Snowmobile Sleighs

Bluebill Marine Specialties (BMS) is famous for the Bluebill sleigh. BMS offered the following colors: Black, Blue, Blue/White, Orange, Red, Red/Black, Red/White, and Yellow.  Of note, the two tone colors are hard to find.  Many snowmobile dealers that brand(s) didn't offer sleighs/cuttters sold Bluebills and Sno-Cruisers (below) to fill the void.  Some dealers even put decals on them to match the sled color.  An couple of examples are pictures showing a black Bluebill with Arctic Cat Logo decal being towed by an Arctic Cat; the orange AMF ski-daddler Bluebill. It has not yet been confirmed if BMS actually made these direct for manufactures.  Some believe yes BMS did and some believe Trayco in Lapeer may have made different styles of cutters and sleighs for others to offer. If you can help with more information please let us know. Also, back in the 1970s BMS was located at 23733 Dhondt Ct in Mt. Clemens, 48043. Later rezoning moved the street city to Chesterfield, 48051 and relined the numbering system. 
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Defoe Shipbuilding in Bay City started out as Defoe Boat & Motor Works in 1905. The name was changed to Defoe Shipbuilding in 1942. After WW II, trying to diversify, they even ventured in the home building modular supplies.  In the late 1960s they were having a hard time securing future Navy contracts. They looked at other ventures and snowmobiling was just beginning to boom. Their all aluminum sleigh was light, but sturdy and unique--it was designed to be pulled by snowmobile or horse. Only one Defoe Sleigh is known to exist (pictured). Sadly, the company closed in December in 1976.
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    General Aluminum Products (GAP)
GAP in Charlotte released their first production sleigh in 1967. Over the years GAP made one and multi-passenger; Rescue Unit; Sno-Camper (like a Pop-Up Travel Trailer); and an utility fold down Dog Sled style sleigh.
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         GAP Rescue Unit
The GAP Sno-Cruiser Rescue Unit was basically a portable stretcher on skies with a 360 degree freedom of movement hitch. It came with a folding hospital stretcher that locked into position and a built-in kit box to store medical supplies. It was offered on an order only basis with basic list price of $395. Special thanks to Steve B for allowing us to use three photos of his Rescue Unit. 
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        GAP Sno-Camper
The GAP Sno-Cruiser Sno-Camper was truly an all-season camper. After winter it fit into a pickup truck! It slept two adults that set up and folded down in minutes. An optional ice fishing hole made for shirt sleeve fishing in comfort.  There is one on display at the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway. 
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          GAP Sno-Cruiser
This was one of the most popular non-OEM sleighs ever.  Like the Bluebill above, many snowmobile dealers sold Sno-Cruisers. Some even matched color schemes and put decals on them to match the sled (examples: "Massey-Ferguson (MF), Scorpion, ski-daddler, Ski-Whiz, and skiroule to name a few). MF even sold re-branded Charlotte based GAP Sno-Cruisers as there own as well as Ariens. They were one of the few that actually had GAP Sno-Cruisers in their dealership brochures. Also, Sears and Roebuck sold Sno-Cruisers under their name. Sadly many Sno-Cruisers that were in the barn; yard or weeds waiting to be found were indeed found by scrappers in the mid-2000s when Aluminum prices were at an all time high. The skis didn't take up much actual space and were heavy.
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    GAP Utility Sled
The GAP Sno-Cruiser Utility Sled was first offered for the 1969-1970 winter season.  A very high quality aluminum dog sled style sleigh that folded down to 10" high and weighed less than 60 lbs with a list price of just under $100. An optional Comfort Kit (Front Snow deflector, Side Curtains and Cushions) was available for $15.90. 
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    Lakeland MFG Co Inc
Lakeland Manufacturing Company Inc out of Manchester, Michigan made fiberglass sleighs and the Versa-Cap one and two snowmobile trailer covers in the early 1970s until around 1974. The sleigh had a unique feature, a Snap On and Off windscreen.  Some assets where sold off in the mid-'70s.  Known colors were Blue, Red, and White. 
