The World Famous Bull Sessions

Vintage Sleds, Vintage snowmobiles => Vintage Sleds 24/7 (ONLY) => Topic started by: Throttle Junkie35 on March 19, 2013, 09:17:26 pm

Title: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Throttle Junkie35 on March 19, 2013, 09:17:26 pm
 When I was a kid I remember going to several dealerships for parts and having a feeling of total excitement. Looking at all the new sleds and listening to my dad and the guys behind the counter talk tech was always something I looked forward to. There was a Yamaha/Cat dealer (Reichard Yamaha) in our town. I remember everytime we would try and order parts for our 69 panther they would have to call another dealership because they lost or could never find the parts book for the 69.
 At that time I was maybe four or five years old, 81 or 82ish, I actually remember seeing the all new 81 SRX and remember begging my parents to buy me the yz50 or 60 that was in the showroom.
 There was also a Rupp/ Kawasaki dealer that was still in business untill the late 80's on the north side of milwaukee.(Badger Kart) We were regular customers there as me and my brother seemed to find Rupp after Rupp sitting in back yards the were usually picked up for as little as 25 dollars. Back then I remember buying an nos clutch spring (white) $20and a lower RH side pannel for $70. I also remenber seeing a mint metal flake blue Scorpion Whip in there show room. Another sled that I wanted soooooo bad.
 There is still one of those good ole dealerships left in my area. It was a snojet/ Kawasaki dealer back in the day. The guy still runs a repair shop and has a ton of sno-jet and kawi parts. Everytime I walk in there it takes me back to the early 80's during my childhood. There's always good conversation and never leave with out learning something. My how things have changed.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Racing Elvis on March 19, 2013, 10:40:40 pm
throttle junkie, sounds like great  memories. i was able to buy badger cart sales out and get all of there rupp inventory. they had alot left.
when i was a kid, my dad bought 2 brand new moto-ski's. i remember going to several differnt moto-ski dealer ships back then, i remember sitting on a 1980 moto-ski super sonic, i told my dad i was going to have one of these some day, just awesome memories!!!!,....b.s.171
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: VinRacer12 on March 19, 2013, 11:16:25 pm
One of my fondest memories was going in to the "Ellis Alpine House" ... our local Polaris / Rupp dealer. I would spend at least a couple of hours there everytime I went in and would see others come in and talk the race talk !!!  I ended up working there for one season wrenching on and setting up the new sleds and they even sponsored me for a few races.  Our Ski Doo and Merc dealer was not quit as personable, but still loved going in to the store... especially when the 76 Twisters showed up. I actually had one ordered but the first race was just two weeks away so I went to the NEW Polaris dealer about 30 miles away and bought a new 250 Starfire !!!!  Been with Polaris ever since.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: tomahawk cat on March 19, 2013, 11:17:35 pm
badger kart on fond du lac ave,, been there many times, picked up a 76 Lc 440 nitro from them and back plenty of times for parts, they had a guy there name larry cottum who was a big racer back then, use to get his named messed up with the great arctic act tracer larry coltom  .  larry cottum used to race with jimmy the greek if im right,, they had a race team called Black and gold way back then out of lannon wis, by the way now you wouldn't really want to go to the old badger kart a pretty bad area. lots of empty apartments and boarded up ones times change
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: randy on March 19, 2013, 11:22:49 pm
i know were you are talking about i go there to ,,,,rockfield always a good story it takes me 2 hours when i buy some plugs but thats why i go there ,great guy,,,,for me its the cigarette smell every time i went for skidoo parts  at town and country in the falls the dude at the counter had a cig lit,and that mixed with the smell of 2 stroke smoke  had a unique smell so when i go in by rockfield that smoke smell always takes me back,,,,i remember going into the scorpion dealer ship in lannon and drooling on the scorpions on the show room floor,i can still see the big cuyona ? oil display,and the box of free scorpion race posters,and the scorpion black leather fur lined gloves,,,,,,,,,i remember seeing brand new 77 skidoo rv,s at town and country and thinking they were the coolest sled i had ever seen,then i saw the bull whip at the lannon dealer and was confused on which sled was cooler i still am not sure,,, i use to go to that rupp dealer to brings back memories ,,,,,,,,,,,things were sure better in the 70,s
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: sharrk on March 19, 2013, 11:32:58 pm
Wow!  I worked next door To Badger Kart at Southeast Sales for a summer in 1979.  I assembled new motorcycles out of the crate.  I was eighteen at the time.  Summer job.  I also went to Reichard's in Richfield many times for parts for my 1976 Yamaha YZ125X.  I also bought parts for my 1974 Chaparall SSX 440 at the harware store on 76th and Mill Road back then.  So, where is this Sno-Jet/Kawasaki dealer you are referring to?   I'm restoring a Kawasaki powered 1982 Liquifire now.

