Hooked bad.

alleyyooper

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Was the first week of March 1971, we had a bunch of snow on the ground. So much my brother and I didn't want to put on our snow shows and go hunt show shoe rabbits. Most likely we were watching a hockey game on the tube Saturday when my hunting partner pulled in pulling a trailer. He comes in and says get dressed and come see what I bought.
Go out and see he has a 1969 Scorpion snow mobile he bought used. We got it unloaded and he took me for a ride, it was a long ride down a couple country gravel (icy) roads to the near by lake. Rode around on the lake a bit then took a snowmobile trail people had made off the lake on a power line. That took us to some state land with groomed snowmobile trails. We rode about 4 hours total by the time we got back home. We ate a lunch then went out and took turns rideing in the hay fields and other fields.



Man I love this, what a way to enjoy a winter day when the snow is neck deep on a very tall giraffe. Sunday was pretty much a repete we rode to the state land and followed trails that were not groomed and came to a deep bowl where snowmobiles were climbing the steeper sides. We watched them for a while then took turns climbing and even a few times rideing double.
After about another 4 hours we headed back to the house so my partner could head home and work Monday.

I worked second shift so didn't have to leave for work till about 3:30PM. Decided I liked snowmobileing so much I am going to go shopping.
For some reason, I don't know why I was not impressed with the Johnson ski horse. I think it is because when I grabed the rear bumper it weighed a ton and several hundred more pounds it seemed. Looked at a Sno Prince and it was sort of nice but Yellow. Even then I was JD yellow shy.
I knew the place where I bought my Mercury boat motors and had them serviced sold snow mobiles. Red Rupp brand. but they were all sold out but had a Mercury Rocket 25HP beautiful Black and sleek looking left. It followed me home and I knew I would not be able to ride it the next week end as it was 67F and snow was melting fast.



I still own this sled today, I also did get to ride it the next week end as we had a mid week snow storm for several weeks after. My buddy came up to go trout fishing at the end of April and we got 8 inchs of snow the night before.


So the Mercury was a OK sled to have fun with but was not very fast it couldn't hardly keep up with Ricks Scorpion and was in the tippy side.
Decided I am going to buy some thing bigger for the 72 sled season. I searched out snowmobilers at work as it was a growing winter sport. Listen to what they were telling me about stable light fast sleds.
My first snowmobileing bad choice was makeing my second ever sled a Artic Cat Puma. There were about 5 dealers with in a 30 mile radis and mistake ! was the dealer I chose to buy from. didn't last 6 months and closed their doors.
I had also heard the cats had cleats growser bars across the belts for traction but also easy to spin them out on hard pack snow and ice. Got to stud them so that doesn't happen.



Out playing in deep fresh powder and it rolled up and dumped me off and all I could see is that spinning studded cleated track coming down on my leg. I was able to lift my foot up to stop it from coming down on my other leg when Rick rode up and shut it off.
Went and bought a pull cord kill switch for it.
I spent all spring once the snow was gone replaceing broken growser bars (cleats) took it to a near by cat shop for a summer tune up and slide replace. When Oct rolled around it was stil in the shop nothing had been done.
I bought the HYfex and took it to work lifted it and replaced them my self.
I rode it the winter of 72 and again in the winter of 73 and knew I needed a new sled as I was tired of replaceing rhe cleats every week at $1.75 each to the tune of about 10 per week.


To be continued.

:D Al
 
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Jazz

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Nice old sleds. I had bought a SBC engine from a guy who restored and collected old sleds. During the '70's there were many brands. One that stuck out had 2 tracks side by side.
 

poncho62

Hangin' with the cool kids
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Around here, Ski-Doos were real popular since it was a Canadian brand. The 3cyl Rupp was the hot ticket though.
I had a 73 340 Yamaha....it was quick and light.
 

alleyyooper

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By thre end of the winter 1973 I had really gotten tired tired of the cleat replacement. I bought a whole new track called a fast track it didn.t have cleats and came in 6 inch long sections with a rod thru the section to make the size you needed. It came standard with carbide studs also for icy and hard packed snow conditions. the draw back was it required a lot more snow to lube the Hyfax or it got hot and slowed you down and I was already the slowest sled in our group.

