Never seen snow! Just kidding, but it’s not too often that a person sees a snowmobile sitting on gravel. This one is a 1973 AMF Harley-Davidson Y440 and it’s listed on eBay. The current bid price is just under $120 (!!) and there are four more days left to get your shipper lined up. They’ll want to know that it’s located in the remote, northern town of Libby, Montana, where they know a thing or two about snow. Plan on adding a few hundred dollars onto the final price if you’re 2-3-4-5+ states away from Montana. This Y440 should be at least in the mid-to-high-hundreds of dollars by now if not more, this one could be a steal!
Much like the Harley-Davidson / Aermacchi motorcycle saga, the Milwaukee company’s foray into the snowmobile market was filled with mergers and acquisitions, changes and stagnation, successes and failures, joys and heartaches… jeez, well, maybe it wasn’t that bad. But, after five short few years of producing some very cool and now very sought after sleds, they were out of the snowmobile business.
AMF Harley-Davidson snowmobiles had a fascinating history and for anyone interested in snowmobiles, a set of books by Mr. Pierre Pellerin called “Snowmobile History“, a three-volume set, is among my most prized possessions. He explains that with a hostile takeover on the horizon in 1969, Harley-Davidson merged with American Machine and Foundry (AMF). AMF had been producing a snowmobile called the Ski-Daddler since 1966 and by 1971 the combined company decided that they could sell more Harley-Davidson branded snowmobiles so they stopped production on the Ski-Daddler and concentrated on the new Harley-Davidson line. Willie G. Davidson designed what would be the new Harley-Davidson snowmobile, although it was built on a 1971 Ski-Daddler frame. By 1975, along with a myriad of other snowmobile manufactures, for a variety of reasons, AMF Harley-Davidson got out of the snowmobile business.
This is the 433 CC, twin-cylinder model, the Y440, with 37 hp. The company also offered a 398 CC model called the Y400 in 1973 and it had a white cab as opposed to the black cab (both had blue and red accents) on the Y440 model as seen here. These engines were made by Aermacchi in Italy which Harley-Davidson had purchased a large share of back in 1960, and they also made Harley-Davidson’s small motorcycle line in this same era. This Y440 was bought new in Sacramento, California and was with the first owner for 42 years. It has supposedly spent its entire life in the northern mountains of Idaho; I’m jealous! This one has an amazingly-low 131.8 miles on it and, as you can see, it’s not perfect looking but it starts, runs, and rides perfectly. It has a new drive belt, plugs, and battery and it has been meticulously maintained. All the lights and other electrical systems work like new, as well. This will be a great deal if this one stays below $1,500, but then there’s the shipping to think about. I know that a big portion of Barn Finds fans aren’t in areas that even get snow, let alone have ridden or owned a snowmobile. But, hopefully everyone can appreciate the history, design, and engineering of the AMF Harley-Davidson snowmobiles even if it’s a foreign concept to have fun in the snow!