1971 Rupp 440 WT

What was your intended objective when you started the build?

It has been fun to relive my past through the restoration of this Rupp. I enjoy all things vintage, from classic cars, to vintage trailers, and to sleds. Having the vintage sled hobby gives me something to play with in winter when all the rest of the toys are put away. Funny, the first time I rode it–which was just around the house–I remembered why I always rode with one knee on the seat. I sure didn’t remember it riding so low. The seat must sit at least six inches lower than any of our other sleds.

What motivated you to start your project?

When I was growing up in South Dakota, many of us had our own sleds in high school. Mine, just happened to be a Rupp. Now, living in Oregon, I don’t see this make, but have wanted to acquire one since developing an interest in vintage sleds. I just happened to be talking with a friend at a car show one day, and the subject came up of another friend who had given me an old Arctic Cat. I said that one day I would like to restore a Rupp. He smiled and said, his brother in Montana had one and would gladly give it to me. It took about six months to finally get it from Montana to Oregon, but it arrived in time to get it ready for our 2020 season. The sled was in amazing original condition still and needed mainly some newfound attention. Not too much money was needed to get it looking like new again.

What was the most unique and creative thing you did to the sled?

I’m still working on the restoration and looking for some missing parts. I was able to go to a locksmith and get a key and have the ignition re-tooled. I also re-did the chrome skis. I had inquired to another friend that I needed some replacement skis. Knowing he had a Rupp, or two, it was funny that the only spare parts he had was actually a set of skis. But, the funny reason why I was really wanting a different set was due to an accident. After I had finished doing the necessary work on the Rupp, I was ready to fire it up. I opened the shop door, started it, and away she went. Yep, she took off like a rocket. I wasn’t even on it. She headed across the driveway, jumped the curb, took flight, ¬†wiped out an inflatable Christmas decoration in the yard and slammed into the side of the house! I was trying to chase after it, but tripped on the curb and tumbled down. When I finally caught up to it, the track was still spinning in the grass. If the house hadn’t stopped it, it would probably be in the next county by now. Dejavu–this same thing happened to me in high school when the throttle stuck on my old sled and I almost hit the neighbors house. I just barely got it stopped in time. Needless to say, I have addressed that issue now and hopefully this won’t happen again. And the replacement skis that don’t have their tips bent back looked pretty good after I glass-beaded and painted the springs. Also, since parts have been so hard to come by, I was glad I was able to Q-Bond the damaged side panel back together and thankful the hood had not got damaged in the process.

What are you most proud of?

How I was once again able to save another sled from the landfill.

What do other people say about your sled?

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to share my sled with too many people yet. Winter seems to have come late for us in the Pacific Northwest. But snowmageddon has arrived now and I’m anxious to hit the trail and show her off.


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