So I had heard that Mercury was comeing out with a new model sled for the 1973/74 show season. In Sept one of my co workers stoped by and told me he had taken his boat in to get the motor winterized and they had a new Mercury on the floor.
Next day I stop in to look at it, love at first sight. Sales guy says each dealer was going to get two and they were selling their two to racers in the USSA or MISA curcirt.

Saturday rolled around and I headed North to the Mercury dealer where I bought 65 HP boat motor in 1969, my 9.8 Hp in 1972, a 5hp for my dad in spring 1973 and my rocket in 1971.
Owner and sales man says yes they got them in but had not unpacked them yet. I say I want one he says fine. Tells a guy to take the fork lift and bring in ont of thre new sleds.
I an a friend that was outboard repair guy there so we uncrated the sled and installed the skis and adjusted the track. Mixed some fuel (2 stroke) and got it started.
Mercury Snow Twister 400 cc engine for USSA class D raceing, didn't have a class for it in MISA so you had to race 440cc machines if you did sanctioned races.


I started raceing it at grass drags In Birch Run Michigan, had to race in the 440cc class and got second place and learned a couple things. Needed to add a tooth for a better top end, Mercury was great on parts< I call them ask for the Twister group dept, Tell whom ever what part I needed and they put it on the bus for next day delivery. Part was always at cost too.
Next once snow fell I started the cross country races. Most of the cross country races were held on a flagged track between several farmers fields and thru a wood or two. Snow was alway soft fluffy stuff and took arms to handle the sled for 25 to 50 miles (one day event for several classes.) and a 150 miler once and we could do a pit stip and change drivers, My brother was the back up driver.
We also did Ice drag races.

In the Mercury pack.

For 1975 the USSA changed the rules and uped their class to 440CC sleds in stock D class.
Mercury offered those of us who ahd bought the 400 sleds a deal of $200.00 we could buy a 340 or a 440 engine for our sleds.
I just stayed with my 400 for the 1975 season and quit raceing in 1976. Mid winter my engine seized up, Mercury still had the deal on so I changed to a 340 engine and stoped all but a few ice drags and just trail rode.

:D Al
 

alleyyooper

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My first snowmobileing trip to Michigans UP was in 1973. My brother had bought a new Mercury max 72/73 season and I talked him into going in with me and buying our dad a snowmobile a Mercury Huricane with a 644 hirth engine.

Had two sleds on a trailer and put two sleds in my pick up dad took his truck and the camper to stay in. Weather was really warm many trails were closed due to being under water. But we had a good time running ditches and rideing on old logging trails.




Next trip was in March 1977. 27 inches of snow had fell Friday and Saturday morning. Trails were horriable Staturday, didn't go very far and you would be stuck in all that snow. Rob could go the farthest with his Mercury max then Ridge with his 340ccZ Artic cat. But we ran back roads to get to trails that the groomer had made it to.



Sunday turned out real nice and the snow had settled and froze over night.




Winter 77/78 Rob bought a new Polaris TX 340cc. We started making a 8 day vacation every year in March to the UP to ride.

Always took a spare sled Robs Mercury max most times.













To be continued.

:D Al
 

alleyyooper

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In 1979 I bought a new polaris 340 TX like my brothers, They were different but the same under th paint and decals. We had a Friend Paint Robs TX on his and Al's on mine.

I rode it all winter 78/79 and was very happy with it. In the winter of 79/80 Rob and I went to the UP and no one wanted to go when we did so it was just him and I. We had the Holtel nearly to our selves too. We had spent so many years there that when we checked in we were given a room up stairs because a club was there yet. But Sunday when they left all or gear was moved down stairs by the owner and her husband.

Rob and I not having any one else along to worry over covered a lot of miles about 200 a day. Met a LOL:thumbs: retired couple rideing on Skiroules who invited us to there 5 wheel for coffee one afternoon. They were retired from farming had bought the 5 th wheel and he set up the back half as a work shop toy hauler.
We also ran into a group from Canada that were sledding acorss thre UP to meet up with a Brother that Lived in Minnesota and go from there to Wyo. to yellow stone.

