Whetstone Valley Show
Thursday, 31 May 2012 14:26



Here's the official details of the event:

Event Details
Event Date: 2011-06-01
Event Location: Milbank,SD

Event Description
Join us June 1st and 2nd at Lake Farley Park in Milbank, SD for our annual show. We will be judging on Saturday for awards in classes including Antique and Vintage Sleds, Customs, Cutters, Raced Sleds, Mini Bikes Peoples Choice and Longest distance traveled to attend our show. There will be a silent auction Saturday morning with proceeds going towards the show so bring any items you would like to donate. The Swap meet will be going both Friday and Saturday. Camping is available on site Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, the city has added a few full hookup camp sites which will be available. Saturday night we will again be having an awards banquet with a meal. Food Concessions Available Friday and Saturday.



Imagine walking through a park path lined with show sleds and swap items, stopping to chat with old friends and even taking time to make some new ones. This is a family friendly event, so bring the wife, kids and even the dog (on a leash) and you'll be glad you came!


For more information about the event contact:

Derrick Loeschke
Phone: 605-880-3277
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Classic Sled Roundup presented by Arctic Cat
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 18:51

May 27...The first summer show hits the ground running. Time to dust off the sleds, wander through the swap looking for hidden treasures. The Classic Sled roundup is a great spot to meet friends old and new, and a perfect excuse to ignore the yard work for a weekend.

Here's the official flyer:



For more info check out the officail Saint Germain thread


See you there!!

Deal me in.
Written by Steve Pierce   
Monday, 16 April 2012 14:35

While millions of snowmobiles were produced by hundreds of companies in the 1960s and '70s, early manufacturers struggled to peddle their wares.

Regarded as folly, curious stares and ridicule often greeted entrepreneurs as they traveled to promote their merchandise.

Glen Gustzman of Trail-A-Sled headed cross country in the mid-1960s with a Scorpion snowmobile strapped to the back of a Volkswagen Beetle exemplifying the initiative required to create a market where none existed. His efforts secured a contract with mail order giant Sears and Roebuck.

By the end of the 1960s, this emerging winter sport was erupting into a lucrative industry, and bandwagon manufacturers were begging for outlets to market then-products.


A drive down main street in any snowbelt community fast revealed that the variety of businesses selling snowmobiles equaled the diversity of the brands being sold.

Unlike present day convenience stores, gas stations of the era sold service, not groceries. An attendant would pump your fuel, wash your windshield and check your oil. Most employed a full-time mechanic and many had a line of snowmobiles for extra income during winter months.

Sinclair, Skelly, or Standard stations may have a SnoJet, Ski Doo, or Polaris dealership. At Texaco, you could "Trust your car to the man who wears the star" and purchase a Ski Daddler or Sno Prince. Major oil companies pushed their own brand of oil.

The hometown marina selling Johnson, Evinrude, or Mercury outboards also sold their snowmobiles.

The local farm implement dealer had perhaps a John Deere or Massey Ferguson franchise.

Welding, motorcycles and chainsaw shops provided sales and service for Arctic Cat, Suzuki or Homelite.

Hardware stores and Fleet supply centers dealt Bolens or Wheel Horse to complement their established line of power equipment.

With a basic set of tools, individuals could set up shop in the garage and sell sleds right out of their home!

Auto parts stores began to stock common bearings, drive belts and spark plugs.

There were few mega dealerships featuring large showrooms for machines, clothing, and accessories. More likely, the showroom was a warehouse out back, or a row of crated machines along the side of a building.

The sheer number of snowmobiles viewed on a weekend outing was astounding, a cornucopia of different designs and makes.

Brand loyalty was associated with color. Arctic Cat was black. Ski Doo yellow, Moto Ski orange, Rupp red, and Polaris red, white and blue. Color was the only standard on early machines.

Stocking parts became a nightmare with the many engine choices and changes made each model year. Parts availability depended on the size of the dealer and was limited to stock on hand. There were few aftermarket companies and no same day shipping.

Chaparral, Scorpion, and Polaris offered an abundance of engines and models.

Arctic Cat alone in 1970 had six engine suppliers and a staggering 29 model and horsepower options.


Clutch and performance parts became essentials as racing grew in popularity.

A trip to a larger dealer, distributor, or factory was often the only alternative to a long wait for parts.

Some dealers tried renting snowmobiles, hoping to increase profits. Breakdowns and inexperienced riders combined for expensive repairs and high retrieval costs.

As the industry began to decline, small dealers were strangled out by factories imposing standards for shop, showroom, and inventory.

Dealers of today have diversified to survive in a fast-paced, competitive market.

Meeting environmental standards with increasing production costs has nearly priced the industry beyond the reach of the common man.

In 1969, you could have purchased a snowmobile and trailer for the cost of a helmet and riding leathers today.

It's no help that rampant and unregulated fuel pricing by the American oil cartel is rewarded with tax breaks and record profits, amounting to legal extortion at the point of a gas nozzle.

We can never return to the way things were, but we can at least escape to the past on occasion by attending an antique or vintage snowmobile event. Even in these times of economic challenge, we can still enjoy an affordable family sport.

So, fire up the old sled and load the kids in the cutter. Shove a spare belt and a six-pack under the seat, grab a handful of spark plugs and head out on the trail.

I'll be waiting for you.

Reprinted with permission. More of Steve's work can be found in Iron Dogs Tracks the official newsletter of the Antique Snowmobile Club Of America.

3rd Annual Vintagesledders RatRod contest
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 14:28


In spite of the lack of winter over much of snowmobiling country, it was another fun season for the Vintagesledders.com Ratrod contest. There were numerous new names and face vying for the title of Best Rat in their respective category.


The classes this year were as follows:


Pure Rat: Minimal cash expenditure and maximum patina. Up to $200. Mixing and matching between brands and throwing in non-sled parts is preferred. Garbage bag seat covers are approved. Non-sled power plants are approved. Must run 20 miles on an organized run. We want pictures of the rat at the organized run.

Race Rat: Make a rat for racing. Up to $400 because sometimes money has to be spent to comply with rules and/or be competitive. Must complete 1 or more sanctioned or well known regional fun race (Eagle Swamp and CCVSC first snow for example of regional fun races). Trail riding miles can count towards the requirement of 20 miles, but the sled must be raced at least once to qualify for this class. Grass drags, oval/lemans and cross country races are all approved. Racing the rat in more than one type of race is approved. We want pics of the rat at the race W9n

Touring Rat: Build a budget long distance cruiser. Up to $400 because reliability often requires some new parts and items like bearings, hyfax and ski runners will likely need to be replaced to make the sled worthy of 50+ mile days. Patina optional. Must complete 200 or more miles at well known vintage rides. We want pictures of the rat on the rides.


Well the entries are all in and now it's your turn to pick your favorite Rat Sled, Please help out and vote at these links:


RaceRat poll


TourRat poll


PureRat poll




Thanks for voting, and for being a Vintagesledder!



Rear Engine Panther becomes a reality...
Written by Paul Shearer   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 14:37

It started several years ago when I bought a 67 p8 panther for parts, the engine was put on a shelf, and the rest of the sled was sold to a friend. I'd had a project in mind for that engine since the day I got it, I wanted to build a rear engine Arctic Cat panther.


Arctic Cat stopped production of rear engine machines in 1966, and being a rear engine sled enthusiaist, I figured I would carry on what Arctic had quit. I scoured my personal junkyard to find just the right pieces for the build, and this past fall, with no snow to ride on, my boys and I built my dream.


Here's a Utube video about the build, I hope you enjoy it.

Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site



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