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Linabery Sleighs were made in Gladwin in the late 1960s and early '70s.  Very unique design mixing the Trapper Sleigh style with the sit down cutter.  Best of both worlds!  Sadly, only one is known to exist (pictured).
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Located in Dearborn, Meadowbrook Manufacturing Corporation's Super Snow Transport (SST) aka Flash-Pak was a Four-Season folding toboggan designed to be easy to move and portable when not in use.  Meadowbrook filed it's patent in 1972; approved in 1974.  It was made of lightweight high-impact automotive polyethylene that could hold 3,000 pounds and float on water. You could use it as a Snowmobile Sleigh in the winter; Spring and Summer tow behind a boat; and Fall for hunting and wood hauling. They came in two different lengths (6' (two sections) and 8' (three sections) with  three High Gloss color options: Apple Green, Hunter's Orange, and Jet Blue. They were sold and Marine and Snowmobile Dealers across Michigan then the Northern Tier. A&W Root Beer used the orange 6-foot version as promotional adverting with the A&W logo on the two seat cushions.. Even Hudson's in Detroit sold them back in the very early to mid-1970s.  They are hard to find, especially the 8-Foot model.  While extremely well built to hold great weights the Sun's UV rays were not kind to the plastic.   
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    Mush Sleigh
The Mush Sleigh was made by Alloy Marine in Algonac. Styled after the Alaskan Dog Sled this folding sleigh was primarily made of rugged steel. It came in black or Tangerine. The Mush Sleigh logo and sleigh itself is one of the most beloved for Michigan collectors.
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George Pardonnet started Pardonnet Mfg Co Inc (PAMCO) in the mid-1960s. PAMCO products were outstanding quality. Their single wide snowmobile trailer (Swivel Tongue) is still often seen in use around the Great Lakes state. Fun n Snow Camper was truly All-Season (carry in Station Wagon, in a Pick-Up Bed or Towed by a Snowmobile). For unknown reasons PAMCO creased production in the late-1970s. The also made a snowmobile sleigh--can you help with info? 
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    Product M
Product M, out of Grand Ledge, made their "Snowmobile Sled" for winter 1974-1975. Not much is known past what's on their advertisement (please see picture). Can you please help with more info?
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    Sleigh Buggy
New Frontier Corporation in Grand Rapids made the Scatmobile, but many do not know they also offered one of the first all-season pull behind sleighs called the "sleigh buggy."  Thanks to Matt B for sending the dealer spec sheet in.  If you know anymore about the "sleigh buggy" please get with us.
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    Sno Savage
Ski-Bobbing in the late 1960s was huge in Europe. People not comfortable on skis or looking for something different than skiing on the steep Alpine slopes turned to Ski-Bob(s).  A Ski-Bob has a single frame with a steering ski up front and fixed rear ski attached with a seat, the rider would strap on skis. Very stable! With the off-shore market starting to impact domestic Mini-Bike and related sales Michigan based Michrina Enterprises (Lil' Indian) got in the Ski-Bob game with their Sno Savage. It was a quality made product just like everything Michrina did; however, it faced the same problem that Michigan's Sherman Poppen's Snurfer did--almost all of the ski lodges wouldn't allow it on the slopes. There were a lot of Sno Savages laying around in 1971 and it did gain some traction with Skijoring (a winter sport in which a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog or a motor vehicle). Well, what better motor vehicle than a snowmobile! A later Sno Savage advertising picture even showed one being towed by a sled. Thanks to Cliff S for sending the picture.
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    The Sliding Machine
This dual purpose toboggan was made in Detroit for the slopes and snowmobiling with IEC's one ton pull capacity Sno-mobile hitch.