One of the guys had a brand new 1980 Polaris Indy TXL. Had a broken spring in the sespention and wanted to take one off one of our sleds. He had about 150 miles to go to get to a dealer to get the part.



Any way I fell in love with it.
When we got home I cleaned my TX up and took it to the dealer sat it on his floor as a used sled on consignment and ordered a 1981 Indy TXL.

Man did that thing ride nice, could ride the ditches faster than I ever could. That winter 80/81 was also the last year we went to the UP sledding together. We were laid off from or Job in August of 81. I went to college for 2 semesters, then started driving a Semi coast to coast draging a reefer box.

My brother took a dead end job despite me telling him it was a dead end. Quickly got married then 4 years down the road when he came home and announced his dead end job was dieing and would be dead in August the marrage ended even quicker.

I go called back to my old company but a new job there in Oct. 1982, I finally found the Right woman and got married Bought her a new snowmobile for a wedding present. It was late getting to the dealer because it fall off thre over loaded poorly tied down truck so they had to get a second one for her.

Not hers but like it


4 more days till our 34th.

Since the snow usually is gone in March south of the Macinaw bridge she was only able to ride it a little in the farms hay fields one week end.
The next summer (86) we would stop to eat some place during our search for a new house. Mine was to small and hers was in a sub I hated.
Any way she would be drinking her coke and start crying and moaning wringing her hands and complaining she hurt.
A doctors visit several times found she had vascular hypothermia. She tried rideing the snowmobile one time that winter and couldn't do it to much pain.
I pulled them in my garage fogged the cylinders, drained the fuel from the tanks then put the covers on them once that was done I put a tarp over them.

Snowmobiles Sat till 1997 like that. Daughter went to college at Michigan tec in Houghton Michigan UP. We were going up there for the ice carnival in 97 for a week. Kare had been doing fine with cross country sking so I suggest we pull our sleds out of storage and take them. Her 12 year old sled had 187 miles on it. but it was oil injected so the fuel lines had rotted off. the fuel lines on my indy were fine because it required a oil mixed fuel and seems the oil preserved them.

Time came to leave for the UP and see th daughter load the sleds on the trailer and get there. We rode about 200 miles together in a week. but put more miles on rideing with the daughter and future son in law.

I decided in 1999 I was tired of mixing fuel for my sled and having to carry oil so when we stoped for fuel I had to pour in oil and pump in the amount of gas to stir it and shake the sled.
Kare agreed we would buy me a new sled a left over 99 model. All we found that I liked was a super sport fan colled 550 cc engine. It had way more suspenton than my 81 indy which I kept.



It was OK but I was used to the heat enchangers of my TXL incy being under the running boards to keep them clear of ice. Then Kare got to saying I was killing her to keep up with me, we were rideing in Minnesota where the daughter had moved to affter college and getting married.
We get home and asked her if she wanted to get a new sled. She said yes we can look for a left over 2000 first.
First dealer we walk into she see's a redish 500 classic electric start (big hit) reverese (big hit) mirrors and best of all 12 inches of suspension.



To be continued.


:D Al
 

alleyyooper

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Winter Febuary 2001Kare and I rented a house thru Viking bay resort Milton Minnesota for a week. Great house and vacation Daughter Husband and baby grandaughter came Friday afternoon, Kare and I got there Friday morning. The house came complete with everything. All we had to do was buy the food to cook, even had a juzi tub up stairs where we had the kids stay and another one down stairs where Kare and I stayed plus we had our own fridge down stairs.

I spent a lot of Friday night snowmobileing with my son in law. Then Saturday when Kare couldn't be pryed from the grand baby the daughter son in law and I snowmobiled all day. Saturday night son in law and I went again. Sunday Morning more of the same Grand ma couldn't be pried from the grand baby. The kids had to leave Sunday late afternoon.