sharrk
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: whisper jetter on March 19, 2013, 11:33:24 pm
TJ35, I have been down there and bought some parts from Warren. He has giving me a lot of great INFO. It is a two hour drive for me and always a hour or two to visit with him.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Throttle Junkie35 on March 20, 2013, 01:04:35 am
throttle junkie, sounds like great  memories. i was able to buy badger cart sales out and get all of there rupp inventory. they had alot left.
when i was a kid, my dad bought 2 brand new moto-ski's. i remember going to several differnt moto-ski dealer ships back then, i remember sitting on a 1980 moto-ski super sonic, i told my dad i was going to have one of these some day, just awesome memories!!!!,....b.s.171
So did you ever end up with a moto-ski?? I know you have my old rupp jacket. I gave it to one of your former employees last summer in a deal for some cat parts. As much as I wanted to keep the jacket I knew it was going to a good home and that was the only reason I gave it up. I had gotten that jacket with a 71 440 sprint I bought from a friend of mine around 1992-93. Next time Im up in your area I sure would like to see your collection. My all time favorite sled is the 75 Nitro F/A........some day I'll have one of them. lol
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Throttle Junkie35 on March 20, 2013, 01:09:19 am
badger kart on fond du lac ave,, been there many times, picked up a 76 Lc 440 nitro from them and back plenty of times for parts, they had a guy there name larry cottum who was a big racer back then, use to get his named messed up with the great arctic act tracer larry coltom  .  larry cottum used to race with jimmy the greek if im right,, they had a race team called Black and gold way back then out of lannon wis, by the way now you wouldn't really want to go to the old badger kart a pretty bad area. lots of empty apartments and boarded up ones times change
Ya, That area went down hill pretty fast. Jimmy the Greek raced a few races for the kawi dealer I spoke of earlier.I know Jimmy the greek Jr stops at the old dealership from time to time.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Throttle Junkie35 on March 20, 2013, 01:12:57 am
i know were you are talking about i go there to ,,,,rockfield always a good story it takes me 2 hours when i buy some plugs but thats why i go there ,great guy,,,,for me its the cigarette smell every time i went for skidoo parts  at town and country in the falls the dude at the counter had a cig lit,and that mixed with the smell of 2 stroke smoke  had a unique smell so when i go in by rockfield that smoke smell always takes me back,,,,i remember going into the scorpion dealer ship in lannon and drooling on the scorpions on the show room floor,i can still see the big cuyona ? oil display,and the box of free scorpion race posters,and the scorpion black leather fur lined gloves,,,,,,,,,i remember seeing brand new 77 skidoo rv,s at town and country and thinking they were the coolest sled i had ever seen,then i saw the bull whip at the lannon dealer and was confused on which sled was cooler i still am not sure,,, i use to go to that rupp dealer to brings back memories ,,,,,,,,,,,things were sure better in the 70,s
I dont think I was ever in town and country for sled parts, but my dad bought plenty of simplicity parts from there though, so Im no stranger to the place. Do you remember the Blizzard they had on the roof?? I always thought that was cool as h***!
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Throttle Junkie35 on March 20, 2013, 01:16:44 am
Wow!  I worked next door To Badger Kart at Southeast Sales for a summer in 1979.  I assembled new motorcycles out of the crate.  I was eighteen at the time.  Summer job.  I also went to Reichard's in Richfield many times for parts for my 1976 Yamaha YZ125X.  I also bought parts for my 1974 Chaparall SSX 440 at the harware store on 76th and Mill Road back then.  So, where is this Sno-Jet/Kawasaki dealer you are referring to?   I'm restoring a Kawasaki powered 1982 Liquifire now.

sharrk
76th and mill?? I think there is a good year store there, a strip mall, a vacant lot, and some sort of fast food joint there now. Been a couple of years since I was down in that area. Where exactly was the hardware store??
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Throttle Junkie35 on March 20, 2013, 01:20:46 am
TJ35, I have been down there and bought some parts from Warren. He has giving me a lot of great INFO. It is a two hour drive for me and always a hour or two to visit with him.
Ya Warren is a hoot. He also is a heck of a nice guy and extremely knowlegable. Must be some locals on here. I was surprised you guys figured out what sno jet/ kawi guy I was talking about. But then again, how many dealerships of that kind are still up and running?LOL
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: CARS on March 20, 2013, 01:22:48 am
Great memories, but what was rattling around in my head as you were talking about going here and going there were two things.

A.  Remember when there were dealers in every town?  Now I can't even think of where the "local" dealership is.

B.  Remember when you could see what brand of sled it was???  Now you literally have to read the sled to know what you are looking at.  What happened to company pride showing off THEIR colors???
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: 1969340dart on March 20, 2013, 01:25:02 am
I remember going to Bob's Yamaha City in Wisconsin Rapids, WI from my earliest childhood memories. (now called Donahue Super Sports, still same family owned)  My Dad had bought a '70 SL396 new from there and owned it til '83 or so. We would go to buy oil or "skags" as Dad called them and often ran into Dick Trickle. Was always interesting hearing him, Bobby Donahue Sr., my father, and many others tell stories. That was a wonderful place and time with all the new Yamaha's and Moto-Ski's they sold there. I wish I would have taken a camera there, as looking back it was race history in the making. Bobby Jr. was still in High School, and we all knew then he was destined for greatness.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Throttle Junkie35 on March 20, 2013, 01:25:20 am
Anybody remember the Sno-Jet dealer in Butler?? Don's tire and auto?? I had a guy buy a sled from me a few years ago and we got to talking and his dad was the owner. No sleds anymore, but the place is still in business doing auto repair.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Throttle Junkie35 on March 20, 2013, 01:32:05 am
Great memories, but what was rattling around in my head as you were talking about going here and going there were two things.

A.  Remember when there were dealers in every town?  Now I can't even think of where the "local" dealership is.

B.  Remember when you could see what brand of sled it was???  Now you literally have to read the sled to know what you are looking at.  What happened to company pride showing off THEIR colors???
Yep, sometimes its hard to tell what your looking at these days. Finding a local dealership is non existant these days. The oldest ''town style'' dealership I know of in my area would be Port Yamaha. They have been there as long as I can remember and have very knowelagable guys wrenching that know about sleds older than 5 years old or what they may not have a manual for.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Throttle Junkie35 on March 20, 2013, 01:35:20 am
To add to my last post. From talking with the sno jet dealer he said years ago the whole county was littered with sled dealerships. One most notably was a Sno giha dealership that is now an adult lingerie store on 41.LOL things do change.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: skidog59 on March 20, 2013, 01:39:58 am
Throttle junkie35 where are you from?  I grew up in Menomonee Falls, now i live in Allenton, and i frequent warrens shop.  I wasn't even alive when a lot of these places were in business LOL.  I ended up buying Joe Mingari's (town and country's salesman) Memorabilia last year prior to him passing away.  I met him about 3 years ago and shortly before he died he was able to stop by the house and see my collection.  It was cool to see him reminice. 

Whisper Jetter YOU are the reason i could only buy one NOS ski shock for my sst LOL. 
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: sharrk on March 20, 2013, 01:53:53 am
Wow again.  I grew up in "The Falls".  Not far away in Colgate now.   The hardware store that sold Chaparalls was called Ver Hoven Hardware(not sure I remember the correct spelling). It was on 76th street about two blocks south of Mill road on the east side of the street. Last I saw it was now a child care place.  I'm also a good friend of Joe Mingari Jr. and the late Joe Mingari Sr.  Great guys. 

