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Author Topic: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....  (Read 12795 times)

LoyalSledder

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Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
« Reply #60 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.

Vintagesleds.com

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    ski-doood

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    Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
    « Reply #61 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.

    mac

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    Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
    « Reply #62 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.
    « Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 11:47:42 pm by mac »

    slowestsled

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    Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
    « Reply #63 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

    old rider

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    Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
    « Reply #64 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

    Lumpy59

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    Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
    « Reply #65 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 ?
    50 years of sledding, proud to have served as a National  Judge.

    way back when

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    Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
    « Reply #66 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.

    skidootntfa

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    Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
    « Reply #67 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.

    thefoolsbro

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    Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
    « Reply #68 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.
    1970 moto-ski 375 (372 jlo) most original vintage winner 1st  Hale show
    1971 chap firebird with an executive hood
    1974 El Tigre 340
    1974 polaris colt 175

    1974 chap. ssx 340

    duallydave

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    Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
    « Reply #69 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.

    uncletom

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    Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
    « Reply #70 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.

    Bob Vehring

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    Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
    « Reply #71 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
    I've been alot of thing in my life
    Normal isn't one of them

    sprintracer99

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    Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
    « Reply #72 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
    « Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 02:08:50 am by sprintracer99 »
    "You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough".. ..Mae West
    "Live in each season as it passes, breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit"..
    Henry David Thoreau

    Sledded

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    Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
    « Reply #73 on: September 21, 2020, 02:46:01 am »
    Isn't that the movie that Larry Preston had reproduced from the 16mm original film?
    I Ain't Never Had Too Much Fun. Commander Cody

    ski-doood

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    Re: Remember when walking in to a sled dealership.....
    « Reply #74 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!