Sunday afternoon Kare and I went for a short ride 125 miles, OK I admit 100 miles were a old rail road bed turned into a snowmobile trail long and pretty straight.
Monday morning we got up and took thr snow mobiles to a little resturant that was across the steeet from the trail. we ended up doing 250 miles that day. That county had over 5000 miles of snowmobile trails, Trail permints then was $11.00 for non residents and in Michigan they were $25.00 for residents. Michigan has no speed limit Minnesota has a 55 MPH speedd limit and they also do soberity checks if you seem to be under the infulance.

We spend Tuesday morning we cleaned the house up real good all thedishes and put them away. We left Milton sadly as we had suck a good time there.
We drove down to near Alexandria Minnesota and found the park and snowmobile lot. Unloaded and rode a bunch of miles and stoped for lunch at a place on a lake then across the lake to another trail that wold get us back to the truck and trailer before dark. This trail had been used a lot over the week end and had not been groomed yet. coming to a corner I saw it was down to dirt but the for ever on corners bank was there. So I ride up on the creast of it doing the balanceing act. Slid off into the deep deep snow in a ditch over my belly button. I just couldn't seem to get out of the ditch so I got kares sled backed up to the lip hooked our emergency tow rope up had kare put pressure on the rope as I gassed my sled as I had her gass hers. It came out finally.

Part of the reason I had slid off was my foot had slipped on the icy running board. I ahd also rode Kare sled when I was rideing with the son in law. T was nice for keeping track of him behind me and of course I liked the mirrors plus the heated running boards. We get back to the truck and load up for the trek home with a stop for a ride around our property in the UP.
I tell Kare I am ready to be come a senior citzen snowmobiler and want a 500 classic like hers.

Next week end we go shopping and found one left over. Couldn't deal with them they wanted $1500 more than we paid for Kares a year before.
Hit another dealer and they had one with a hunderd five miles on it, have been used for a Polaris trail ride promo.
He would sell it to me fo rthe same price we paid for Kares but hers had zero miles on it.
The 2001 also didn't come with a tac, so I asked them to install one and he said he would get me one but I would have to install it my self. I can do that.


I really miss us not getting thr snow like in past years and just can't afford to go stay in expencive motels even for a long week end.
They have not been started in two years.

I recently told a friend I guess it is time to sell them and buy a Argo for this area.



:D Al
 

Toomanytoys84

Aaron
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I have never ridden one. Always wanted to but we dont get enough white stuff to make use of them. I love old motorsports stuff though!

Anyone ever own a Rupp?
 

Cvans

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Al if you would have looked me up a couple of years ago I could have sold you an Argo. Sold one for a friend of mine. Had tracks, Cab, winch and just about anything you could want. Thinking it sold for $8,000. It had low hours and was in nice shape. Probably should have bought it myself but couldn't think of what I would have used it for.
 

alleyyooper

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One of my Uncles owned a Rupp about a 73 model with a 340 engine, also owned a Sno Pony with a 340 engine and the Ski Doo olimpic pictured above when cousin Norm took his spring break with us.

Argos are not cheap I have looked at the prices for new. I can buy a nice used Jeep Wrangler for that kind of money.
I have also heard they are a night mare to maintane. I bet they are if you run them in the mud like the youtube above.
Still if able to use during mud season, snow season and even on the water Divide the price by 3.
Snow mobile sets during no snow times, ATV sets during snow times and the boat sets during ice times.

:D Al
 

TAHOE

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We aren't in an area to support one of those although I have been given 2 old sleds, I just have to pick them up. Really been thinking about doing some type of rear tracked GT.
 

alleyyooper

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Found a few more pictures when Norm went with us. We did spend our first monday night in a bar, OH my head next day.





We made little flat trays that straped to the exhaust pipes that we laid foil wraped hot dogs, or burgers on and laid another flat piece of tin on then tied that on so the stuff cooked as we rode. Got pretty good and knowing when the burgers were done. Hot dogs really only needed warming up. Learned really fast to set the pop in the engine compartment for a bit so it wasn't just slush.




:D Al
 
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