Gear Up for Winter: 1925 Ford Model T Snowmobile

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When snow is in your future, thoughts turn to dressing the daily driver in its traction devices. But there’s another solution. Here on craigslist is a 1925 Ford Model T Snowmobile for sale, with an asking price of $18,000. The vehicle is in Dracut, Massachusetts. We have Peter R. to thank for this unusual Barn Find tip! Reading the ad, the seller switches from claiming this is a Model T (yes) to a Model A (no). So not sure if he knows what he has, but it is a rarity. The Snowmobile attachment for a Model T was patented by a Ford dealer in West Ossipee, New Hampshire, named Virgil White (how appropriate!) in 1913. The attachments were offered in several configurations, but generally included two sets of rear wheels and a complete change of suspension, tracks for the wheels, and front wood and metal skis. Three gauges were offered: 56″ for where autos were common, so the Snowmobile could use automobile tracks; 44″ where horse-drawn bobsleds were more common in winter; and 38″ largely in Canada, where narrow sleigh tracks prevailed.

Owners made their Model Ts into tractors, sawmills (not kidding!), water pumps, grain mills, and even train cars, hearses, circus wagons and food trucks. In fact, you can check out 101 uses for a Model T here. Unlike many of these conversions, Henry Ford was quite taken with Virgil White’s invention and allowed it to be sold through Ford dealers. The Snowmobile was popular with doctors, milkmen, and rural mail carriers, who called these converted vehicles Snowflyers. The seller of this beauty says it runs and drives great. This is the pickup body so you can throw your goats in the back if need be. Be sure to tie ’em up!

The Snowflyer could travel at about 18 mph fully kitted out, so probably not great for the commute to work unless your boss doesn’t mind if you turn right around after arriving to head home. And lest you feel lonely with such an oddity, do not despair! Join the club: the Model T Ford Snowmobile Club, that is, with events, potential friends harboring their own Model T Snowflyers (as well as the occasional Model A version), and technical help. To broaden your horizons, you can also join a general vintage snowmobile club, such as the Pacific Northwest Vintage Snowmobile Club, Old Drifters, or the granddaddy of them all, the Antique Snowmobile Club of America.

Restored examples abound. Prices are difficult to nail down, but I did find a nice one for an ask of $25,000. The market is likely pretty thin so if you need to get in on this hobby, a bit of bargaining might bring this example into your garage a touch cheaper.

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Comments

  1. geomechs geomechsMember

    Quite the beast in its day. I guess if you’ve got to make it to town you use whatever you can to get over the snow. I’m a little curious as to how long those kits were offered. I saw a Model A at the Barrett Jackson auction a few years back. I don’t know what it brought because I was more interested in the other offerings. I see there’s more than one enthusiastic group that drive these regularly…

    Like 13
    • Michelle RandAuthor

      I ran outta space but the answer to your question is, until 1929. White himself made the kits at first but then sold the mfr rights to Farm Specialty Manufacturing Co in 1925. Farm Specialty stopped making the kits in 1929; demand had waned because someone invented snowplows! Of course, there are also Model T snowplows!

      Like 9
  2. bobhess bobhessMember

    Would sure liven up a Cars and Coffee event wouldn’t it.

    Like 14
  3. Connecticut mark

    Fred Astaire drove one of these in The Year without a Santa Claus Cartoon.

    Like 7
    • DON

      It was “Santa Claus is coming to town “, but yeah, that’s the first thing that popped into my head when I saw this too !

      Like 0
  4. Burger

    This is not the “pickup body”, but a TT (Ton Truck) chassis, with enclosed (box) cab, and homemade box bed. The pickup was on the smaller T frame and little/nothing in common with the larger TT from the cowl back. The Box Cab was introduced in 1924, and available until the end, in 1927. Neat, neat rig, for those who live in snow regions. Requires some serious dedication to the snowmobile cause, as most would see this as a car/truck, and in reality, they had no heater or other comfort systems like a modern vehicle, so one had best think of them as an out-in-the-elements snow conveyance ! I drive my normal (wheeled) version for work all through the nice weather months. They are a hoot to own and drive and put smiles on everyones’ faces, wherever I go. But when the rain and snow start falling, that is when I put it in the shop and do my yearly maintenance on it. I don’t want to subject it to the bad weather and have no desire to drive a heaterless rig in the cold.

    Like 7
  5. Kelly Breen

    A friend of mine has a Model T with this conversion kit. The car is a lot more basic but it was owned by a local doctor here in Beautiful Bruce County Ontario.
    The car is near Burgoyne, and the doctor, if memory serves, lived in nearby Tara.

    Like 4
  6. Woody

    The patina is great it’s ready for the local Ag.Day event for harvest season

    Like 4
  7. Brian M

    The track are not original. The Ossipee tracks were 8.5 inches wide. Other than that pretty cool

    Like 0

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