Trick Trackster: 1974 Cushman Trackster

031116 Barn Finds - 1974 Cushman Trackster 1

Here’s something you don’t see every day, a 1974 Cushman Trackster, listed here on eBay in Mi Wuk Village, CA. The buy-it-now price is listed as $3,995 and the current bid is at about half that with the reserve not met. This would be a great vehicle for summer or winter, or any time in-between.

031116 Barn Finds - 1974 Cushman Trackster 2

I remember when these came out, I thought that they would be even more fun than our snowmobiles were. I can’t believe that my dad never got one of these, they would have been perfect for getting down the trail to a remote lake for fishing. I think I want one now even more than I did forty-two years ago. This one is supposedly all original and the tracks have some cracks but are said to work just fine. Replacement tracks are available but they aren’t cheap. There are forums for these things in case you’ll ever need parts, which you probably will on any 42-year old vehicle, let alone one that’s made to run through dirt, snow, and swamps. This is the standard model. Cushman also made a marsh model which was “essentially a fiberglass flotation ring glued to the standard model body tub”, according to the Cushman Trackster website. Yes, there is one.

031116 Barn Finds - 1974 Cushman Trackster 3

There aren’t any photos of the seating / standing area but this is what the controls look like. It’s a hydrostatic drive system with two pumps connected to the motor by a driveshaft, with each pump having a direct connection to the pump motors. It’s all controlled by pushing forward or pulling back on the t-handle and then you twist it to turn right or left. It all sounds like witchcraft to me! It’s basically a fiberglass-bodied tank or bulldozer with rubber tracks. Here’s one in action on YouTube. Doesn’t that look like fun?

031116 Barn Finds - 1974 Cushman Trackster 4

They came with either a 25 or 29hp air-cooled, 2-cycle motor with electric start. The first Subaru imported to the US, the 360, had 25hp. So, yeah, this thing could probably drive over one of those without even noticing it. This one has a replacement plastic gas tank but the seller has the original steel tank if you were looking to bring this to Pebble Beach–to tear up the golf course with it I mean, not to show it. Ha! Show it at Pebble Beach, whew! This one has the 29hp OMC unit and the seller says that it runs and drives great. I don’t know about you, but I think this would be a fun vehicle to own! What do you think?

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. MountainMan

    Never knew these existed. Looks like fun to me if you had a suitable place to drive (ride?)it and put it through its paces. I’ve known a couple people who owned the similar vehicles with 6 ATV type tires. I was one of on the St. John’s river with my pontoon boat and one of those six wheeled vehicles was “boating” along the river and then drove up the bank and into the swampy area thick with vegetation. Pretty impressive

  2. Alan (Michigan)
  3. Adrew Minney

    Funny but til I saw American Pickers I had never seen or heard of Cushman! Now with you guys posting them…….
    Same with Powell too

  4. Van

    Can you say fun squared.
    If I was moving to Alaska this would be my vehicle of choice.
    How do these work in a tidal marsh
    I remember watching the Banana Splits, I wanted to join in the adventure.

    Like 1
  5. Dan

    Looks like the seller decided the buy it now was a bit low so relisted it.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cushman-Trackster-/182053283060

  6. Howard A Member

    ‘Tis no witch craft, matey, pretty easy. I drove skid steers with that “T” handle setup. Cushman made some pretty useful vehicles over the years. This is pretty cool, but no snowmobile. I’m sure it has a top speed of like 7 mph, but could probably pull stumps out. While track vehicles are superior to wheeled ones off road, track condition is essential, as if you throw a track, it’s basically dead in the water. ( I know all about tracked machines losing a track) Hydraulic repairs are expensive, but you’d be hard pressed finding a place this couldn’t go. Great find.

    Like 1
  7. Francisco

    This has got to be good for something. I don’t know what. Anybody have any ideas?

