This week's Old Sled Zone dips back into our vault of great photos by Doug Williamson. Doug snapped these pictures at the Cranbrook Snowmobile Club's annual Poker Run and Vintage snowmobile Show-and-Shine which took place back in February. And from the vault comes this cool-looking, smooth-running little baby-blue Snow Cruiser.
With so many snowmobile OEM’s snapping up boat companies these days — for example, Polaris just purchased Boat Holding and BRP bought Alumacraft (they already own Sea-Doo and Evinrude), and the big RV manufacturer Winnebago bought Chris Craft boats — it's somewhat ironic to think that boat companies like OMC were scrambling to buy or start snowmobile companies back in the 1960’s.
Which brings us to the OMC Snow Cruiser story:
The Snow Cruiser was built by Outboard Marine Corporation of Peterborough, Ontario and this little snow machine was basically the same as the Johnson/Evinrude models in the USA.
In a previous column in SnoRider’s Old Sled Zone we stated, ”In the fall of 1964, Outboard Marine Corp. (OMC) of Waukegan, Ill., jumped into the fast-growing sport of snowmobiling. With three years of testing under its belt, OMC was ready to tackle the burgeoning market. The company produced three variations out of their Peterborough, Ontario, facility: the Johnson Skee-Horse, the Evinrude Skeeter and, in Canada, they changed the name of the Skeeter to Snow Cruiser. About all that was different was the paint colour and nameplate. The Johnson Skee-Horse was green, the Evinrude Skeeter had a blue tunnel with a white hood, and Snow Cruisers came in blue.”
Of note as well, “Snow Cruiser exclusively sold snowmobiles in Canada from the mid 1960s to the early 1970s. They were manufactured in a large and modern factory located in Peterbough, Ontario. In 1971, OMC discontinued the Snow Cruiser brand and instead choose to market its Evinrude and Johnson line of snowmobiles in Canada.”
Thanks again to Doug for sharing his photos and congratulations to the proud owner of this smart-looking little Snow Cruiser.
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