Our vintage snowmobiling collecting friend from Kamloops, Murray Willis, has another couple of stories to share with us about his vintage collection – specifically his Ski-Whiz and the Mercury.
Here’s how Murray ended up with the Massey Ferguson Ski-Whiz: "I was in Cache Creek one day in the middle of the summer with a load of old sleds on and stopped to get gas.”
Sure to attract a little attention, right? A load of old snowmobiles in the middle of summer, probably 32 degrees plus!
“While I was stopped, a guy on a Harley pulls up and he said he has a very old Massey. When I asked him, "What year?" he says "1952."
But you can’t fool Murray with a 1952 date.
“I knew they didn't make them back then, but took his name and number,” explains Murray. “I went back in a couple months and had a look at it. It was in very good shape, having sat inside a shed for years.”
“Of course, he thought it was worth thousands of dollars, lol! And so did his drunk wife, lol!”
“After a bit of talking we made a deal for $600.00 and I loaded it up. I used to do upholstery, so all I did was make a new seat. It’s a one “lunger” so it jumps up and down. The engine sits backwards with the carb at the front so anytime you hit a snow drift it sputters. But, it’s fun to ride, but it doesn't take much snow to stop it.”
And who says collecting old snowmobiles isn’t fun!
Murray adds, “Not much of a story on the Merc. An old farmer had it and he knew I collected vintage snowmobiles. He stopped by with it one day and said he wanted to sell it. We settled on a price and I became the proud owner. It runs like a top and always starts first or second pull. It’s one of my favorites to ride as it has a different kinda sound.”
Here's a link to the first story we did about Murray's old Mercury snowmobile: Old Sled Zone: 1970’s Mercury Snowmobile & a backyard of vintage sleds.
Thanks again Murray for sharing your old sled collecting stories and have fun wheeling and dealing — and keep us posted on your vintage snowmobile collection! Remember, if you see a truck load of old snowmobiles driving by in the heat of summer, it might be Murray Willis adding to his collection.
Got a vintage snowmobile story or photo? Email it to us at SnoRiders: [email protected]