sharrk
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: skidog59 on March 20, 2013, 02:31:28 am
shark,   Joe Mingari Sr.  was a hell of a guy from what i could tell, very involved with the snowmobile world and the only guy that i think might have been more die hard ski doo guy than me.  wich i would have met him years ago, I think i could have learned a lot from him.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: 77zman on March 20, 2013, 03:20:11 am
The first dealership i walked in to was with my grandfather. We were looking for a belt for his six wheeler. It was the fall of 97. They had a brand new 1998 ZR 600 efi. Boy was tat a sweet looking sled. So grandpa and me got home and ran back to home and told my dad about it. I told him that i want one. My dad just laughed. Well tens years past i never got my sled lol. Then my graduation came around and i come home from the Ceremony and sitting n the front yard was a 98 ZR 600 efi with 900 miles and completely mint. I still have this sled to this day.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: cheater67x on March 20, 2013, 03:26:02 am
i bought new cats from    Gordy  Rohde ,the guy had a large role in cat,tons of cool stuff in the shop,king kat stuff ,fun times,i bought 7-8 new sleds there
also bought skidoo from the legand  les bowen in   curtiss-good stuff
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: rass66 on March 20, 2013, 03:31:29 am
My earliest dealership memories are of Zillis Arctic Cat.  It was in an old church.  I remember going there with my dad and neighbor looking for parts for their 73 Eltigres.  The stuff I remember most was the kitty cat sitting up on top of the parts shelves and for some reason I always liked the purple and black registrations stickers....  Don't know why the stickers are stuck in my brain  ???
Most of all, I remember it being a very family oriented business where there was alot of visiting and just good people that wanted nothing more than to help you out....
And I agree with the post above about not knowing what your even looking at anymore.  Our new superstore dealership sells Cats, Polaris, and Skidoo.  The last time I was there with my daughter I can remember telling her that you can't even tell the brands apart from a distance anymore.  They have lost all of their character in my opinion. 
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: skidog59 on March 20, 2013, 03:34:52 am
Paul when did you buy a ski doo from les?  How late was he a dealer?
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: tomahawk cat on March 20, 2013, 04:24:32 am
Throttle junkie35 where are you from?  I grew up in Menomonee Falls, now i live in Allenton, and i frequent warrens shop.  I wasn't even alive when a lot of these places were in business LOL.  I ended up buying Joe Mingari's (town and country's salesman) Memorabilia last year prior to him passing away.  I met him about 3 years ago and shortly before he died he was able to stop by the house and see my collection.  It was cool to see him reminice. 

Whisper Jetter YOU are the reason i could only buy one NOS ski shock for my sst LOL.
Im not far from you. Im about a mile due north of Cabela's.
wow a mile north of cabelas  my oldest daughter now lives out there, it use to be the old hyw 45 there, use to go that way once and while on our way to the newburg races, they had summer oval races and winter USSA race first weekend every dec,
 as for verhovens harewware store my 2 best friends worked there and the oldest brothjer bought his summer drag sled there and the 2nd year winter racer sled with the 440s in them it was the big ugly one he evn races it at state fair park, and the guy from badger wasnt larry but it was randy..
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: whisper jetter on March 20, 2013, 11:22:11 am
Throttle junkie35 where are you from?  I grew up in Menomonee Falls, now i live in Allenton, and i frequent warrens shop.  I wasn't even alive when a lot of these places were in business LOL.  I ended up buying Joe Mingari's (town and country's salesman) Memorabilia last year prior to him passing away.  I met him about 3 years ago and shortly before he died he was able to stop by the house and see my collection.  It was cool to see him reminice. 

Whisper Jetter YOU are the reason i could only buy one NOS ski shock for my sst LOL.

I will look I may have picked up another shock if you still need one?
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: confusion900 on March 20, 2013, 11:48:31 am
Down here in IL we still have a Family owened Polaris dealer called " LISSY'S II " and they still have that Old way of doing business , they will go out of there way to order stuff for you with out needing money first like the rest of the other dealers and if time permits they will talk shop / racing stuff just like your mentioning         8)

Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: honks177 on March 20, 2013, 12:38:21 pm
throttle junkie, sounds like great  memories. i was able to buy badger cart sales out and get all of there rupp inventory. they had alot left.
when i was a kid, my dad bought 2 brand new moto-ski's. i remember going to several differnt moto-ski dealer ships back then, i remember sitting on a 1980 moto-ski super sonic, i told my dad i was going to have one of these some day, just awesome memories!!!!,....b.s.171
Elvis, I was in your neck of the woods a couple weeks ago and i put 180 miles on an 80 moto ski super sonic in two days, i couldn't walk right for a week.  I had one hell of a time but it was rough on me.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: rupp39 on March 20, 2013, 12:49:35 pm
remember going into Al Muths in black river falls,seeing the new cats all through the 70's,seen 77z's,76z,s,75z,s,had a rupp and polaris dealer in town also,great times
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Racing Elvis on March 20, 2013, 01:24:06 pm
honks, you should have stoped in. we had a vintage ride a couple of weeks ago. was pretty fun!!! moto-ski for sale??...... :D
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Motoski250 on March 20, 2013, 01:25:21 pm
We also bought every skidoo we had from Les Bowen In Curtis Wi.  our families first brand new sleds came from him in 71   2 brand new elans.  I was 8   then every year after that we bought one brand new one till 1978.
In 1995 Les called me and I went and cleaned out his old dealership where they sold and wrenched out of. Half of the building had fallen down but on the sales side of the building we found case after case of memories. He even gave me all his old sales books and we have that now on display. I found where by Brother traded that old elan in for a 73 TNT 340   It shows all the sales transactions and what people paid and what they got on their trades. Really cool to read through and see all Les's old deals.  That is when I got into the vintage sled craze and Started the collecting.
Even found a brand new 73 TNT 340 FA under the roof that had fallen down in the shop.  Hood was crunched but the rest of the sled was immaculate.  Very cool Memories for sure.
Kriegs
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Racing Elvis on March 20, 2013, 01:27:11 pm
throttle junkie, sounds like great  memories. i was able to buy badger cart sales out and get all of there rupp inventory. they had alot left.
when i was a kid, my dad bought 2 brand new moto-ski's. i remember going to several differnt moto-ski dealer ships back then, i remember sitting on a 1980 moto-ski super sonic, i told my dad i was going to have one of these some day, just awesome memories!!!!,....b.s.171
So did you ever end up with a moto-ski?? I know you have my old rupp jacket. I gave it to one of your former employees last summer in a deal for some cat parts. As much as I wanted to keep the jacket I knew it was going to a good home and that was the only reason I gave it up. I had gotten that jacket with a 71 440 sprint I bought from a friend of mine around 1992-93. Next time Im up in your area I sure would like to see your collection. My all time favorite sled is the 75 Nitro F/A........some day I'll have one of them. lol

