1975 Ski Doo T’nT RV

What was your intended objective when you started the build?

My motivation with the project was to mimic the RESTO MOD car builds.  That is, take an iconic styled machine and add modern technology, convenience, power and reliability.  I wanted to add independent front suspension to replace the leaf springs, longer travel suspension in back, with a modern skid frame and longer track.  For power, move to a larger liquid cooled power plant with rotary valves and oil injection.  Add a jackshaft with disk brakes.  A larger gas tank to replace the tiny gallon stock tank.  Hand guards because there is no windshield.    In short, a modernized version of a classic so that I could attend vintage snowmobile rides with pride.
No trailer queen or show sled this one — it’s a rider for fun on vintage trail rides!

What motivated you to start your project?

The SEXY Ski Doo 245 RV was an ice oval racer that was sold to consumers as a trail sled.  With the oil embargo in full force, Bombardier pulled the plug on its involvement with the SnoPro race circuit.  By then, Ski Doo had spent considerable time developing the diminutive stock class racer — and decided to market the 245 RV as a “consumer trail sled” that really was intended as an oval track racer.  It featured a low center of gravity, wide ski stance, aluminum alloys, fiberglass belly pan, small gas tank, no windshield, etc.   You would think that this racer design would not be a big seller for trail riders, but the opposite was true.  It’s low, sleek orange and black look created demand.  In essence, Ski Doo was selling SIZZLE to the consumer.   Anyone who pulled up to a trail stop or bar/restaurant on the 245 RV was someone.  An admiring crowd gathered.

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

Hand fabricating all the newer parts yet still retaining the look and style of the iconic RV.

What are you most proud of?

I’m no designer, no engineer, no mechanic, no welding, fiberglass or paint whiz  — just a backyard builder with a dream.  Previously, I had customized a 6500 Ski Doo.  My ultimate dream was a custom RV and, well, this is the result.  In truth, it was a labor of love — to apply new technologies and running gear to an old 1975 model.

What do other people say about your sled?

When I showed this RESTO MOD RV at the Vintage Snowmobile Club of America Nationals show last year, I was a bit nervous.  Would my peers feel it was blasphemy to modify the RV?  I was ready to answer any critics with the story of purchasing a discarded chassis, and used fiberglass from a fellow who went to new glass for his top-notch restoration.  That I had collected Ski Doo parts for 5 years before I took the risk in creating my custom.  At the show, all I heard was supportive comments and words of encouragement!  Many said, I wish you luck on the vintage rides — I’ll see you out on the trails.


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