Old Sled Sighting: 1970’s Johnson Rampage

A vintage Johnson Rampage snowmobile is a sled collector's dream machine.

A vintage Johnson Rampage spotted at the Cranbrook Snowmobile Club's rally in February 2017.
A vintage Johnson Rampage spotted at the Cranbrook Snowmobile Club's rally in February 2017. Photo courtesy Doug Williamson

Here’s another vintage sled found at the Cranbrook Snowmobile Club’s vintage rally back in February.

These baby-blue Johnson Rampage snowmobiles are a vintage collector’s dream. They are a bit hard to find but the little machines have enough personality to make the search worthwhile. As this photo shows, they shine up really nicely at a vintage show or rally.

Here’s how Johnson positioned the Rampage in their ads back in 1971: “Hit the trails on a Rampage! 32 HP from 437 cc’s—rally-styled windshield, suede, black accents, agile but tough.” Then there was the Light-Trac model – “25 HP, loop-charged 2-cylinder engine, hill-country ruggedness.”

The ad continued, “Pour it on—with hair-trigger acceleration and sizzling top speed! Our trail-tested features include: twin-coil ignition, compression relief, fuel injection for fast, deep-cold starts, lockout neutral for safe high-idle warm ups, torque-sensor drive, automatically meets hill and load demands, fade-resistant caliper disc brakes, precision steering, sealed bogie wheel bearings, maintenance-free deep-molded, seamless 15” track, lug-driven to eliminate sprocket holes and their wear, low-vibration engine specially developed (not just converted) for snowmobiling. Sealed beam headlights.”

“Some of these aren’t available as options on other makes—they’re standard on ours,” the ad concluded. 

The Johnson snowmobiles carried the tag line, “First in dependability.” They were manufactured by the Johnson Motors company of Waukegan, Illinois, which was a division of the Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC).

Got a vintage snowmobile story or photos to share?  Email: [email protected]

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