i did end up with your jacket, very nice. i have owned a few moto-skis now, a few of the 80's and a few of the late 70's rv style. all where very nice machines. i have a 80 super sonic now. havent drove it yet but sure looks nice sitting there, lol....b.s.171 
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Racing Elvis on March 20, 2013, 01:30:54 pm
cheater tell the story about buying the new 1975 rupp f/a cross country i bought from you?? cool story and a very rare sled!!!. if i remember you bought it brand new in 1982 i think you said???....b.s.171
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: honks177 on March 20, 2013, 02:14:15 pm
honks, you should have stoped in. we had a vintage ride a couple of weeks ago. was pretty fun!!! moto-ski for sale??...... :D
My bro (who lives in Iola) and Racin Aasen talked about it, but you know how it goes, one beer leads to another.............
I sold the sled two days after I got back.  I liked it, but needed cash to update my newer sled.  It had had some engine work done to it and had the cut rotary valve in it, very fast sled, very fun to drive.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Throttle Junkie35 on March 20, 2013, 02:20:22 pm
My earliest dealership memories are of Zillis Arctic Cat.  It was in an old church.
 Bow to the Cat Gods!!!!
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: mikem4 on March 20, 2013, 02:20:53 pm
Shark, Throttle Junkie and Skidog59 I probably ran into you guys and never knew. I worked at the Polaris dealership on Appleton ave in the falls from 1980 to about 87 right before he moved to main street. I heard Bob sold it a few years back. I also dealt with Randy from Badger Kart. Yea that area is kind of rough. Work on the North side of milwaukee now and live in Colgate technically Richfield, Hillside Road and Hwy Q. Dealers were alot morer personal then. Had customers come in all the time just to bs.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Throttle Junkie35 on March 20, 2013, 02:43:34 pm
Shark, Throttle Junkie and Skidog59 I probably ran into you guys and never knew. I worked at the Polaris dealership on Appleton ave in the falls from 1980 to about 87 right before he moved to main street. I heard Bob sold it a few years back. I also dealt with Randy from Badger Kart. Yea that area is kind of rough. Work on the North side of milwaukee now and live in Colgate technically Richfield, Hillside Road and Hwy Q. Dealers were alot morer personal then. Had customers come in all the time just to bs.
I would believe it could be very possible. I was trying to remember where Avenue Lawn and Leisure was before they eneded up at the current location. I cant for the life of me remember.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: mikem4 on March 20, 2013, 03:04:53 pm
They were on Appleton Ave just Southeast of Pilgrim. It is a bank parking lot now. Stark Oldsmobile was across the street and McDonalds was to the Northwest. The McDonalds is still there.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Moto-ski maniac on March 20, 2013, 03:30:50 pm
Back in about 69-72, a good family friend was the Moto-Ski dealer in our area. It was located on a ranch about 10 miles out of town. He also sold Vamoose and Terra Jet.
He sold a pile of Moto-Skis. He won an award for Dealer of the year 70-71 from the distributor for selling record amounts. One of his methods was holding auctions at the ranch. He would bring in a couple of Semi trucks full of brand new Mini Snos, Capris, Zephyrs, Grand Prixs and MS-18's, and sell them right off the truck. He had sleds you could look at and test ride, raffles and givaways, a bonfire with a hotdog roast, and a huge turnout of people. My sister won a pair of goggles. 
A friend bought a new MS-18 and rode it home to town. Those were the days!  Now you'd get arrested for riding a sled home!
My Dad bought his new 72 Zephyr 340 there and in the early 70's most of the snowmobiles around here were orange. I have old photos of snowmobile outings where there is nothing but Moto-Skis visible. 
Then came the winter of 72-73 when we had almost no snow and suddenly nobody bought sleds of any kind for a few years.      
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Racing Elvis on March 20, 2013, 03:37:05 pm
thats what my dad bought, he bought mom a new ms-18, and my dad bought a new 1973 capri 440, slide rail suspension and ski shocks, compared to some i seen with bogies and no shocks. years later dad sold the ms-18, but i still have the capri. in 1973 my uncle came over and hand painted the hood registration #'s on it, looks pretty cool. when i was a kid i drove that sled every ware and loved every minute of it. i wish times were like that again!!!!.....b.s.171 
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Throttle Junkie35 on March 20, 2013, 04:15:16 pm
They were on Appleton Ave just Southeast of Pilgrim. It is a bank parking lot now. Stark Oldsmobile was across the street and McDonalds was to the Northwest. The McDonalds is still there.
Thats right!! It was next to Kinney Shoes.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: randy on March 20, 2013, 04:29:10 pm
i remember going into the old avenue lawn and leisure,,,when it was in town bob was the owner,i have a memory of the mechanic having a polaris race sled there that he owned,and would work on there does anyone remember seeing that sled???how many of you guys that are in the southestern part of wi remember the lannon easy riders grass drags that use to be off lannon road behind the ball park,i just a few years ago found 2 old posters promoting the race from 74 and 75,and was able to buy them a local farmer had them in his poll barn to stop a squeak  between the wood and siding when the wind blew lol i was really glad to get them,does any one have pics or video from those races,,,,,a week or so before that race the scorpion dealer would bring a few brand new sleds in the crate  to the field behind my house and un crate  them set them up and break them in for the race ,they always let me take one down the test track a few times what a thrill for a sled crazy kid,,,,,,,,
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Throttle Junkie35 on March 20, 2013, 04:36:44 pm
i remember going into the old avenue lawn and leisure,,,when it was in town bob was the owner,i have a memory of the mechanic having a polaris race sled there that he owned,and would work on there does anyone remember seeing that sled???how many of you guys that are in the southestern part of wi remember the lannon easy riders grass drags that use to be off lannon road behind the ball park,i just a few years ago found 2 old posters promoting the race from 74 and 75,and was able to buy them a local farmer had them in his poll barn to stop a squeak  between the wood and siding when the wind blew lol i was really glad to get them,does any one have pics or video from those races,,,,,a week or so before that race the scorpion dealer would bring a few brand new sleds in the crate  to the field behind my house and un crate  them set them up and break them in for the race ,they always let me take one down the test track a few times what a thrill for a sled crazy kid,,,,,,,,
Talking with some of the old guys that use to race there they said the Scorpion dealer used to have those races in his back pocket. Something about the flag guys having a signal for the Scorpion racers. lol Some one will always be upset when there is racing involed. My buddy's dad raced his Thunder jet there and I guess he did pretty well.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: cheater67x on March 20, 2013, 05:35:17 pm
red beyer,         rupp city in spencer wis,  we stopped and looked at the rupp sleds all the time for years
 fell in love the with fa sleds, in 82 I got some cash,   long story
we went to rupp city,it was a body shop also ,a real funny crabby old dude,

