Snow Hog: 1974 AMF Harley-Davidson 440

Don’t worry, this isn’t turning into Snowmobile Finds, it’s still mainly a car-based site. I can’t help but think of these classic snowmobiles now that a few million of us are locked into winter a month early. We saw an Arctic Cat Kitty Cat a couple of days ago and this 1974 AMF Harley-Davidson 440 is on the other end of the classic winter fun spectrum. The seller has this one listed here on eBay in Medford, Oregon and there is an unmet opening bid of $1,200 and no reserve after that.

Maybe I should say vintage rather than classic, it depends on how a person thinks about old vehicles, or for me it does. There are actual rules and bullet points and other official points for what makes a classic car, but I define vintage and/or classic snowmobiles as anything from the first one up to around 1980 or so. Sort of the same way that I define “classic country” music as anything up to around 1980. Once the band Alabama hit the scene, “classic country” music was over for me.

This would have been a very, very nice looking snowmobile, or sled, or snowmachine, or whatever any different region of the country or world calls them. Most of us have heard of the AMF (American Machine and Foundry Corp.) era at Harley-Davidson and at one point they made almost everything including golf carts, trail bikes, minibikes, and snowmobiles. This dusty critter does look like it’s in great condition. It just looks dirty but who knows what shape the mechanical condition is in, the seller doesn’t mention that at all.

There is a new seat and windshield so no need to worry there. Although, the seat looks a little “puffy” and without seeing the top of it I’m not sure if it’s 100% factory accurate or not, not that anyone but myself would care about such a thing.

The seller doesn’t give us any photos of the engine which is super unfortunate. They don’t even mention if it runs or pulls over or is stuck or is missing or anything else. Well, it isn’t missing because it’s in the photo above and it should be a 433 cc two-stroke twin-cylinder with 37 horsepower and I’m just assuming that it either runs and ran recently and could be rebuilt without too much trouble. For anyone who collects vintage snowmobiles, this would be one to have in the barn, they are fairly rare. Have any of you seen a Harley-Davidson snowmobile?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Where did this come from? And why shouldn’t snowmobiles be included, most are found in barns anyway. Coming from Milwaukee, a little history. While Harley fans look down on AMF years ( AMF Harley’s are highly sought after now) if it wasn’t for AMF, we could have lost Harley forever. The 70’s was all about outdoor power sports. Market ANYTHING, and it will be a hit. I read, Harley sleds were actually AMF SkiDaddlers with Hirth engines. When they became Harley’s, an Aermacchi 398 cc engine was used and later a 440, that I believe was a Kohler. They boasted a new drive system, with low gearing for fast starts and the aluminum tunnel, which became standard issue later. They were one of the 1st to use shocks on the skis, but still used the antique bogey wheel suspension, that gave it iffy handling, but a comfy ride. You’d think someone that spent a lot of time snowmobiling in Wis.,, Harley snowmobiles would be a hit, yet, I don’t ever recall seeing one. Had a lot of fun sledding, can’t relive those days, and good luck with parts, tracks deteriorate when sitting, although, I bet someone has one, for a price. I think with peoples attitudes today, stuff like this will remain at the bottom of the junk pile,,,in the barn. But make no mistake, in the 70’s, this was one hot stick. The only nicer Wis. built sleds were Mercury’s.

    Like 14
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      Back in the day I knew a girl with a Mercury Model 250 snowmobile. It was big and unwieldly (the snowmobile) but what I remember most of all was it had a toggle switch which would allow you to put the sled in reverse.

      Like 3
  2. Ed VT

    Does it come with loud pipes?

    Like 4
  3. Robert DUDEK

    I owned a new 74 440 . Bad memories.
    Worst snowmobile ever produced…. Worst purchase.,ever and since.

    And I’ve had 22

    Like 3
    • Howard A Member

      Sorry, the worst sled was that awful Scorpion Super Stinger,,not sure what bad memories, all the major sled makers basically used the same setup.

