Half Man Half Beast: 1986 ASV 2500 Track Truck

When one of the inventors of something is referred to as “the grandfather of snowmobiles”, you know that it has to be a capable off-road vehicle. That person is Edgar Hetteen, founder of both Polaris and Arctic Cat, and that vehicle is this 1986 ASV 2500 Track Truck can be found here on eBay in Randolph, Vermont. There is an unmet opening bid price of $2,000 and a buy-it-now price of $6,000.

Mr. Hetteen, along with one of the biggest Arctic Cat dealers in the country, Gary Lemke, founded All Season Vehicles (ASV) in response to a couple of winters without as much snow as usual and snowmobile sales were down. That same situation ended up being the demise of a lot of early snowmobile companies in the 1970s, what I would call the golden era of snowmobiles when there were hundreds of different makes and models. Now, you can count the number of snowmobile makers on a shop teacher’s fingers. Yes, just four: Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-Doo, and Yamaha.

We looked at an ASV Track Truck way back in December of 2016 here and Jeff showed us a super interesting and cool one about a year ago here. I really like that one with the topper on the back, that’s genius, talk about a great winter camping vehicle. The ASV Track Truck first appeared on the market in 1984 and buyers could get several different configurations such as just a flatbed as this one has, or a pickup bed like the one that Jeff showed us with the cap or topper on it. Here’s a video on YouTube showing one in action. You can see that it’s not a perfect winter vehicle with those two front wheels.

This one is set up for trail grooming and it looks like it’s all business in the back, sort of the opposite of a mullet. The heated interior looks pretty good but this rig has been used as a piece of machinery to groom cross-country ski trails, it wasn’t babied as a showpiece. You can see bent pieces of metal here and there and it generally looks like it’s one tough mudder. The controls are between the seats and as you can see, there are no pedals. The twin tracks synchronize with the power steering and the wheel turns not only the front wheels but varies the speed of whichever track is needed to speed up or slow down in order to make the turn.

This one, as with a lot of others has a 2.5L four-cylinder Jeep engine, hence the 2500 moniker. The one that Jeff showed us has a 2.8L Isuzu diesel and that was an ASV 2800. I wonder… (thinking of an ASV 5000…)..  The seller mentions a few pros and cons, such as having many replacement parts, but some are needed, including fixing the cold-start issue. This would be a fun rig to tinker with if a person had a nice heated shop building. (Jamie, would you mind storing this one for me, too?!) On one of the other Track Truck posts, a reader mentioned that the front wheels could be Mattracks which makes sense. Would you have a use for this Track Truck? If so, how would you modify it or would you just use it as is?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Now this is pretty neat. I’ve seen these before as recovery vehicles for broken down sleds. To be clear, the front wheels can be replaced with skis, and don’t actually do much “steering”, as the tracks, as mentioned, do most of the guiding, like a farm tractor. With new trail groomers going for upwards of 1/4 mil, in a declining interest hobby, something like this could be really useful again. Great find.

    Like 5
  2. Costa

    Kind of thinking the grandfather of snowmobiles is Joseph-Armand Bombardier.

    Like 8
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Costa, You’re right, but I wasn’t thinking of the inventor of the snowmobile, more about the person who is considered by many as the “grandfather” of the snowmobile, as in the person who brought them to the masses. If you asked 100 people who the grandfather of the car was I bet most of them would say it’s Henry Ford, not Carl Benz.

      Like 11
      • Mr. Exotherm

        The modern snowmobile, while invented by Carl Eliason, owes a great deal to both Bombardier and Edgar Hetteen. The companies both of those men founded are responsible for the vast majority of improvements to the modern snowmobile over the last 60 years.

        Like 1
    • Chris

      Edgar was born in 1921, he started Polaris , then left that project and stated a new company, Artic Cat. So yes, he is one of the very early pioneers of snowmobiles. He died at age 90

      Like 3
  3. Kenn

    Wow, someone’s shorts are in a bunch. What is it the youngsters say? Chill, Scotty.

    Like 2
    • KenB

      Scotty simply explained his comments without any emotion, far from his shorts “being in a bunch.” He’s exactly right, by the way, so I’m pretty sure that he’s not the one who needs to chill. Geez!

      Like 8
  4. chrlsful@aol.com Member

    if like a tank, skid steer, dozer, sno cat – U can have skis or these lill things up there. They do nuttin but keep the frnt ‘up’. The treads can go in opposite directions independently so as to turn, reverse, forward, etc..
    If like a farm tractor (said above) they Can Not. They need the frnt to steer. The German 1/2 Track war troop carrier wuz similar.

    Like 1
  5. chrlsful@aol.com Member

    if like a tank, skid steer, dozer, sno cat – U can have skis or these lill things up there. They do nuttin but keep the frnt ‘up’. The treads can go in opposite directions independently so as to turn, reverse, forward, etc..
    If like a farm tractor (said above) they Can Not. They need the frnt to steer. The German 1/2 Track war troop carrier wuz similar.

    Like 1
  6. chrlsful@aol.com Member

    if like a tank, skid steer, dozer, sno cat – U can have skis or these lill things up there. They do nuttin but keep the frnt ‘up’. The treads can go in opposite directions independently so as to turn, reverse, forward, etc..
    If like a farm tractor (said above) they Can Not. They need the frnt to steer. The German 1/2 Track war troop carrier wuz similar.

  7. chrlsful@aol.com Member

    if like a tank, skid steer, dozer, sno cat – U can have skis or these lill things up there. They do nuttin but keep the frnt ‘up’. The treads can go in opposite directions independently so as to turn, reverse, forward, etc..
    If like a farm tractor (said above) they Can Not. They need the frnt to steer. The German 1/2 Track war troop carrier wuz similar.

  8. chrlsful@aol.com Member

    if like a tank, skid steer, dozer, sno cat – U can have skis or these lill things up there. They do nuttin but keep the frnt ‘up’. The treads can go in opposite directions independently so as to turn, reverse, forward, etc..
    If like a farm tractor (said above) they Can Not. They need the frnt to steer. The German 1/2 Track war troop carrier wuz similar.

  9. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this auction ended with no sale at $3,150.

    • Do you still have the ASV track truck I am looking for one please call me at 814-730-7500 my name is Dana

      Do you still have the ASV track truck I am looking for one please call me at 814-730-7500 my name is Dana

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