he had a new 76 liquid and a new 340 fa , bingo $800 bucks  ,we opened the crate and took it home,i trail rode it,he told me his no good brother inlaw ordered it,but it was a late sled and they were racing already that year,this one  was for   cross country racng.
 it had  dual tanks and long chrome steel skis,when we opened the crate
 it was just a rupp to me,but it seems to be kinda odd today,i owned it,sold it to a friend,he sold it back to me and I sold it to bill ,cool sled    ,I wish I had  bought them both that day but left the liquid in the box

old red had a dummy from the old sears store he would hide till 3 pm , his wife drove school buse and when she went past he would set it at his desk,so when she went past she would see him working,thenhe went in the house and took a nap
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: mikem4 on March 20, 2013, 06:16:04 pm
i remember going into the old avenue lawn and leisure,,,when it was in town bob was the owner,i have a memory of the mechanic having a polaris race sled there that he owned,and would work on there does anyone remember seeing that sled???how many of you guys that are in the southestern part of wi remember the lannon easy riders grass drags that use to be off lannon road behind the ball park,i just a few years ago found 2 old posters promoting the race from 74 and 75,and was able to buy them a local farmer had them in his poll barn to stop a squeak  between the wood and siding when the wind blew lol i was really glad to get them,does any one have pics or video from those races,,,,,a week or so before that race the scorpion dealer would bring a few brand new sleds in the crate  to the field behind my house and un crate  them set them up and break them in for the race ,they always let me take one down the test track a few times what a thrill for a sled crazy kid,,,,,,,,
Are you talking about at Aero park on Lannon Road and Lisbon (Hwy K) road across from Waunakee golf course. It was an air strip and they had a little building with a bar. We used to drag race there. I think they had grass drags and drags in the winter. The local club, I believe it was plat 5 used to hold the races. We did pretty good there a few times with a TX 440. I think they quite because of liability issue's. The building and sheds got demo'd and has been empty for years.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: randy on March 20, 2013, 07:58:05 pm
NO NOT ARROW PARK,THESE WERE THE RACES RUN BY THE LANNON EASY RIDERS CLUB,THEY WERE IN A FIELD RIGHT BEHIND THE BUS COMPANY ON MAIN STREET THE ENTRANCE FOR THE RACE WAS ON LANNON ROAD RIGHT PAST THE LANNON BASE BALL PARK ,THE MERCS WERE IN THERE HAY DAY AND KICKED ASS ON EVERYTHING THERE IT  WAS COOL,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,KIDS WOULD RIDE DIRT BIKES AND MINI BIKES FOR MILES TO WATCH THE RACES ,,,, ;D
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: emrickmn on March 20, 2013, 08:02:04 pm
Anyone ever hear of Major Marine in Russels Point?
Dad was good friends with the owner and we'd buy a new Polaris or two every year from him.  Kinda cool to get the VIP treatment when we entered the place.  I did the local races so I always had stuff to talk about.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Vics stuff on March 20, 2013, 10:01:21 pm
 I remember back in the fall of 1972 when I was 14 and was racing Polaris from a local shop here in Alaska and was restricted to the 250 cc sleds in the Juniors class. In the show room floor set for the entire season  1973 Polaris 650 Starfire.  WOW did I always like to stop by that shop and drool over  possibly having one of those BAD BOYZ.   40 years later I still get that feeling. I have not given up yet.
 Vic 
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: ski-dew on March 21, 2013, 12:25:25 am
I also am from SE WI.Sussex actually.I am very famaliar with Town and Country.We bought quite a few sleds from there.My dad bought them from there starting in 1970.Many good memories.Most time was spent down in partsand service under the barn.I remember they had an Olympique on the roof and then later the Blizzard.Randy the guy you remember down in parts was Mike always had a smoke and wore an old Ski Doo winter hat.Always enjoyed looking at the used sleds down there.I got two RVs from them a regular 77 and my CCRV.I will never forget getting that CC and thinking how ugly yhe windsheild was.I remember getting the first regular 77 and saying how fast it went through gas and Mike suggesting I buy a CC seat with the rear tank.I did and never put it on I still have that.Also became good friends with Joe Mingari as my dad always bought new sleds only from him.I cant remember the name of the other guy who worked in service.Still remember Mikes red Dodge Dart sitting behind the barn by the door where you go in.My dad even saved the wood crates that said Ski Doo from his new sleds.I also remember going to Badger Kart to get Parts for my Ruppster.Sussex had a Rupp dealer B&H Motorsports.owned by my friends dad.They still have a bunch of Rupp stuff.Including NOS Ruppster bodies and a Rupp L/C Nitro still in the crate.Bought a few new Roadsters from them I still have one.Now its a pool store.Also in toen was Sussex Mills they sold Bolens.I remeber the outside of the barn must of had 20 metal Bolens signs still on it when it was torn down in the 90s.Now a retirement village.In the late 80s and early 90s I worked at Reichards Performance Center.It was awesome getting paid to go to all the shows and BS with everyone.Went to MN Il and WI.Thats when Reichards was in the back of Yamaha Outlet Center.Now an appliance center.Also getting paid to ride new modded sleds but unfortunatly they were Yamahas (die hard Doo guy).They gave me a 91 Exciter to use all winter all modded.Used to hit 96mph or so.Well thats enough for now.More later.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: EricR on March 21, 2013, 12:53:04 am
I grew up in south eastern Todd county MN, bordered by Stearns Co to the south and Morrison close by to the west.  In Long Prarie MN Hillig Impliment was a Ski Doo dealer as well as John Deere, they sold Ski Doos before JD started making sleds so I guess JD did not make them quit.  I dropped my name in a can for a raffle when I was about 14 and in there getting John Deere "B" parts, later found I won a bug zapper, which they let me trade for a JD snowmobile coat. I still have it but can't wear a medium any more that's for sure!

Hilllig no longer sells JD and appears to be a car dealership of some sort.  I recall in Melrose, MN Melrose TV and Marine sold Kawasakis,  there was a Ski Doo dealer in Sauk Center and I am not sure if it was Center Sports, the current dealer just at the old location.  There was a Van Beck sports on HWY 28 coming in to Sauk too, the building still says Van Beck on it, I think they were Cat? 

I also recall a Skiroule sign outside an old garage in Sauk too.

In the little town of Grey Eagle I was from, Gary Glockzin sold Moto Skis, but that must have been before my memory but there were a LOT of pre Bombardier MOto Skis around the township.

