David - I thought you
might find this email interesting
My father was in the snowmobile
business in upstate New York during the care between 1963 and 1973.
He started out as a Moto
ski and AMF Ski Daddler dealer in 1964. He handled Moto ski until
1969 when he
became a distributor
for Snow King (what a piece of junk). Late in the season of 1969
we saw an ad for
a machine called the
Eskimo. We contacted the manufacturer in Canada and they promptly
machines to my father’s
business. They were a lime green and made from aircraft aluminum,
One was powered
by a 20 hp sachs and the other 25hp. The interesting thing was in
regard to the 25hp
machine, deep snow could
not stop it. I witnessed it cutting through 3 ft on the soft stuff
passing a light footed ski doo and MS 18 moto ski on a grade.
My father made arrangements to become the distributor
for this sled, but the
company had internal disputes and our contact left the company to start
The sled was called a Norway and the initial prototype was a putrid maroon
and purple color.
My father said it would never sell based on the color. They changed
to lime green slightly
different from the Eskimo in order to avoid any legal issues as Eskimo
was in full
name was changed from Norway to Northway. My father outfitted a 1970
with a prototype Ord
fuel injection system on a 293cc sachs engine. This sled could out
run a 399 ski doo
Olympic and a 398 Polaris
Charger. The USSA would not let us run in the New York state championship
and barred all other
Northways as well. We were forced to run in the open class.
I read an article on one
of the vintage snowmobile site regarding the history of Northway and it
correct that an investor
came along and hired a design team that was far superior to any other team,
including Ski doo.
For the 1971 season they introduced a radically redesigned sled that had
unique features such
as, a cowl that open like a car hood, a totally enclosed engine, a padded
two up seating.
They retained the aircraft aluminum chassis. The initial production
CCW axial fan cooled
engines. The problems that year included bogie wheel separation,
due to the poorly ventilated
cowl and engine problems (CCW 440CC only ). In 1972 they solved these
problems and introduced
the Kiekaffer engine with CD ignition (fouled plugs were a thing of the
My father exited
the business in 1973. Northway created a business venture with a
in Buffalo New York and
started building, 6x6 atvs and three wheelers ( they were an accident waiting
happen ). The only
funny story I would like to relate to you involves the AMF ski daddler.
If you know
anything about this sled,
in the early years the cowl looked like a grey crate. When my father
them that he was no longer
going to carry this brand he elaborated to the salesman while standing
in our kitchen that the
sled was too drab and needed to be redesigned, and “for god sakes change
the color”. My
dad liked the color orange and pointed to the 60’s era vinyl kitchen swivel
and said “I like orange”;
and by 1969 or 1970 they refreshed the design and the cowl was now orange.
OTHER EMAILS, DALE WROTE THIS ...............
My father was the original
distributor for Northway as I explained in my first email. I remember
Baulanger, he visited
my parents regularly. He was the original contact that my father
worked with and
when he left Eskimo snowmobile
company he went to work on the Norway (later became northway).
My Mother told me
that the lime green color picked for the Norway came from a salad bowl
in our kitchen.
As told in my first
email the original Norway prototype had
a purple upper cowl and
a maroon lower section (ugly).
father was a Moto ski dealer and purchased the sleds from Dufrane.
sold Moto ski sleds from 1965 to 1968. In 1967 he had 50 brand new
Moto ski’s on a truck
a crate and sold everyone of them before he even unloaded them.
Northway was probably as reliable as anything else in it’s day,
they were not highly engineered and did not have the development budget
like ski doo.
dad decided to exit the business due to low profitability.
also saw the writing on the wall when you had to start registering
sleds and you had to take a safety course if you were under 16.
had no regrets in exiting the business.
father was in the timber business so he went back to what he knew best.
have a 1960’s vintage snow bug. This
machine has the engine in the rear, with 22” wide track with
single ski up front. The driver sits in an open cock pit. This
machine is meant for really deep snow.
is built of aluminum construction and a fiber glass hood over the engine.
also has reverse. My father is
trying to locate a replacement engine.
IF YOU CAN HELP
DALE FIND AN ENGINE,
THANKS DALE FOR THIS GREAT