Historic Birch Lodge

Historic Birch Lodge
Historic Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum at Naubinway, MI

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Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum
Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum

This week we visited Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway. The museum is a 501c3 non-profit organization displaying 80 vintage sleds, owned by 37 private collectors. Also on display are vintage outfits, and accessories, vintage oil and gas additives, photos, and everything else snowmobile. It also has gift shop area, T's mugs, novelties and toys including these wonderful custom painted "rocking snowmobiles" for toddlers.
Rocking Snowmobiles I confess, I am not that "into" snowmobiling, but seeing these machines was really interesting. Quite a few were proto-types which were never brought into production. I was amazed at how many home-built machines were attempted to fill the "need for speed". There is something here for everyone. From the large, like the 1957 Polaris Sno-Traveler ; to the small, like the "Pocket Rocket"

1957 Sno-Traveler
1972 Pocket Rocket

Some of the vintage styling was TOO COOL. I think my favorite has to be the 1971 Sno Coupe. Marilyn Vallier, secretary of the museum, and our guide today, said she thought that model was used in a James Bond movie. With the gold-flecked paint, I think anyone could imagine themselves just as cool as Bond. Or my other favorite for cool, is the sleek white and black 1967 Stanaback, built by Ken Stanaback of Grand Rapids, MI.

1971 Sno-Coupe1967 Stanaback

Also geared toward bring in the ladies, was this great pink 1969 Galaxy. I am woman hear me roar! Maybe not too fast though, the horse power offered on these was from 8- 23 hp!

1969 Galaxy The early machines were really the most fascinating though, you will just have to go and check this place out. There is way too much to see there in just one trip, so plan to return again. If you can't get there in person, please check out their website for great pictures and information on vintage snowmobiles. They have a great section showing photos of each snowmobile and it's history. Reviewing this, I see that I missed seeing quite a few.

Old Sleds

Their museum is full, and the need for more space has resulted in plans to build a new building on the north side of US-2. They are doing fund raisers, and accepting donations toward the construction of the new building. Please help support this really unique museum!
Back Room of Snowmobile Museum

More Vintage Sleds on Display

The third weekend of February they hold their vintage snowmobile show and rally. In September, they hold their vintage snowmobile swap meet, this is a fun event with enough time to get "project" machines up to speed for the rally in February! Last year nearly 200 vintage "snow machines" participated. This year the rally is set for February 18-19th and over 500 people are expected to attend. I know two of them will be us, hope to see you there!

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