Old Sled Zone: 1970’s John Deere 340

Thanks to vintage sled enthusiasts like Sid Samek the short, but rich, legacy of John Deere snowmobiles continues.

A nicely restored John Deere 340, restored by Sid Samek of Manning, Alberta.
A nicely restored John Deere 340, restored by Sid Samek of Manning, Alberta. Photo courtesy Sid Samek

More than just Alouettes as featured in previous Old Sled Zone column, avid snowmobile collector Sid Samek of Manning, Alberta also has done a great job in restoring several vintage John Deere snowmobiles in recent times.

Sid Samek writes, "Here are pictures of the one (John Deere) 340's I restored last winter, I am just finished putting decals and a few things to finish it up. This is the second 340 that I completed last winter."

The blog MachineFinder states, “While John Deere is best known for its production of agricultural, construction, forestry, and lawn care equipment, the company has not always been focused solely on these markets. In fact, there was a span throughout most of the 1970s when John Deere produced snowmobiles. John Deere eventually sold its snowmobile business to Polaris, and production stopped in 1982. John Deere snowmobile sales extended through 1984."

The blog adds, “While John Deere’s production of snowmobiles lasted just over a decade, the line helped pave the way for future company successes. Snowmobile customers demanded annual performance and technological upgrades to the machines, which ultimately carried over into the company’s productions standards."

According to Wikipedia, "The slogan "Nothing Runs Like a Deere," still used today by Deere & Co., started with the John Deere snowmobile line in 1972. From 1978 to 1980, JD used the slogan "Big John - Little John." In 1980, another new slogan was introduced: "Ride the new breed of Deere"....In 1980, John Deere was the official supplier of snowmobiles for the Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York."

John Deere snowmobiles may have had a relatively short run back in the 1970/80's but with vintage sled enthusiasts like Sid Samek that short, but rich, legacy continues on.

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