The Jag that followed me home.
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 06:59

jag1


It was the fall of 2007 fast approaching Princeton time. For those of you who don’t know what Princeton is, the outlaw summer grass drags and swap is held each fall just outside of Princeton MN. These drags and swaps attract the largest number of vintage swappers in the Midwest.


Friday night the whole family headed out to the Twin Cities to spend a weekend away from home. My wife and kids were looking forward to staying at Grandma’s house and I couldn’t wait to see the isles and isles of pure old sled heaven. The sun was just coming up in the eastern sky as I pulled the truck out of Grandma's driveway and headed the last 40 miles towards Princeton.


I pulled into the lot, and found a place to park near the gate. One last check before I went into the gate; wallet, keys, and most importantly the shopping list.

I found a pair of skis I needed within the first 3 rows. The next hour of swapping was rather uneventful; I ran into a lot of old friends and had plenty of time to trade some stories. I picked up a couple t-shirts, a carb, and some windshield trim just because it was there.


As I headed back out to my pickup with my armload of treasures, I saw a real nice Yamaha Enticer 340. I stopped to look it over; it was as nice as they come for a used one. My brother had asked me to pick up a sled for his boys to run around the yard, and the lil Yamaha looked like it was just what the doctor ordered. I asked the lady sitting there about the sled, and she said, “ My husband will be back in an hour.” I told her I’d stop back later and continued on my way.


Around lunchtime, I grabbed a burger and watched about an hours worth of the drags. Well rested, it was time to hit the swaps again. My shopping list was getting short as I stopped by the Yamaha again. I had not brought a trailer and only had room for one sled going home, if I could strike a deal, the Yamaha was the one.  As luck would have it, the owner was not around, and no phone number listed.


I continued around the swap. As I got to the outside row, I saw a kid around 12 desperately trying to start a beat up old Jag. I could see the kid was crying and I asked what was wrong. He told me that his mom had taken the beat up Jag in lieu of rent from some guy, and that he’d convinced his mom if they took it to the swap meet it would sell.

I looked a little closer at the Jag; it was the epitome of neglect. It had a ripped seat, busted hood, and hadn’t been licensed in years. Above it hung a sign that said $200.


The kid told me the sled ran this morning but now he couldn’t get it to start. I grabbed a plug wrench and pulled the plugs…yep, they were wet. I had a case of plugs in my cart so I grabbed a pair, stuck them in, and pulled.  And I pulled, and pulled…Finally the flooded engine came to life. I let the sled clean itself out and it seemed to run real nice.


I reached for the key and shut it off, turned the key back on and with half a pull the sled was running.  I shut it off again and the kid was beaming. “Thanks mister, do you want to buy it?” I politely explained I only had room for one snowmobile in my pickup and this wasn’t going to be to one. He persisted…” You gotta buy it, my mom wants to go home right now”. I declined again and told him I had to keep moving in the swap. He said “ Just make me an offer, we aren’t going to haul it home”. I really did not want that sled so at this point, I was left with no other options, so I said “$20” knowing he’d say no and I could be on my way.


He said, “SOLD” and threw out his hand to shake.


A deals a deal, so I gave the kid $20 and walked away in a stunned state of disbelief .  I flagged down a sled hauler and went to pick up the old Jag, as I rode through the swaps on the way to my pickup I was kicking myself. I told myself; well at least it’s got a good track and engine. As I was loading it into my pickup I saw the track was torn in two. There goes the good track theory.


I finished the day and went back to grandmas to pick up my wife and kids. My wife asked me about the junk sled in the back of the pickup, I told her the story and she just chuckled.


When I got home, I unloaded the sled and pulled the rope…nothing. Again, nothing. What? I pulled the plugs and pulled it over…Yep. No spark.  ARRGH! I hooked onto the old jag and pulled it unceremoniously back into the trees behind the shop.


You’d think that would be the end of the story but it’s not. Since arriving in the trees, that $20 Jag has donated a carburetor to the first charity build, and muffler to a friend in need, and provided shelter for countless mice families.


And the kid? I saw him the very next year and bought a bike rack for the kids from him. His mother laughed as I told her the story of the tired old Jags new life as a parts donor, and thanked me again for helping her son that hot fall day.


Moral of the story:

No good deed goes unpunished...

Keep your skis on the same side of the tree.

Paul Shearer

 
Sledder of the Week Jan 31-Feb 6
Monday, 31 January 2011 13:55
mofo1
VintageSledders Screenname:70 MF
Real Name:
John Strauch
Location:
Durand, Michigan
Family:Wife...
Jennifer, 3 sons...Will 9, Nick 6 and Jaxon 4
Current sleds:
'79 Yamaha Exciter 440 oval sled, '80 Moto Ski Mirage II, '70 MF SST500, '77 MF Storm & a few parts sleds
Favorite brand:Anything but Cat
Dream sled:
'79 Yamaha SRX, '79 Moto Ski GPS
Do you show?
Once and a while. Swap? Yes, but usually end up bringing more home than I take. Race? Yes, this year will be my first try at ovals, some grass and ice drags.
Favorite vintage snowmobile event:
A-1, Marion SnowFest, RuppFest
How long have you been into vintage snowmobiles?
Since my first ride on the '70 Ski Whiz in 1970 when I was 4 years old. Bought my first sled in 1980 when I was 15, a '77 Yamaha GS340
When did you first get bit by the vintage bug?
On and off since I was younger, really got back into it in the last 10 years,it keeps me out of trouble.
Other hobbies:
Hunting, fishing, guns, militias
Random fact about you:
I haven't bought a car since I was in high school a '75 Nova, I've owned only trucks since then.