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    Trail King
Trail King 1-2-3 FOLD-A-SLED was made in Portland, Michigan. The product was assembled (less seat and seat back) and completely dipped in black paint then electrostatic baked on. Then the Michigan procured wood for the seat and seat back was natural protected by clear varnish was installed.  The Trail King, along with the Michigan Made Trail-Rite (below) were the most manufactured Trapper Style sleighs during the snowmobile boom years.  The 1-2-3 was so popular they even sold them in Canada.
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Stafco, formed in 1952, out of Mancelona was one of the first makers of snowmobile sleighs.  Their motto even was "Trail-Rite - The Original Snowmobile Sled.  The U.S. Patent Office in the March 12, 1968, TM 65, notices "Trail-Rite" trademark was filed on July 27, 1966 by Stafco in Mancelona. They were painted in the most popular sled colors to match the snowmobile.  Over time there were variations. Even full skirting and a windscreen added (see photo) and only two are known to exist (Kalkaska and Gaylord).
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Trayco Company Inc in Lapeer made snowmobile sleighs and ice fishing shanties in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Tracer was their flagship model and came in white (most popular), blue, red, and yellow. The Trayco Snow Traveler Camper was one of very few snowmobile sleigh campers.  During the end of production they made a very stylish model.  To date only two are known to exist (both sold out of Alpena by Lake Land Specialties) in Gaylord and Ohio.
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Voyager Products Inc started making sleighs in the late 1960s in Detroit across from the old Packard Plant. After 1971 they moved to Mt Clemens. They came in many different colors, but the Red Metalflake and Deep Solid Red were the most impressive. The one pictured was made in Mt. Clemens. 
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Craftline Industries from 1971 to 1978 in Algonac made four models of fiberglass canoes; an 11-foot, two-passenger, sport runabout called the Scat-A-Boat; along with Yukon snowmobile sleighs. Thanks to Doug L for the pictures and identifying this recently uncovered piece of Michigan snowmobile history.
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Military A-16 Aerial Delivery Sled. Military specification A-16 called for a lightweight sled made of magnesium alloy for emergency survival kits; hauling heavy and bulky items over snow. Made by different companies most notable the Bellanca Aircraft company and National Light Materials and Plastics Company in Caro, Michigan. They came in orange and white; orange parachute. When obsolete many people bought them for use as ice fishing sleighs. On occasion, they can be seen being towed behind snowmobiles.

    Mystery Sleigh
Can you help identify this Michigan Made Sleigh?  If so, please contact us.  Thank you.  The Qamutiik style three are known (two in the Tri-Cities and one near Clear Lake north of West Branch).  Have a pretty loose lead it was made in the Mio/Rose City region. There most likely are many more of these out there.  Again, any help or leads would be really appreciated it to document who made this. Thank you!
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Dedication and Thank You 
Dedicated to those who invented; designed; made; sold; serviced; and owned Snowmobiles, Over Snow Vehicles (OSV), and End Item related OSV products made in Michigan. Thanks to those who helped contribute with special mention US Patent Office, Google Patents, Google Books, Popular Science magazine, The Winning Edge Magazine, Lisa from the Lakeview Area Museum, Oakland County Historical Resources, Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum, Richard L (Editor and Publisher of the Presque Isle County Advance), twintrackworld web site, the late Bud Knapp for inspiration, Chris B of Premier RPC, Bill S, Bob H, Bob L and Norma in Special Collections at the Alpena County Library, Bob W, Brad L, Brent C, Charlie and Marilyn V, Cliff S (Mini-Bike OSV Section and Snow-Trac), Tom and Linda D, Doug L, Doug M, E.F. Lindsey, Edward J, Holli T, Jeff H, John Gendregske, Kevin M, Larry K,  Les H, Matt B, Mike Q, Mario C, Richard H, Roger and Karen J, Steve B, Steve and Sherry L, Todd H, Todd K, Vinnie D, and John M for access to his extensive research and photos.

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