Perhaps Mike Meaghar who is about ten years older than me and from GE will chime in.   
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Throttle Junkie35 on March 21, 2013, 01:34:49 am
In the late 80s and early 90s I worked at Reichards Performance Center.It was awesome getting paid to go to all the shows and BS with everyone.Went to MN Il and WI.Thats when Reichards was in the back of Yamaha Outlet Center.Now an appliance center.Also getting paid to ride new modded sleds but unfortunatly they were Yamahas (die hard Doo guy).They gave me a 91 Exciter to use all winter all modded.Used to hit 96mph or so.Well thats enough for now.More later.
Cool story ski dew!! I used to work at the Out House in the mid 90's. We probably ran into each other back then.
 My 90 exciter does about 95. Mostly Reicahard bolt ons. :)
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: sno-pro79 on March 21, 2013, 11:53:30 am
I am from northwest Ohio. My Dad was a partner in Sno-Jet Dealer from 68 until Kawasaki bought them and tried to make them sell motorcycles.
They Raced USAC sprint cars and Silver Crown Dirt Cars and did not have the time in the summer.
I can remember riding a new SST 440 FA when I was around 10 yrs old.
 West Branch Mi was where I remember going riding UP North .
They never had any Thunder Jets, but we would go get parts at Van's, a Sno-Jet dealer up by Ann Arbor and I remember 5-6 of them sitting in a row.
I wish I had a picture.
 There was a Local  SkiDoo Dealer, Action Marine owned by Myron Smitley in the late 60's/early 70's he raced Blizzards,back in  93  my buddy got to dig through hisrace  old trailer sitting out behind his house and found a couple Kelsey Hayes Master Cyls in the Box.

I don't remember any Local Oval races , but there was Drag racing on the Ottawa River and Grass Drags at Hines Farm west of Toledo.
I bought My first sled a 76 Massey Ski Wiz in about 1981, Then I bought 1980 Blizzard 9500 in 82, Bought a 79 440 Superstock Skidoo in 85 and Drag Raced until 96 I owned 7 sleds at one time during the 80's ,now all I have is a 1980 Ultra Sonic and an 81 9500.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: skidoonut3 on March 21, 2013, 01:15:09 pm
I remember when my dad bought our 69 12/3 in 68 and brought it in for warranty and a check up. Saw all the new sleds at the Phils Gulf gas station- ski doo dealer in Virginia MN on the end of main street.. That memory will last forever. They even let us test a few.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Triple Z on March 21, 2013, 05:11:53 pm
I can remember going into Wohlfeil's Hardware-- which was a Ski Doo dealer for many years back in the late 60's and 70's.  We lived about 10 miles away, and it was not uncommon for me and some buddies to ride our bicycles down there just to ogle the sleds.

This is where dad bought our first sled in the fall of 69-- a brand spanking new 70 Oly 335E.   

The other dealership that I used to spend alot of time was up at Spicers Boat City in Houghton Lake MI.      They handled Cat and several other brands throughout the years.    For a brief time they had the Suzuki line of sleds, and we ended up buying several of their close out 73 292's brand new in the crate from them.    Always enjoyed heading down to Spicers to dream.

the 3rd dealership that i spent a lot of time at was Drapers in Saginaw.   They were a big yamaha dealer and i had good friend that worked there through high school and after graduation too.    The Draper family was pretty big into drags and ovals too- so it made it more fun to see some of the race stuff.     

tons of neat memories. 
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: racinfarmer on March 22, 2013, 03:49:51 am
I think my favorite memory of going to the dealer was going to pick out our 2002 ZR440 Sno-Pros.  OMG, those looked like nothing else I'd ever seen before. 

I guess the dealer too because they were both front and center in the showroom when we showed up.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: TakeItToTheLimit on March 22, 2013, 11:18:48 am
The first 3 sleds that I ever rode were purchased by my Grandfather, Uncle & older Cousins (Evinrude, Johnson & Ski Doo).  These were purchased from Beck & Hyde just N of St. Johns, MI on M27...and Shippie & Smith in Owosso, MI on M21.  These were the first dealerships that I frequented in the '60s.

Stopping at Spicer's at Houghton Lake was also a "must" when "up north".

Ironicly, my Father never purchased one...but my Sister & I were "bitten" by the bug early.

-Rich
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: skidoonut3 on March 22, 2013, 02:40:13 pm
When we would go to Eveleth MN to buy parts for our ski-doos and admire all the new sleds and accs. Loved to see all the new sled and clothing. Also going to Hayden Marine in Biwabik MN thats where I bought my first sled a 1970 335 oly and wish I still had it.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: 70Oly399 on March 22, 2013, 03:11:24 pm
I remember in 95 I was 12 yrs old and got my first sled, a 1970 Olympic.  Dad and I went to Benoits shop to get driveshaft bearings and seals and the place was full of race sleds.  They weren't a Ski-Doo dealer anymore but still had a repair shop and worked on theirs and others race sleds.  They dug out some old dusty parts for me and showed us all the cool racers they were prepping for the next weekend.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: 69MarkIII on March 23, 2013, 11:31:49 pm
It's sad really. We used to have several dealers in our area when I was in high school, and none of 'em are there anymore! There was Edema Ski-Doo, where I bought my '98 Formula 500 new. Just down the road from them was Leader's Marine, which sold Arctic Cat, and just down the road from that was Flannery Polaris.

Now the closest ones are an old Arctic dealer 25 miles south, or a Ski-Doo dealer 40 miles north!

Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: ski-dew on March 24, 2013, 12:25:49 am
AeroPark in menomonee falls had radar runs and they were put on by the SnowBirds Snowmobile Club.This is such a cool thread.It really gets my mind and memories rolling.I will have to post a vintage pic of me and my buddy that made the front page of the local paper.Me on my 77 RVCC and him on his 76 Pantera 5000.We put hundreds of miles on per season and never really left town.Just up to Sussex park and out to Aero Park and everywhere in beetween.That was 1984 when I was 12 and just got my license.I remember being out on lake Kesus and watching a guy on a new VMax or SRX and my buddy told me to "Go Get Him".He was doing full throttle blasts across the lake and I came up on him half way across looked at him hit it and pulled him easy.We met up at Kandlers bar and he was pissed,he asked me what size my sled was I said"340" he said I was full of S#!T no way"Such great memories.More reflections later.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: LoyalSledder on September 13, 2020, 09:55:52 pm
Just came across this topic and wanted to add that my 1978 John Deere Spitfire was purchased at Krueger's Lawn Capital, 21600 Capital Drive. 

