. “Old ones, as old as say... 1973, that should put everyone on
“Besides”, another dinosaur added optimistically, “How fast do they go anyway?”, convinced that
70 kph still represented safe.
Because it all started out as a race, and because we all believe that a sled should be modified
just short of a failure to start, some unusual rules spewed forth:
1) Yes you can port or cut or plane or do whatever you want.
2) The points stay in.
3) The muffler is stock.
4) The race is 100 miles long.
5) There are also 2 classes, HR or HD, depending on OEM carbs.
Eventually we added a few more rules for safety and to put a lid on the expenditures.
Still, realistically, a good sled costs about $2000.00 - $3000.00 to roll up race ready and competitive.
A $50.00 entry fee and a 100% payback policy keeps everyone interested.
The first race had five entries, paid $125.00 to win, $75.00 for 2nd and $50.00 for third.
That was five years ago!
Now it’s not uncommon to see up to 50 riders, you can do the math.
So, want to do it around your place? Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Find three other people with
older single sleds that run, designate about a 2 mile course and get at it!
Most racers team up for two drivers and one pit person but some go the distance solo.
Proper perspective is cast when you realize that with one or two gas stops you’re gonna be
out there about 3 hours, plus.
Believe me when I tell you that once you do it, the crowds will grow. It’s contagious.
People will show up with the weirdest sleds you‘ve ever seen, Auto-Ski and Massey abound.
Cats, Skiroules, and Rollo-Flex run strong, and TNT’s are always a good bet.
They still exist in numbers, especially if you listen close to the crowds on race day.
“I’ve got one of those.”, is probably the most common phrase you’ll hear.
So follow up, fix it up, and fire up a racer that will truly be close to your heart and the
hearts of all the old sled heads around. It’s pure fun, (and you’ll get to use all
your old racing tricks again).
Written by Gord Healy,
Check out more of Gords great submissions here.