Tuesday, 27 January 2015 10:06

So... you got no snow. Well for most of the sledder world, this is true. Guess what, Springstead Wis has a solid 10" base, and the trails are open! I don't know about you, but I'm heading for Springstead Wis, home of Braapfest 2015!


 braapfest 2015 flyer

Here's more details:



New Braapfest swag will be available at the lodge all weekend!!!

For more info on this event, check out the official thread in the forum : Braapfest 2015

The Bud Man
Saturday, 27 December 2014 12:29


In 1983 Paul Groth took a ride to Plymouth MN, where he heard the Arctic Cat Boss Cat II sat in a trailer at the Cat distribution facility. Paul was looking to get the dimensions from the machine to build a drag sled that he would attempt to break the world speed record. While speaking to management he was asked why he just did not buy the Boss Cat II instead of building one? He thought the Boss Cat II would be far too expensive for what he wanted to spend. He was told to make them an offer (remember that Cat was going under at this point). He made an offer, and soon became the new owner of the machine. Paul took the machine back to Frontenac, MN and ran it with a small block Chevy for several years. Paul spent some time contacing many potential sponsors and finally in 1985 he secured the Budweiser sponsor. In 1987 Paul installed a 500c.i. blown Chevy big block, fueled by alcohol and nitrous oxide. The then named Bud-weiser Sno-King claimed the world NSSR world record top speed of 168.093 mph on ice.

boss cat to bud cat custom

At the same time that Paul Groth was busy building the fastest snowmobile on ice, the NSSR ( National Straightline Snowmobile Racing Association) was born. The NSSR was established in 1986 to regulate the technical standards for world record speed runs. Even though the Budweiser Sno-King held 2 NSSR world records, a new drag sled was in the works. By the late 80’s the NSSR limited motor size to 370c.i. and Paul quickly realized that to go fast with a smaller engine, he would have to have a lighter chassis. The Budweiser Sno-King II was purchased as a drag racing chassis. Paul built many of the other parts needed to make it work on the ice. It was shorter and was powered by a 370c.i. short stroke big block Chevy engine. The Sno-King II was ran from 1989- ‘92 and became the 1990 NSSR World Champion. It also held a single speed record of 201.469 mph in 1992. The speed could not be backed up that day due to a broken part on the machine or it would be the world record.

ddery custom

In 1992 NSSR voted to go back to snowmobile power plants, with the rule changes Paul once again was forced to build a new machine. The Sno-King III was built in 1992-93. Paul told me he tried to get Arctic Cat to supply him with the new Thunder Cat engines. He could not get Cat to supply the engines so he secured the Yamaha V-Max engine from Yamaha, who supplied him with 7 engines for the Sno-King III build. The new sled was completely hand made and Paul says it cost him much more than the others combined to build. The Sno-King III ran NSSR from 1993 to 1995. During the 1995 season Budweiser stopped it’s sponsorship and retired the Budweiser Sno-King drag sleds. During the ten year run with Budweiser, Paul Groth won 6 NSSR Unlimited World Records, became the 1990 NSSR World Champion, received the 1993 NSSR Engineering award, and broke the 200 mph mark on ice.

paul2 custom


All Three Sno-King sleds are currently owned by one collector. The original Sno-King has been restored to the Arctic Cat colors as built in 1972. Sno-King II & III are in the Midwest and do come out to shows. I saw Sno-King II run several years ago at the St. Germain, WI show. Paul Groth has remained in the business and has consulted on several projects throughout the years. He is one of the best engineers the racing business has ever seen.

Paul Groth also made many other interesting projects throughout the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s. We know of a speedway sled that had the hood cut and a Ski-Doo powerplant stuffed into it in the early 70’s. That sled is currently owned by a member. In the 80’s Paul fabricated a new machine he dubbed the "Baby Sno-King". The "Baby Bud" sled started life as a go-cart Paul made for his niece & nephew. Several years after it became unused as many toys do, Paul took the wheels off and made it into a mini drag sled. The Baby Sno-King has a Honda powerplant that was donated out of a Honda Big Red wheeler. The single cylinder 200cc motor eqpuiped with electric start and a 3 speed transmission, Polaris juice brake, & what appears to be an early 70’s Ski-Doo jack shaft assembly. Baby Bud is chain drive and sits on a pair of Jr. Brut tracks with Blizzard drivers. It was hauled to many of the Sno-King races and was used as a pit sled to haul the 3 large batteries that started the Sno-King sleds. This winter it is on display at Springstead Lake Lodge (Springstead WI) where it will be seen running and is also the feature sled for Braapfest.

dfjksd custom

What is Braapfest? It's only wildest, best kept secret weekend of the winter, held weekend of Feb. 21st, 2015. For more info check out the officail Braapfest thread in the forum.

Braapfest...See you there!


New Swag
Friday, 15 August 2014 08:13

Just in time for Princeton... Stop by the Vlsedders Booth and score yourself a new shirt, hoodie, or hat.




See you there!!!!

More info in the Vsledders forum


Out Of Season
Friday, 15 August 2014 07:12


Dawn penciled a long, thin strip of orange across the horizon as the line of vehicles inched forward. Sipping coffee, you've been on the road for hours, bloodshot eyes reflecting the headlights of the oncoming traffic. The heavily laden truck and trailer creep forward in a slow parade of anxious participants, all anticipating this big day.