Also my home town of Loyal, WI, pop 1,000, had three maybe four sled dealers back in the late 60's early 70's.  Mike's Standard gas station - Polaris, James Dalke sold Scropions, I believe there was a Sno-Jet or Chaparral dealer and the Allis Chalmers implement dealer sold some off brand.  I also think that Domine Chevrolet sold Artic Cats for a while? 

I know Mike's sold sleds into the 80's.  His son Mic Weyhmiller has a nice collection of Polaris sleds.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: ski-doood on September 14, 2020, 03:28:49 am
We lived in the western Twin Cities Suburbs in the Lake Minnetonka area which was a hotbed of snowmobiles late 60's and early 70's.  Its a long time ago but we had tons of dealers with in 10 miles of our house and most with in a few miles of the Lake. 

My favorite was Spring Parks MacCharles Company who sold a zillion Ski-doo's but also started with Polaris and AMF also. Yamaha for at least a year and quite possibly Yamaha's first year.  Before they closed up mid-70's they had also sold Chaparral.  Chaparral also had dealers with Johnson Sales in Long Lake and another dealer in Waverly.

Polaris had dealers on Crystal Bay, Spring Park and Long Lake at minimum. Long Lake was Rettinger Bros Polaris and did a nice job for Polaris. All with in ten minutes of each other.  Wayzata Lake & Lawn also, who also sold Ski-doo.

Cat had Mound's Westside Recreation I think it was called and also Delano - who became a big dealer for them.  They became Delano Sports Center.

Rupp was in Maple Plain.  Zweig's Sales and Service. Arvin Zweig.

When Speedway arrived they were in Watertown for a year.  I think someone else sold them also?

Sno-Jet was St. Boni and Hamel at Medina Sales. Also Tri-K Sports in Long Lake.

Yamaha was moving around from year to year but Excelsior Boat and Motor was doing a good job for them.  Later they added Mercury.  I think Medina Sales at Hamel sold them for a while.

Alouette was at Holy Name Lake.  Ditters.

Skiroule was at several dealers including at Spring Park.

Harley popped up in Deephaven.

Moto-ski was at Loretto but there was at least one more who I can't remember.

I think Scherven in Spring Park sold Deere and maybe Skiroule?

I can't remember who sold Brut?

I would bet this list is maybe a little over half of them??  Lake Minnetonka was alive with sleds back in those days and it seemed like it snowed all the time back then.  Around 70-71's the Snowmobile Clubs really took off mostly out of necessity as all kind of anti-snowmobile laws were being proposed.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: mac on September 14, 2020, 06:21:06 pm
Some of my best memories are going with my dad every fall to look at new sleds. That started in 1971 and he usually traded and bought a new one every year. Then there was always garage time with him working on sleds for other people or the used ones hed pick up for my mom or me or to just flip and help finance our trips up north.
In 77 he bought a Arctic Cat/Polaris dealership in northern IL and it was like Id died and gone to heaven. I got to help in in rate and set up new sleds and then be the test pilot for his tuning work because I was a skinny teenager lol. Sadly that only lasted 3 years before a down turn in the economy helped cause the loss of the shop, but man was it fun while it lasted !
We got out of sledding after that until 1992 when I bought my 87 Indy Trail and he and my brother when and bought new ones, a 580 EXT and a 580 Ski Doo Formula plus. We got two winters of riding in before Dad passed away from a heart attack. I still miss him everyday but Im sure glad he introduced me to the sport.
Heres a pic from our last ride.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: slowestsled on September 14, 2020, 10:48:42 pm
some years in the 70's new snowmobile registrations in Minnesooota were in the two hunny thousands-- :P :P ;D ;D
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: old rider on September 15, 2020, 05:37:57 pm
I remember going to the fair and the local dealer would have his new skidoo,s on display middle 60,s or so I would go over and sit on them and dream
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Lumpy59 on September 15, 2020, 08:38:00 pm
Late 60s early 70s was the time for sleds , $700 would buy you most anything. If they all had them that simple now would buy them ? Would there be more riders ? I will say we had more fun on them over the modern sleds , $17,000 parked in the shop from March to December???? I guess Im showing my age ?
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: way back when on September 15, 2020, 10:51:31 pm
I was crazy for sleds as a teen,. I remember bugging my dad to go to a merc dealership and he finally did. He let me go in and waited in the truck. He was not buying and did not want a salesman trying to sell him something.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: skidootntfa on September 16, 2020, 03:49:53 pm
When I was a kid my dad came home with a brand new 1971 Mercury 250E. I was hooked!! We would ride with him to Bluemound Marine in Milwaukee when we'd either drop off or pick up the Merc from having repairs done to it. While waiting we'd watch the guys shuffle all the sleds around in the shop. There were Merc's all over the place. There was a Merc 250ER sitting there. I wondered what the R stood for (I was just a kid), a guy come over and started it and it went backward. WOW! That was the neatest thing I ever saw. A few years passed by and we made a trip back to the dealership and there it was...a brand new 1974 400 Sno-Twister! I had gotten my ass kicked in school for having a big black slow Mercury and now this...low, sleek, white, and man did that thing look fast...just sitting there! Lord knows I didn't sleep for a couple weeks.

Keifers Yamaha was a really cool dealership in Franklin Wisconsin. I bought a three year old '74 GPX 338 from my neighbor and when it came time for parts I would go down to Keifers. You walk in and all those new 1978 SRX's would be all lined up in a row and I'd just sit there and drool. (There was a left over brand new '77 SRX sitting there that I questioned and was told it was finally sold and awaiting for pick up). Didn't have the $1499.00 to buy it anyway...oh well. It always smelled like brand new tracks in there. Hence all the motorcycles that were stacked side by side with the sleds, lots of new rubber in the air.

My dad took me to the local Evinrude dealership when the ol' Merc bit the dust and to my surprise bought a brand new 1976 440 Evinrude Skimmer with bogies. For the life of me why he didn't go buy a new Trail-Twister instead is beyond me but I have come to conclude that had he bought one, I would've killed myself on that thing. Sooo much faster and cooler than the Skimmer. Oh well, a few years later I got my own Trail-Twister.

