Antique Snowmobiles Test Their Luck On Fish Lake

By KBJR News 1

February 27, 2011 Updated Feb 27, 2011 at 11:53 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- Collecting and riding antique snowmobiles has become a big hobby in the Northland and one of the biggest gatherings for old sled heads took place near Duluth on Saturday.

Dave Anderson shows us what keeps fans of vintage snowmobiles coming to the annual Fish Lake Snowmobile Challenge.

What are the chances of seeing an old 60's Scorpion, the pride of Crosby Minnesota, heading down a Northland trail?

Pretty good, actually.

Collecting and riding vintage and antique snowmobiles remains a popular hobby in our region.

"It's just a love of the old sport and everyone loves the machine they had when they were a kid."

Steve Wick is a brake repairman 364 days a year.

For the last 13 years, though, he takes off the last Saturday of February to host the Fish Lake Challenge.

The challenge comes from nursing pre–1980 sleds through a rally and trail ride.

Some years have had precious little snow.

This year's ride had precious little warmth.

"It's a little cold but everyone seems to be having a good time. Once they get the machines warmed up, they're ready to ride."

Hundreds of machines turned up for this years challenge from common but much loved bubble nose Ski Doos to much rarer twin track Alsports.

The Fish Lake Run is becoming one of the largest gatherings of its kind.

However, snowmobile salvage yard proprietor Dean Klumb from Barnum says the grand daddy vintage gathering in Waconia still has a slight edge.

"There were eleven hundred registered vintage riders and there were over five thousand people in two days."

The way the Fish Lake ride keeps growing, it may overtake Waconia in a few years.

Steve Wick says the affordability of vintage sleds is one of the hobby's major draws.

Just a few hundred bucks can get you in.

"Buy a used one. You can find them pretty reasonable. Find one you like or you had when you were a kid because it makes it more fun to work on."

Working on them is the Achilles Heel of the hobby because the old machines were prone to break downs even when new.

Luckily, there are people like Dean Klumb to help keep them going.
On Fish Lake, Dave Anderson, the Northland's News Center.

Was your machine broken down for the Fish Lake Run?

Get it fixed by Saturday because there will be two more vintage rallies.

One will be the 11th annual eat and run at Border's Bar between Superior and Oliver.

The second will be at T.J.'s Country Corner in Mahtowa.