Elite Status: 1973 Ski-Doo Elite

Here’s one for you folks who actually have snow on the ground during the winter months. This is a 1973 Ski-Doo Elite and it’s on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $3,995, or you can make an offer. This first-year Elite is located in Rochester, Minnesota.

Like almost all of the vehicles shown here, half of the readers will like them and half won’t. Half will wonder what the heck is going on and why they’re being shown here, and yet the other half will love seeing anything and everything, just so it has some sort of propulsion system. It’s like when you’re at the grocery store and they ask you, “Paper or plastic?” and you wonder why anyone in their right mind would choose one over the other. Vehicle likes and dislikes are much the same way. We would hope that the Barn Finds family of friends and readers can all realize that if something doesn’t appeal to them personally, it does appeal to someone else. Half of the country doesn’t get snow, but the other half does, hence showing something like this 1973 Ski-Doo Elite!

Back on track here, or, back on two tracks, actually. Two 15-inch tracks, to be exact. This first-generation Elite is also a first-model-year sled as they were made from 1973 to 1975 before being updated. The Elite model was made until 1983 and it was, as the name suggests, quite an elite, luxurious ride; and for two people side-by-side, no less.

“New! Elite. 1973. The two-seater.” The Elite, as with Ski-Doos, in general, were made by Bombardier Recreational Products in Quebec, Canada. The original name for the Ski-Doo was “Ski-Dog”, meant as a possible replacement for dog sleds, but a printing error in the brochure spelled it as Ski-Doo. It didn’t seem to matter, sales took off, printing error or not. Bombardier brought the Elite back in 2004-2005 in a thoroughly-updated machine that, oddly enough, NADA values at not much more than this 1973 Elite seen above!

The Ski-Doo Elite was the Cadillac of snowmobiles to me as a kid; an unobtainable, over-the-top luxury that we would never have been able to afford. The seats in this Elite are “dune-buggy seat covers over the original foam”, but the original seats will be included in case the next owner wishes to have them replicated. That shifter was for the reverse, even if it looks like the designers were trying to give the feeling of being in a pony car while you were out on the snowmobile trail. The “gas gauge, tachometer, parking lights, brake lights, horn, electric starter and charging system all work well”, but the headlights, cigarette lighter, and speedometer are not working.

This “440” (436.6 CC) twin-cylinder Rotax supposedly starts great, either with the pull-start or the electric start, and the 6.4-gallon plastic gas tank has no leaks. To not smell gas on a vintage snowmobile would be unheard of for me! Have any of you who live in snow-country ever owned a twin-track snowmobile like a Ski-Doo Elite?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Hmm, submitted by Scotty, how unusual. I too live just down from the North Pole ( or so it seems) and have been around these machines most of my life. This particular machine, is from an era when just puttin’ down the trail ( at NON-break neck speeds) was ok. Now, it’s blitz down the trail at 75 mph to the next watering hole, although, I must say, people I’ve met are very responsible on the trail. I knew a guy with a twin track Raider, and it didn’t do very well at all. I hate to disagree with Scotty, but the “Cadillac” of sleds is, and always has been, Arctic Cat. Cool find, but a little steep. Lots of sleds out there, ok, not like this, but $1500 can buy a darn nice sled, something you could put some miles on, this, puttin’ around the cabin would be about it.

  2. Bob Kennedy

    Gawd, how cool! Had a twin track ’73 Alpine given to me to “fix” to groom the local XC ski trails — never again! What a heavy, expensive, rusty beast! This is really cool though….:) Own a ’68 ‘Doo Nordic with the Rotax boxer twin now — as a Beamer guy it’s close to the heart!

  3. Coventrycat

    I could learn to love snow with that thing.

  4. Skloon

    I love the cigarette lighter Quebec in the 70s it says

  5. Jay E.

    I was a dealer back when these were new and they were pretty nice. But they were expensive! They get down a trail pretty well, were much faster than the older twin tracks, but floundered off trail. Clearly you are not going to pull a stuck one out. If I recall, they even had a heater! For the family that needed to move groceries or kids from the road to the cabin daily, they were an alternative to a open two seat snowmobile.

  6. Andrew Worrell

    why so expencive?

    • Kang

      Tough to find a running example, and not many were made. I’ve seen Elite parts-sleds pulled out of farm fields sell for over $2000.

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