Old Sled Zone: A second 1960’s Snow Cruiser

This Snow Cruiser sled was spotted at the Cranbrook Snowmobile Club's annual Poker Run and Vintage Snowmobile Show-and-Shine which took place back in February.

Person sitting on a Snow Cruiser sled.
Thanks to Doug Williamson for sharing his pictures and congratulations to the proud owner of this second smart-looking little Snow Cruiser. Photo courtesy Doug Williamson

Once again we dip back into our vault for some great photos by Cranbrook’s Doug Williamson. Another Snow Cruiser — no, it’s not an echo or mirror image of the first, it’s just another great-looking vintage machine.

Doug snapped a bunch of great pictures last winter at the Cranbrook Snowmobile Club's annual Poker Run and Vintage Snowmobile Show-and-Shine which took place back in February.

Believe or not, he captured another cool-looking, smooth-running little baby-blue late 1960's or early 1970's Snow Cruiser — that’s two at the same rally.

As we mentioned in the previous column, many snowmobile OEM’s are snapping up boat companies these days — for example, Polaris purchased Boat Holding and BRP bought Alumacraft (they already own Sea-Doo and Evinrude), and the big RV manufacturer Winnebago bought Chris Craft boats — and the irony of it all is that boat companies like OMC were rushing to buy or start snowmobile lines back in the 1960’s.

Snow Cruiser vintage ad showing two blue sleds on a snow-covered hill.
A vintage Snow Cruiser ad. Photo courtesy Doug Williamson

What’s 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 across the border in the snowbelt States.

In a previous column we stated this about OMC, ”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.”

Remember too, that, “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 chose to market its Evinrude and Johnson line of snowmobiles in Canada.”

Thanks again to Doug Williamson for sharing his pictures and congratulations to the proud owner of this second smart-looking little Snow Cruiser.

Got an old sled story or photos? Share them with us: [email protected]

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