Sure-Footed: Two 1970 AMF Sur-Trek 8×8 ATVs

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So, if anyone is chipping in on my next birthday present.. (Hello? Is this thing on?) These two, super cool 1970 AMF Sur-Trek 8×8 ATVs are located in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada and here on eBay with an unmet starting bid of $4,000 Canadian, or $3,012 US dollars. These rigs have been in storage for years and they might as well be in my garage, or yours. Or, mine..

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American Machinery & Foundry Co. sure made some funky-cool machines in the 1970s. Here is a quote from a brochure for the Sur-Trek, “Eight wheels are better than six. No joke. In hills that a six-wheeler can’t manage our eight-wheelers kick and bite and scratch their way to the top. And consider the psychological edge it gives you when you’re surrounded by six wheelers. Not mere on-upmanship. Two-upmanship” Dang, my vehicles only have one, two, or four wheel drive, just think how inferior I feel! They sure look like fun little vehicles for driving through almost anything; here is a YouTube video of one in action.  Am I right, or am I right? These crazy crawlers will go about 30 mph on land or 2 mph in water and will climb a 45-degree slope.

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Both of these ATVs will need work to get them back on the trail, or the stream, again. They are both pretty complete and they come with a few spare parts and four extra wheels. Here is what a decent one would look like and what these would look like again after a bit of work. Yes, these things will seat four adults! Four, small, thin adults! The average male is 5′-9″ tall and the average female is 5′-4″ tall, neither of those would be a problem here. But, with a total weight capacity of 750 pounds and with the average American male weighing in at 196 pounds, that’s not going to work if you plan on taking three of your buddies along for a ride. You’ll have to mix it up with a couple of 166-pound average-weight women to go along once you’re done restoring it. You’ll have enough left over for 26 pounds worth of bug spray and towels to dry yourselves off with.

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Since my weight is well under the average by a few.. dozen pounds, that shouldn’t be a problem here. But, since my height is well over the average height by 8 inches, it probably isn’t going to be super comfortable for me in there; but I’d make it work. This is what it’ll look like in here once it’s restored. I’d still want a pad on the seat which it would have come with when it was new. These vehicles have a 13-foot turning radius so it’s not like your zero-turn lawn mower. There are two forward speeds and reverse so you can back out of your driveway, like this guy does before tearing around his yard in the snow.

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Here is the JLO 300cc (295) two-cycle, air-cooled engine that powers this whole thing. This engine has 20 hp turning a whole bunch of gears and cogs and wheels and shafts, and heads, when you drive by people in boats in the middle of a lake. This is basically a snowmobile engine so parts and service should be a breeze. A lot of snowmobile makers needed a way to keep their crews busy during non-winter months and they came up with these wacky machines in the 1960s and 1970s, like the Arctic Cat Cub seen here on Barn Finds about three weeks ago. Electric start will keep things simple as will foot pedals for accelerating and braking. The Sur-Trek is about 10.5 feet in length, has 7.5 inches of ground clearance,  and weighs 700 pounds. You’ll need that info when you line up a shipper to have these delivered to my house. I have never seen one of these before but now I won’t be able to get them out of my mind! Would you fit in one of these, and if so, how would you use these ATVs?

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Comments

  1. JW

    Cool but too much work needed to get trail worthy along with the cost of transporting them back to Missouri it’s not feasible for me. My son just called me last night for my birthday and told me about a combined auction / flea market / garage sale a small town near him is having that has a Honda Odyssey Pilot dune buggy that I would love better than these as I’ve had 2 in the 80’s and they were a riot to ride. I guess they have old cars / trucks / crafts and the usual garage sale junk.

  2. Joe
  3. Rick

    All of a sudden cant get the Banana Splits theme song outta my head!

  4. geomechs

    I remember a couple of local ranchers having units like these. Apparently they didn’t hold up quite as well as hoped. Of course bear in mind that, coming from a ranch myself, ranchers’ equipment could be well abused. We had ranch hands that could break our TD9 and D4 crawlers when performing such mundane tasks as feeding cattle during the winter. I’d be tempted to tackle a project like this but then, my hands are full.

  5. AMC STEVE

    These things take up a whole garage, you would have to have a very specific use and a lot of room for these toys.

  6. Doug Towsley

    Never seen these things before, I learn something new every day. I have no idea if the price is fair or not, and not like something like this shows up often enough to have any sort of comparison for reference.

    But, would be the most awesome campground or event machine I could imagine. With todays tech, im sure the drivetrain could be updated or improved on easily. @ thumbs up just simply for cool factor.

  7. Jeff

    Cool but overpriced. It could easily cost a couple grand each just to get them going again.

  8. CarNut from Winnipeg Member

    Stacy David restored and upgraded one of these on his show several years ago, then blastwd through a swamp with it. I’m less than 6 hours from Regina…wife would kill me though. She hates anything from Saskatchewan

  9. Steve

    My uncle worked for AMF in York PA back in the day. He had one of those new from the factory. It was neet to see in motion but totally unreliable. If you wanted to go out on Saturday, you started working and fixing on Wednesday.

  10. Steve

    Are these Sur Treks still available ? If not I’m thinking of scratch building one for a proto type and then putting them back on the market

    • David Konecny

      Steve, I have one in montana.

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