Live Auctions

Snow? No Problem! 1968 Tucker SnoCat

Do you ever have to commute to work in the snow? Getting tired of ice and sliding around? This could be your solution! Up for sale here on eBay is a 1968 Tucker SnoCat 442A. It’s always fun to see these oddballs here on Barn Finds, and this one is certainly unique. If you like to collect uncommon machinery, head on over to Andover, New York, where this beast is located. The starting bid price is $18,000 but at the time of writing no bids had been placed, with 2 days left on the auction.

We’ve all heard the “I had to walk to school in the snow, uphill both ways” story, poking fun at our parents and grandparents. Well, Emmett Tucker grew up walking to school in the snow and decided to do something about it – he founded the Tucker Sno-Cat Corporation in Medford, Oregon. The company motto? “No snow too deep. No road too steep.” He launched his first prototype in 1941, and by 1948 was doing a demonstration over 600 miles from Mt. Shasta to Mt. Hood. They’ve been very successful over the decades, even building ones than can hold over a dozen passengers.

This Model 442A is listed as a 1968, but the plaque on the dash looks to not be original. Here is a picture of what a 1968 Sno-Cat looks like. Here is a picture of one from 1955, which based on the front end, to me looks like the one listed here. Any SnoCat fans here that could confirm?

Either way, this SnoCat looks to be in very good condition. The seller says it has been stored indoors, so thankfully there is really no rust present. The pontoons and tracks look to be in excellent condition as well, and they have the cool function of all 4 of them being able to turn, as seen in this photo. That should give a pretty tight turning radius.

The interior is super basic, and has a little bit of surface corrosion perhaps, but that’s probably not a bit deal for anyone using an industrial machine. There are a few simple gauges, though no word on if they work correctly. You can also see all the levers and handles to operate the hydraulics.

The engine is Chrysler’s Spitfire 251 inline 6, which was installed in many industrial applications up through 1960, which is perhaps another clue to the age of this SnoCat. Yes, it could also be a transplant that took place over the years too. We are told it runs and drives well, and everything looks to be in good order with mostly original parts. I do see a few newer wires strung around, so hopefully there are no electrical issues to deal with. If this SnoCat were yours, where is the first off-road place you’d go?

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Well, I give the author a lot of credit, there is a surprisingly lack of information on the Tucker Sno Cat. One was written up here a couple years ago, a ’65, so the style looks about right. Apparently, many different motors were used, the last one had a Jeep OHC 6 in it. I’m more familiar with the Sno Cats that had the 273 Chrysler V8. It was ALWAYS a good sight to see, a Sno Cat coming at you, even though, you had to be careful, as trail groomers have the right of way, and you have to do your darndest to get out of THEIR way. Once past them, it was pristine sledding, like a sidewalk. The trails get so beat and bumpy, it’s such a relief to ride on a freshly groomed trail. I’ve seen some groomers get hopelessly stuck, and nothing short of a helicopter can get to them. These were the “humble” beginnings of trail groomers, today, they cost upwards of a quarter mil. Granted, they are nothing like this, cushy, in true American fashion. The down side to that is, with costs soaring and a diminished interest, many clubs, that used to be the staple of recreation up north, can’t afford a new one, or any one for that matter, with many clubs disbanding. Like the classic car hobby, sure has changed,,,

    Like 9
    • Gary

      I see the problem as two fold. One, not enough reliable snow anymore. 40 years ago you could count on it from late November through March, now, who knows. (Say what you want about climate change, but this is happening) Two, price a new sled lately? For that kind of money, people prefer a decked out UTV that can be used almost all year round. Of course, you need defined trails for those (mostly) and the traditional sled trails are not going to work as often they are through farmers fields, etc. Though, I have noticed in my travels to Wisconsin, that many little townships have signs welcoming UTVs on the back roads. Little taverns out in the country often have many sitting outside. (Question-are drunk UTVers safer then drunk sledders?) Say what you want about Wisconsin, but they sure do appreciate problem drinkers. It was bad enough when they were on the roads in cars and trucks, now they are there soused on/in off road vehicles too. Too bad really, some of the Wisconsin backroads are a delight, esp in the Drift less areas along the river. In my old age, I am wary of driving there now. I guess money speaks louder than common sense.