Yes, times have changed. It's memories like these that we all recall and cherish that have a strong hand in keeping the sport of vintage sledding and collecting alive. It's unfortunate that the younger generation are unable to enjoy some of these events. I do what I can to relay as many of these memories to the younger folks and I hope they can catch just a glimmer of what I remember and at least encourage them to get out and enjoy the sport of sledding as we all did back in our younger days.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: thefoolsbro on September 16, 2020, 05:09:53 pm
My first dealer experiences were when mom and dad were shopping for a motorhome. they kept
going back and forth between a Midas and a Mallard. the Midas dealer (Thompsons RV's) sold
Arctic cat and had new one on the floor including a '77 Z, the Mallard dealer sold Yamahas and
had many new '77 Exciters and Gp's on the floor. I didn't care how long it took for them to pick
out a motorhome as long as I got to sit on the sleds while they were shopping! two years later
when they bought a cabin, dad took us back to Thompsons in Novi and bought a used '73 Panther
that had the crap beat out of it. that started my love for the Cat brand that I still ride today. Oh
they ended up buying the Mallard motorhome from Freeway sports that had the Yamahas in Fenton
Mi.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: duallydave on September 16, 2020, 10:43:19 pm
The memory that stands out for me is going to
Fred Simpson's open house in Freehold NY
fall 1970 and seeing a spankin' new 793 King Kat sitting on the front lawn.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: uncletom on September 16, 2020, 11:37:06 pm
I was crazy for sleds as a teen,. I remember bugging my dad to go to a merc dealership and he finally did. He let me go in and waited in the truck. He was not buying and did not want a salesman trying to sell him something.
My Dad never stopped at any dealers and he knew how bad I loved sleds. I was 19 when I finally saved enough to buy a used one. It was a '72 303 Panther. That was 1974.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Bob Vehring on September 20, 2020, 10:49:23 pm
Funny running into this old thread right now Ran into Shawn (T-Junkie 35) today at the Slinger swap meet, I'm older but have been to all the same dealers in the Milw area he talked about. Still see some of those guys. Knew Joe Mingarie well, Still see Jeff Simon at the Drag strip, Still a member of M.F. Sno Birds who put on the Aero park races and still race sleds
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: sprintracer99 on September 21, 2020, 01:46:46 am
Ok..1972 or close..Not a dealership but a Movie Theater.. Polaris movie called "Winning "??.. I think. I was 13 .. The Lobby of the theater had gleaming Polaris Sleds on display..OMG..That was it.. Hook line and sinker..I was hooked.
Anyone else familiar with   that Movie ?
I just did a Google search..
A Matter of Winning..released in 1973
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: Sledded on September 21, 2020, 02:46:01 am
Isn't that the movie that Larry Preston had reproduced from the 16mm original film?
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: ski-doood on September 21, 2020, 02:58:58 am
Larry did a ton of work to track down that film and then eventually even worked with Midwest Vintage Snowmobile Shows and it was worked out to show it at a Waconia Ride-In event on the big screen at the Waconia Theatre on a Friday night of the Ride In.  It was pretty darn cool!!!  Thanks much Larry!
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: sdsnocop on September 21, 2020, 04:12:26 am
In 1974 my father bought the only new snowmobile anyone in our family would ever own, a 1974 Chaparral Firebird 292. I went with my dad to the dealership in Sioux Falls, SD. My 12 year old eye was drawn to the burnt orange liquid cooled SSX. I asked my dad why we couldn't buy one of the orange SSX's. He responded it was too expensive and you will kill yourself. That memory led me to the search and restoration of the Chaparral SSX I have today. And so far I have not killed myself.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: 69CAMARO on September 22, 2020, 06:46:19 am
I was 11 years old in 1975. I grew up on a dairy farm in West Central Wisconsin. My dad had John Deere tractors. Well there was a John Deere dealership 25 miles away in Granton WI called Kuhl Implement. Dad is buying tractor parts. I had already caught the bug and I was a Deere fan although I had only drove my grandpas Elan a couple miles. It was the beginning of February. They had a demo JD 300 for a really good deal. That JD dealer was all sleds in the winter. He had a new 75 340/s for sale as well as some new 100 series JDX models. He probably had a half a dozen used sleds too. I remember at least one used 74 295/s too. Anyway a few days later my dad gets me out of the house just a bit before farm chores normally started because he needed a hand with something. Here was that John Deere 300 in the back of the 1969 Chevy farm truck. I think I could not breath since I was so excited. It was on my birthday on February 5. I put over 800 miles on just in my parents fields since I was not old enough to ride the trails. 45 years later I was in that dealer a couple weeks ago to get some JD riding mower parts. The name has changed and there are no more new John Deere sleds there but there is a lot of great memories from that dealer.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: bnkmotorsports on September 22, 2020, 12:06:53 pm
Great story 69camaro.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: XCRacer440 on September 22, 2020, 02:20:34 pm
These stories are great to read, love hearing about all the different brands and experiences
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: ski-doood on September 23, 2020, 03:31:44 am
Excellent story 69Camaro.  Many of us have some great memories from back in the days.  Do what you can to help create memories like that for your kids and grandkids. 
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: 69CAMARO on September 23, 2020, 04:07:47 am
Great story 69camaro.
                  Thank you!
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: 69CAMARO on September 23, 2020, 04:09:49 am
Excellent story 69Camaro.  Many of us have some great memories from back in the days.  Do what you can to help create memories like that for your kids and grandkids.
        Thanks John!
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: TXL SP on September 23, 2020, 10:50:05 am
I remember the little snow machine dealers that used to dot the countryside. I drive through areas in West Michigan,and look at old buildings or where the building used to be and think,"they used to sell Cats there or Scorpions or SkiRoules. Now the dealers sell all the makes and it is very impersonal.
Title: Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
Post by: ski-doood on September 24, 2020, 04:03:11 am
I still buy my new sleds from one of those 'old time' type dealers at Paynesville Minnesota.  Nathe's Marine is Ski-doo only and in fact they disappointed Bombardier and now BRP over the years by not taking on Sea Doo and now Can Am.  Back when the Sea Doo's were getting hot their thinking was actually that a lot of their customers did not like those screaming little water bugs running over the areas dozens and dozens of lakes.  They passed on making a lot of money thinking it was what their customer base wanted.  Probably not a good move really.

They live and breath Ski-doo and have since the early 70's.  They have an amazingly loyal customer base.

When we were ordering our 2021's from them last April they were grumbling that BRP MADE them upgrade their old school Ski-doo and Evinrude signs to the tune of about $5K each. The new ones are huge and also very nice.  Of course 6-8 weeks later BRP pulls the plug on Evinrude - ouch!!!

Good people out there and they are getting to be rare in this area of Motorsport Superstores with little or no character.