Weeks, even months of preparation are on the line as you hope to hit the jackpot and bring home the big money. At last you reach the gate, pay the fee, and are guided to your spot. Lights shine bright in the motor homes of yesterday's arrivals; the tantalizing aroma of sausage and eggs hitting the skillet wafts through the air.

Hundreds scurry about as the sun, curious of the commotion, peeks cautiously out, then leaps into a clear blue summer sky. A huge, open field erupts into a snowmobile swap meet as dealers, collectors, and bargain hunters hustle down the rows searching for a deal.

Money and merchandise are changing hands long before the general admission gates open. Scavengers hurriedly rummage through boxes of parts being set out, hoping to uncover that coveted item, then move quickly on. Good bargains won't last long.

Complete sleds of varying condition, from old iron dogs to new models, and all years in between are bought, sold, and scrutinized. Honesty not a prerequisite, prospective buyers are assured whatever part being considered will surely fit their particular need, and all used engines run exceptionally well.

Large swaps can cover many acres, and sponsoring club’s providing trailer service to transport sleds and parts. Some allow browsers to use golf carts or ATVs for easy shopping. A family event, parents meander about, pulling wagons full of kids or pushing strollers, many with a snowmobile seat or set of pipes strapped to the back, under the watchful eye of a toddler.

Big swap meets can span a three-day period, attracting buyers and sellers from thousands of miles away. Through the haggling and the dickering, old friendships are renewed and new ones formed.

The swap itself is not always the main attraction. Snowmobile grass drags are usually the basis for the event; some featuring night races under the lights, and many offer vintage classes due to the recent surge in popularity. Antique and vintage shows and displays are highlights. Some have Kitty Kat races on the grass oval, and ATV and dirt bike exhibitions.

A carnival-like atmosphere is present, with all the frills of a State Fair midway. You can enjoy a pork chop on a stick, cheese curds or mini donuts. A quick stop at the beer tent will quench your thirst. Planes circle overhead pulling advertising banners, and air tours by helicopter are available. Freed from the confines of bulky snowsuits, snow bunnies prance in warm weather attire, leaving much less to the imagination.

Snowmobile and after-market parts manufacturers have hospitality tents displaying new sleds and products, showing videos and handing out literature. Publishers give away complimentary magazines and sell subscriptions. Clubs and organizations man booths offering memberships, trail maps, and raffle tickets. Promoters work the crowd distributing flyers for upcoming events.

Of course, there's the satellite experience. This can be somewhat disturbing for youngsters, first-timers, and the squeamish. Best to get your business done early before the long lines form.

When shadows grow long and the sun sinks low, weary swappers will pack it in, assess their gains and losses, and head for home.

Those who choose to stay are treated to a night of racing under the lights, or simply wandering from camp to camp, sharing a beverage and a tale or two. In classic snowmobiler fashion, the revelry and merriment will continue into the wee hours of the morning, much to the dismay of those wishing to get some sleep.

As dawn splashes orange upon the morning sky, the line is forming at the entrance gate. Thousands of enthusiasts again converge on the field to create a city of snowmobilers, each citizen basking in the camaraderie that bonds us all together, regardless of the season.

Reprinted with permission.

The Bellanca Drifter
Sunday, 16 March 2014 10:36

pictures 090


This homebuilt snowmobile was made by Henry Schildt of Alexandria, MN. Henry was the head welder at the Bellanca Aircradt company, also located in Alexandria MN. Henry began the constuction of the sled in 1964 and completed it by the winter of 1965. The machine had it's share of bugs to work out, but by the end of the 1965 season it was a very realiable unit.

Around 1970, the machine was donated to the Rhuestome museum in Alexandria. It remained on display there until the late 1990's . The new museum curator deemed it " not museumworthy" and the machine was then stored behind the musuem until 2003 when a snowmobile collector found it and brought it home. The machine was then stored in an open field awaiting a new lease on life. I purchased the sled in the winter of 2004 and a partial restoration began in the spring of 2005.

The original engine was locked up beyond repair, the track was rotted off, and the seat was missing. After serveral monthes of hard work , and parts hunting , the sled was once again ready for snow or show. The sled was entered into the inaugural homebult class at the Midwest Ride In (Waconia) andit won first place in it's class. This snowmobile is also thought to be the inspriration that the Brut snowmobile engineers modeled the first liquid cooled production sled after.

The hardest part of the restoration was the engine/clutch combination. Rather than driving the machine from the PTO side of the engine, the flywheel was machined into a bevel so it became half of the homemade clutch system. This setup which caused many headaches trying to figure out, propels the sled perfectly.

The sled spent a couple years on display at the Top Of the Lake Museum and and now resides in a private collection near Brainerd MN.

pictures 091
Below is a list of the parts identified in the buliding of this one of a kind machine:

1965 Johnson track ( shortened) 1948 Plymouth bumper (skis) 1955 Johnson 25hp outboard engine. 1950 chevy radiator. 1964 chevy tallight. Homebuilt suspension (resembles Arctic Cat) 1946 Allis Chalmers Temp gauage Seat riser/ Toolbox in an I.H. Pickup boxside. Homebuilt manifold for exhaust/water cooling. Homebuilt Dash/ hood/ bellypan Homebuily primary and secondary clutches. Homebuilt go kart style V-Belt brake system
. motorcycle handlebars. Homebuilt tunnel. Gas tank ? Unknown.

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