      Like 3
      • Howard A Member

        Not from the Badger, eh Gary? 1st, yes, many small towns do recognize ATV’s on the local roads, and have special routes, they can’t just blast down the interstate, or any state highway, for that matter. They have the same rules as snowmobiles, except, wheeled vehicles are more limited, due to the damage a spinning wheel does over a snowmobile track.
        I don’t drink, but for a long time, booze, as ironic as it sounds, was the lifeblood of many in Wisconsin. Taverns weren’t so much a place to get hammered, they were a vital social institution, and for YEARS, LEO’s turned their heads, as their relation possibly depended on that for income. The only salvation there is, generally, it’s sparsely populated, and most incidents are “one vehicle” only, most “professional” drinkers know their limits, and rarely have any trouble.
        Wisconsin for like the 37th year in a row, is the leading state in the nation for drunken driving arrests, some for their 5th and 6th offense. ATV and snowmobile riders are subjected to random breathalyzers on the trails, and has the same limits as a car driver. Wisconsin and UP boast some of the most scenic riding you’ll encounter, without the risk of avalanche, that is. It’s a shame to focus on the drinking, I live in Colorado, but not a day goes by, I don’t think about Wis. and the UP. It’s like -15 now there, and only the hardiest ( or drunkest) folks snowmobile in that.

        Like 2
      • Gary

        Hi Howard. I live outside of the Twin Cities and yesterday morning it was 27 below without the wind, but this morning it is 27 above. One strange damn winter. The drunk drivers really upset me. I had a good friend leave this world early because an unrepentant one, who was smashed at 1 in the afternoon. Years back, a young teenager from our church also died because of one. I can forgive a lot of bad behavior, but when it endangers the life of another, it is unforgiveable. I agree that small taverns can be a social gathering place, but people who drink responsibly probably do not pay the bills. Despite that, I feel that before you are allowed to order a drink in one, you should pass a breathalyzer. Would stop so many problems and misery. As usual, the tavern league and crooked bought politicians rule what happens, so I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one. You are right, Wisconsin has some of the best scenic roads in the country. yes, back roads in the hills of Appalachia or New England are great, but Wisconsin has most of them paved. Minnesota is good in places, but not up to par compared to your old stomping grounds. Why did you leave for Colorado?

        Like 2
      • Howard A Member

        Hi Gary, too bad BF’s doesn’t have a PM dealybob, I’d like to chat “off the record” with several folks here, but I’m wary of putting my email out there. With MY views, I’d probably have to change my address and leave town in short order.
        Why I left the Badger? There was nothing left for me there. My brother and his family are still there, but we’re the last ones standing. I lived and trucked my entire life( it seems), born in Milwaukee, obviously, in that miserable, backwards thinking state( with no end in sight), 62 years and once my parents died and we sold the house in Milwaukee, got totally hosed by Wis., btw, who demanded $108,000 dollars for my old mans nursing home care, which pretty much cooked our “retirement ” plans, like my folks would have wanted. I had a couple bucks from other sources that the govt. couldn’t touch, and it was a toss up, either the UP of Mich. or Colorado. I came out here on a whim, by sheer chance, found an ad for assisted living for seniors apt. in central Co., rent based on income, and I pay an unheard of $323/mo. ( it just went up $52 bucks, you people wonder why I’m bitter, SS goes up $72/mo. this year, rent went up $52 bucks, get your gas bill lately, so I’m actually behind the SS increase) in an area where 4 figure rentals are common. I’ve been here 4 years, looking for a lady, another reason I came out here, all the women in WIs. came out here, but that hasn’t panned out,,,yet. I still keep the UP as my “ace in the hole” if things go south here, and there’s every indication they might, as the world deteriorates, I’m not sure Colorado is the place to be. Minnesota has some of the best people, worst drivers, but for some reason, they don’t have that stigma of being a bunch of drunken cheeseheads, even though, I think they drink just as much, or more. Nice conversating with you, my best friend lives in the Cities, and I did a lot of trucking up your way. Let me see what I can do about getting you my email. Misery loves company pal,as they say, :)

