The start of something different
all-new line of snowmobiles for model year 1962 was introduced quietly. There
was no trade show, there were no snowmobile magazines. There wasn't much room to
talk about or show a new snowmobile in a one-inch advertisement in Outdoor Life.
The new Bombardier looked very much like the 1961 Bombardier. The new Polaris
Sno-Travelers looked like the ones before. The newest entry on the market, the
Polar snowmobile, didn't change the shape of things, either.
It was still an industry operating under the "show and tell" sales principle:
load a machine on a truck, drive around the countryside and try to sell it.
Fred V, Gates, in Rhinelander, had his dealership well-established but customers
were still few. He dreamed up plans for a second snowmobile race, bigger and
better than the one on Boom Lake in 1961. He planned to mark out a nice course
to the island, maybe route the sleds over and around the golf course. He took
his grandiose scheme to fellow businessmen in Rhinelander. Eyebrows were raised
slightly every time Fred talked about snowmobiles and races. Was he getting just
a little bit crazier every year? Fred's idea for another race died for lack of a
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The start of something different 1961-1962