VintageSledders Screenname:70 MF
Real Name: John Strauch
Location: Durand, Michigan
Family:Wife... Jennifer, 3 sons...Will 9, Nick 6 and Jaxon 4 
Current sleds:'79 Yamaha Exciter 440 oval sled, '80 Moto Ski Mirage II, '70 MF SST500, '77 MF Storm & a few parts sleds
Favorite brand:Anything but Cat 
Dream sled:'79 Yamaha SRX, '79 Moto Ski GPS 
Do you show? Once and a while. Swap? Yes, but usually end up bringing more home than I take. Race? Yes, this year will be my first try at ovals, some grass and ice drags. 
Favorite vintage snowmobile event: A-1, Marion SnowFest, RuppFest 
How long have you been into vintage snowmobiles? Since my first ride on the '70 Ski Whiz in 1970 when I was 4 years old. Bought my first sled in 1980 when I was 15, a '77 Yamaha GS340 
When did you first get bit by the vintage bug? On and off since I was younger, really got back into it in the last 10 years,it keeps me out of trouble. 
Other hobbies: Hunting, fishing, guns, militias 
Random fact about you: I haven't bought a car since I was in high school a '75 Nova, I've owned only trucks since then.
 
Sledder of the Week Jan 24 - 30th
Monday, 24 January 2011 12:05

66panther1

VINTAGESLEDDERS SCREENNAME:   1966 Panther

REAL NAME:  Dick Krogstad

LOCATION:  Thief River Falls, MN.

FAMILY: Wife Carole.   Daughters Tina & Teri.  Grand Kids, Sheyenne, Myles, Maya.   Son in Law, Jay,  and Dog Niki.

CURRENT SLEDS:   1966 Panther,  1966 JC Penney's,  1966 Sears & Roebuck,  and soon a new 1972 Viking.

FAVORITE BRAND: Arctic Cat

DREAM SLED:   1974 ZR 440

DO YOU SHOW?  SWAP?  RACE?   I show as often as I can, especially in NW Minn, and NE ND.  I love swap's, but I usually give my stuff away to people that need it.  Someday I might need something and they will have it.  Race?  Don't think so.  Only if there is a weight  handy cap.

FAVORITE VINTAGE SNOWMOBILE EVENT:  Pequot Lakes, MN. and of course the Thief River Falls Show.

 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INTO ANTIQUE/VINTAGE SNOWMOBILES?   The first Antique machine I bought was a 1964 Arctic Cat Model 100 back in about 1975.  I joined the Antique Snowmobile Club of America and I was hooked.  After that I have had over 30 different sleds.  I have to say " I'm mostly Antique".  Remember "If you didn't have Antique-there wouldn't be Vintage"
.
OTHER HOBBIES:  Now that I'm retired, and working part time my hobby I guess is work and trying to finish my honey-do-list every day.  I also love camping when I can.

RANDOM FACT ABOUT ME:  I worked for Arctic Cat for 39+ years.  While at Arctic Cat I worked the I-500 Parts Truck for 7 years.  Now retired, I work part time at the 7 Clans Casino here in TRF.  I was Director of the ASCOA  twice.  Myself plus two other guys put on the Thief River Falls Antique/Vintage Snowmobile Show & ride here in TRF.  Your all invited to our show on March 5th 2011.

 
BRRP News
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 11:31

brrp

The Buffalo River Race Park held its first Ice Oval race this Sunday putting on an excellent show! The frigid temperatures and blowing wind didn’t stop all of the racers or fans and heated concessions and Hot Box Suites were also a hit!


The ice conditions were smooth and held up for the entire day. The banked oval was new to some Canadian drivers that made it down for the event. Many seemed to like the new stadium track as it offered great racing and excellent speed through the corners. All had a great time and the track was safe with plenty of fresh straw bales and powder snow off the bank.

 

Please add to the record that the first sled to roll at the Buffalo River Speedway since 1974 (when the last snowmobile races were held there) was none other than our very own “CRWDOG” Monty Normand. Monty got up and gave it another shot finishing very respectively through out the day on his freshly built High Horsepower Yamaha SRX 600.

 

There was great racing in the Super Stock racing! Westlund, Spokely, Stearns and other new Super Stock racers came out to race. The day ended with a 10-lap feature “Grudge Match” race between Formula 500, Sportsman 600 and F-340. The high horsepower of the Matt Szalai MXZ 583 could not overcome the tuned handling of Jason Boyda on his #18 Formula 500 over the 10-lap race.


The next race at Buffalo River Speedway will be Sunday, January 30th Racer sign in at 10:30 Flag will drop at noon! Hope to see you there!


 
Sledder of the Week Jan 17-23rd
Tuesday, 18 January 2011 10:25

 

drmario2

VintageSledders Screenname:DrMario
Real Name: Don Soukup
Location: Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Family:Wife Eileen, stepdaughter Michelle, Grandson Chase (Charlie)
Current sleds: Somewhere over "Way too many"! All Polaris. I can't afford anything decent.
Favorite brand: Polaris
Dream sled: I don't need anymore!
Do you show? Swap? Race? Yes I do!
Favorite vintage snowmobile event: Waconia and Princeton have to be a tie.
How long have you been into vintage snowmobiles? Always been a closet collector till it became cool again. Started to peddle vintage parts around 2001 or so.
When did you first get bit by the vintage bug? Got it worse when I started going to shows. Always had the bug though.
Other hobbies: I have a couple toy tractors too!
Random fact about you: I cut my "Rat Tail" (hair) off after my youngest stepdaughter died of cancer. I didn't feel I needed it anymore.

 


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