        Like 1
      • Gary

        Hi Howard, you seem to have some great ideas too. Email might be fun but I promised my missus when I started commenting online that I would never give that out. She says some of my ideas are too unpopular. (she is wise, I am just not) Nursing home is where my folks ended up too. Not cheap. You would wonder how the rest of the civilized world has no trouble paying for it with nationalized healthcare, and yet we don’t want that? I think most of us do, but we are told we do not, and yet we believe that? Amazing behavior for a people that insist they are brashly independent, to support politicians who tell us the exact opposite of what deep down in our hearts we want. Take care my friend, and good luck with the lady search. (I got petty lucky with mine, had her for years) PS, the UP is awesome, but too much snow to shovel. Up on the Lake Superior side, ever been in those hills there with all the nice waterfalls? A hidden gem in these United States. Well, better go. I am scheduled for another MRI of my crummy knee this morning. Nothing more fun then sliding an oversized body into a small tight tube, don’t want to be late for that fun time.

        Like 2
  2. 8banger 8banger Member

    I’d go home in it today, as Denver is getting hit pretty good right now. But then again, I’ll be in Hawaii in two days….

    Like 3
  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    I think the Sno Cat was the first large snow machine I was able to recognize. Probably the most famous one is one that the Trans-Antarctic Expedition nearly lost in a crater. There’s one like that in the museum down in Polson. The Big Mountain Ski Resort in Whitefish got one very similar to this one here in ‘67. Quite impressive at the time…

    Like 3
  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    Here’s a fully covered version for you…

    Like 10
    • Howard A Member

      The video of this Antarctic expedition in 1954, I think, where the unit hangs precariously over a crevasse, is well known, and they used these. I read, SnoCat had a rating system, 1st number was series, from 200 to 900, 200, the ” Kitten 222″ with 10hp and 2 tracks, more like a small pull tractor, to the 900 being the biggest with a slew of motors offered. The 2nd number referred to the 4 tracks and the last number was how many doors. The feature one is a “442”( not sure what the “a” meant), is the 400 series, about mid-range, 4 tracks and 2 doors. Your photo, I read, was the 743, 700 series, 4 tracks and 3 doors. I believe the 743 ran the same flathead Chrysler 6.

      Like 7
  5. Stan

    First tracks 🎿 ⛷

  6. Howard A Member

    A SnoCat 443 was featured on one of my all-time favorite TV series, “Northern Exposure”,,I don’t think they showed it moving, but can’t beat a better prop for an allegedly Alaskan show,,,you DO know it wasn’t filmed in Alaska,right?,
    https://www.imcdb.org/v443795.html

    Like 6
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Ha! A great series Howard. The best was when they found a Woolly Mammoth. Thawed it out and ate it Before Dr. Joel could save it for research!

      Like 5
      • Howard A Member

        Ed was my favorite,,,and Ruth-Anne, she drove a Bronco. Joel drove a Willys pickup, like I had, and they always featured several Jeeps in the background, Hollywoods way of making it SEEM like Alaska.

        Like 2
    • Jim

      Was filmed in Roslyn Washington where I grew up!!!

      Like 5
    • MTBorst

      Howard A , Northern Exposure was filmed in Washington . Known fact

      Like 1
  7. Troy

    Fun toy for the few days a year we actually get snow here. Wonder how well it would do in sand and take it to the Oregon dunes

    Like 1
    • MTBorst

      Back to the Tucker, I ran one on a ski resort in Michigan had a big 440 dodge in it. Fun machines.
      I recently had a Thiokol . Crew cab
      Much nicer machine . I highly doubt this one will bring 19,000$ if the tracks are original I can guarantee they need replacing ! Nothing yet had been made that can last for 1 generation let alone a couple.
      The new ones won’t outlast the old ones. I actually know of many 1970’s models still running around but not without expensive repairs ! This is a good classic if someone really doesn’t mind working on it. Hope they get it into their garage after breaking it.