      Like 1
      • KKW

        I owned 6 Scorpions, a 72, two 73s, and three 79s, all great machines, apparently you got a bad one. All was well till puddy tat bought them out, and down with the ship they went.

        Like 1
      • Howard A Member

        Perhaps, like anything, the early models had teething problems that later got straightened out. Mine was a ’72 Super Stinger 400, CCW motor that never ran right unless the choke was pulled, and had that “para-rail” suspension, kind of a cross between bogey and slider, plus it weighed a ton. The newer Whips were fun sleds.

      • On and On On and On Member

        Ugh, I remember those Howard. Did it have a Walbro carb? I had one, I blew the CCW 400 engine on mine, had it rebuilt on the cheap at Central Snowmobile Salvage in Green bay. After that it blew head gaskets, I believe they cut the head too much and compression was too high. Finally got it going with 2 head gaskets Permatexed together. Sold it but quick.

      • Howard A Member

        I think it was a Tillotson, but those “pumper” carbs were all trouble. It was a comfy sled, if you could keep it in a straight line, and CCW did make some great motors, the 400 wasn’t one of them however. When I got my Yamahas, it was such a breath of fresh air. For the 1st time, I could go riding and not have to worry and they handled great. I put a TON of miles on my Exciters, and they never let me down.

      • On and On On and On Member

        I gave up on Scorpions after that one and went on to a few old Polaris sleds and then found a small John Deere 340 with a direct drive system, no chain case. It was basic and great, not that fast, but easy to start and dependable. I was told JD dealers gave buyers of large farm equipment one of these as a perk. Great around the farm in winter. Everyone enjoyed that sled for short rides around the lake. Back then we didn’t do trails much, made our own trails around the lakes and bays…..

      • On and On On and On Member

        It was a John Deere ‘Spitfire’

      • Howard A Member

        JD’s were made near my 2nd home of Hustisford, in Horicon. I think most of Dodge County worked there. Sleds made in Horicon, motors made in Kohler, being pulled by GMC’s, it’s no wonder things were great in the 70’s.

    • Jay R.

      I would agree with you Robert. I remember my dad buying brand new the 340 and 440 in 1974. He could never seem to get it tuned properly from the shop for altitude.

  4. Larry

    Needs a shovelhead engine in that 😎

    Like 5
    • Howard A Member

      It’s been done with a Twin Cam, but you get the idea. I can say, in all my years of sledding ( 50+) this is one sound we never heard in the woods in winter. This guy has GOT to be from Minnesota, the absolute KINGS of the sport.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL2CkQx5J9Q

      Like 2
    • piston poney

      if your gonna go classic then, Panhead motor, foot clutch suicide shift yes please, power either a built 103 Twin cam, or a Milwaukee Eight

      Like 1
  5. John Revels

    I have the whole collection— a very rare 1971, two 1972’s a 1973, 1974, and 1975, and the rare pull behind, a ton of NOS parts, and some accessories all for one money! I also have many harley bikes including a 1969 servicar, golf carts, and even a harley boat(1961)!

    Like 8
    • al

      Selling the servicar?

      Like 1
      • John Reveld

        Yes, selling the whole Harley museum/collection!

        Like 1
      • John Revels

        Yes! 8125282506

        Like 2
      • John Revels

        Yes, along with all the other harleys!

  6. Merc man

    My brothers bought two real cheap in the early 80’s, great condition, one black, one white. The trouble and reason they were cheap is they had an electrical problem, which no one could fix or find parts for. Finally junked at junkyard for practically nothing. A shame. My dad and mom both had Mercury Lightings, 398 CC, CCW motors. Compared to Artic Cats, Polaris and Ski-doos, they were very dependable. It wasn’t until later the would own the racing scene with the sno and trail twisters. In the 70’s and 80’s many brands came and went. We had John Deeres, suzuki’s, evenrudes, ski-doo’s, moto-ski’s, because they were cheap used, you drove them until the parts could’nt be found and junked them. Now the cost as much as cheap cars, and are so fast, they are death machines. Skimming thru the narrow trail through the woods at 60 plus mph is just a bad idea!