      Like 1
      • Jay E. Member

        I was going to make the same comment. The track maintenance on these can be extensive.

        Like 1
  8. George Mattar

    Ironic this awesome machine is in New York. I saw my first one in 1966, skiing in Tupper Lake. What an animal it was climbing that mountain. These are real snowmobiles that can climb a brick wall. Here in NE PA we have 8 inches of snow on the ground, it’s 10 degrees and the idiot weather folk say feet of snow is coming. I fired up my Arctic Cat so I can get to work.

    Like 1
  9. Glenn heigl Member

    I would buy it in a minute if I didn’t live in key west

    Like 3
    • Steven Doan

      Glenn that is an awesome thought but I think I would rather live in Key West!

  10. chrlsful

    thnx for the write-up.
    Brings me back to the early days (mine) on ‘the mountain’. Esp da pic (I luv pic!) @ the time Tucker was the big name (on the east cost slopes).

    Like 1
  11. Charles Marks

    Would love to have this unit. Not sure what I’d do with it but have a cabin in northern MN; would find something. Not certain my wife thinks I need one however…….

    Like 1
    • Howard A Member

      Where have I heard THAT before?

  12. Gil Davis Tercenio

    ” If this SnoCat were yours, where is the first off-road place you’d go?:

    Up and down my driveway for the past week!

    Like 2
  13. Dan

    I ran these for many years. It could be a 1955 but is most likely the year as listed in the ad. The body came in a variety different forms depending on the use. It was a fairly simple machine to maintain with the exception of the tracks which were comprised of steel tracks running around pontoons on roller bearings and very thin rails. If not adjusted correctly, the resultant repairs were extremely expensive. Though it brings back fond memories, I wouldn’t give 10 bucks for one

    Like 1
  14. Steve Cota

    Lots to look at here, the data plate has green paint overspray on it, and shiny rivets, that tells me that it was swapped in from another vehicle, In 1968 the engine would have been a slant 6 so the year is uncertain, and probably earlier. Fun Fact, notice that there is no brake pedal ? the steel rollers in the track pods had so much rolling resistance that there was no need for brakes, when you pushed in the clutch, it just stopped. Like a farm tractor you could just take off in any gear depending on how fast you wanted to travel. For the really steep terrain there was a hand brake between the seats that operated on the driveshaft, (The gearbox and axles were one ton Dodge truck). Those steel rollers running on steel wear plates on the track pods made so much friggin noise that driving one of these required earplugs as the sound was deafening, unless the snow was deep powder, which deadened the noise somewhat. Every roller had a grease fitting which needed attention regularly. I spent many hours in one of these back in the day. When Tucker switched to rubber tracks in the early 70’s the machines became much more civilized. They were smoother and quieter, and rolled so much easier that a brake pedal became standard equipment.

    Like 1
  15. tony t

    Long, small-diameter oil filter lines. Built-in restrictors.

  16. Katl

    I own a 71 SnoCat Tucker and they do have some amazing capabilities deep snow, steep hills they will go through it with ease! Mine has a slant 6 with all Dana running gear.
    Fun easy to drive with the biggest detraction being the steel track assembly. You can expect a cruise speed around 10 mph, a rotating beacon is mandatory so you don’t get hit by drunks on snowmobiles going 80 mph. If you have to rebuild the track assembly why not convert to rubber tracks you are looking at 10,000 per corner VERY EXPENSIVE TO MAINTAIN.

    Like 1
  17. ChingaTrailer

    The mentioned Thiokol snow vehicle now brings a John Z DeLorean element into the snowcat discussion, but that’s another issue for another time.

  18. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Now relisted.

  19. Mark Dahl

    I’m not advocating drinking and driving in wisconsin. Here are there rules. I met a man to do some work on one of my cars for the interior. I live in Minnesota. He could not drive in my state. He had told me that he has received 7 or 8 DUIs. He had a license still. In the state of wisconsin it is still only a mistameaner (spelling). He said it was the only state that way. That’s why he could still drive. But he can’t cross a border, and if he did and was caught. Directly to jail he would go.

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