    Like 3
    • Al

      Yes, went for my ‘1st’ snowmobile ride on bro in laws ’19 Artic Cat 900cc. It was a long one as he has two, a short one also. I had it up to almost 70 and plenty of throttle left but about sh*t my pants mustering it to that on a wide open trail in Stanley, ID last Feb. He said that one will top out at 115 on a frozen lake, which I’m not sure if he’s BS’ing but he’s not that type. Can’t imagine doing that as 70 was scary enough.

      Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      Mercury’s were great sleds. Mercury never made any junk. Carl wouldn’t allow it. I had Yamaha Exciters, which were kind of the Asian Sno Twister knockoff. I had a SRX, Yamaha’s 1st liquid cooled sled, fast, but a POS. JD sleds were okay, but again, the Liquifier was nothing but trouble. I have a friend in N.Wis. with one under a tarp for about 3 generations. I think a name that always signified quality in snowmobiles, was and still is Arctic Cat.
      Snowmobiling, like ATV’s, morphed into a whole different sport, where again, “if this is good, more must be better”, like a certain Polaris 3 cylinder I rode, that would do an honest 100mph, but was a crummy, heavy POS, and many counties have radar, and speed limits, and they have something much faster than any sled, radios.

      Like 3
  7. John Revels

    The Harley’s had CDI problems. The simple fix was to buy one from Scott at Hewtec, Inc. A newer improved CDI box!

    Like 1
    • Mark

      Didnt have internet then, couldn’t even find an AMF dealer. HD’s never really caught on, even in WI.

      Like 1
  8. On and On On and On Member

    I’ve loved the sport for a long time, and watched it evolve into a technical and expensive industry. Back when, speed wasn’t as important as getting out in the winter and going miles and miles in beautiful and wild country on more than cross country skis or snowshoes. It was very social, Sunday brunch by sled was fun. Yes, ‘Liquid Courage’ took it’s toll, bar to bar travel was popular. I mentioned on another post I just sold my last sled. At 70 stiff joints, and old muscles are easily at their limit after an hour out in the woods. Powerful modern sleds now turn trails to ‘Snirt’ in no time, after a decent snowfall you don’t have a whole day to enjoy a snow covered trail. Then there is the gang of high speed sledders always on your tail impatiently and god help you if they come down the trail toward you……..

    Like 4
    • Howard A Member

      Hi Gregg, you said it, brother. Sure was a different time. Today, a rear view mirror is more important than anything as these “rockets” fly up on your tail. People here seem to downplay the sled here, but one has to remember, ALL the sleds were problematic. Shredding belts, fouled plugs, vapor lock, and don’t forget pulling the starter cord out, and messing up peoples TV reception, didn’t go over well either. But we always brought a tow rope, and even that was fun, despite pending repairs. I don’t drink, but back then, maybe had a “few”, we always said the sleds went faster after closing time, and there may have been some merit to that, as the colder it got, the better they ran.
      BTW, it’s a balmy 6 degrees in the Rocky Mountains, and 18″ of snow in the hills( maybe 6″ by me) but 60 by Wed., go figure.
      GO PACK!!!

      Like 5
  9. KKW

    I’ve only seen one in my life, a friend of my dad’s bought one new in 72, had nothing but trouble with it. They were one of a long list of failures from the 70s

    Like 1
  10. Glenn Pirozzi

    my dad had one brand new in the 70’s had a slide suspension that was recalled so they gave him a bogie wheel one until the updated slide one came in had an 18” wide track

  11. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one ended at $1,200 and no sale.

    • Howard A Member

      I’d have jumped for joy, somebody offered $1200 on this, apparently, the seller had “high hopes” with little or no interest around.

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