  8. Dave Wright

    Again……..I have owned several of these starting 20 years or so ago. The were developed with military money for use in Vietnam and were tested there. The military didn’t buy many so the company offered them to the civilian market. The flotation collar is an aqkward looking thing. Today most of these wind up with Honda Power due to the lack of pâtés got the original motor.

    Like 2
  9. Wabbit

    LOL I could adapt jet ski motor to one I had one cause I have an almost unlimited supply of jet ski engines, lol bought 150 jet ski’s back years ago, over 100 hp might be a bit much for one though.

    • Dave Wright

      I think you would have a hard time getting it up on step!!!

  10. Matt Tritt

    I don’t need this, but I want it!

    • Dave Wright

      Matt…….they really are fun but the Honda engine is a huge improvement. It is quieter, more power. 4 stroke, little smoke and bullet proof. So, find a deal on one with a bad original engine……cheep….?and you are good to go. Mine all had been owned buy the USFS at one time. I bought some dirrect from them and some from secondary owners. A good glass guy ( If you know one…..LOL) can really make them look better than new.

  11. Texas Tea

    I would think this would be slow, boring, and out dated compared to any ATV in today’s world, but would have been fun in it’s hey day. Maybe nice for a collector.

  12. Dan10

    I think I would do this instead

    • Robert Wentz

      Never seen a bigger waste of time and money. That thing must turn on a dollar!! It never ceases to amaze me the useless things people spend TONS of money on. Build it and the suckers show up with wallet in hand. One born every minute. The trackster would walk circles around that goofy thing. Sorry. Just sayin’.

  13. Dave Wright

    You don’t understand tracks…….the Tracksters will turn in it’s own length. These track conversions have a really tough time going around a corner. The width od the tracks limit the steering much more than the standard tires and wheels.

    • Robert Wentz

      Dave, you’re spot-on with that comment. Most people don’t get tracked vehicle operation, and by that I mean TRUE TRACKED vehicles. There has never been anything like the trackster, its operating parameters are like nothing else. They’re not fast, around 15mph, but you can’t control a tracked vehicle, especially a hydraulically operated one, at much higher speeds than that anyway. Just ask our military, the M1 A1 Abraham’s tanks have computer control assist over 25 mph for just that reason. Want to go faster? Stick to your expensive 4-wheelers. When you’re stuck up to your axles, I will eventually get there and pull you out.

    • Robert Wentz

      Hi again Dave. Just one more thing, you’re dead wrong about the Honda conversion. I have driven several, and it doesn’t come close to providing the power band the Sundstrand hydrostats require. They were designed SPECIFICALLY for a 2-cycles power band, unfortunately, and the machine is seriously lacking with the Honda. That is if you use one, really use one like we do to get our radio tower site (and have for 46 years) and need to go through 15+ feet of powder with 2guys and tons of test equipment on board. Only the two cycle has the power for that kind of HEAVY use. rd

      • Dave Wright

        I understand the difference between 2 stroke and 4 stroke operation. I have many outboards of similar horsepower in both and my kids are serious motocross racers that race both…..most of the 2 strokes are vintage bikes, they have to be ridden very differently to be competitive. But the modern 4 strokes are great. I am not sure the power comes on exactly as quick, but it is pretty close. My late model 2 stroke outboards have superior acceleration to a similar HP 4 stroke but to fix that you just use a bigger motor. I think that might be the answer to the Trackster…..use a larger modern 4 stroke. We are not trying to stay within a racing class here. The other downside to 2 strokes is economy, not that that is a big deal for recreation but if you are going somewhere, it is nice to have enough fuel to get back without towing a fuel trailer. I know the problem we used to have with track replacement has been solved for the most part with modern track manufacturing. Those guys can make anything today. Last Friday, my normally perfect John Deere Gator 5X4 (or is it a 4X5?) got stuck in the road when I went to get the mail. It was fine in the snow but didn’t like the compact snow on county road it wouldn’t go up the incline to get back to the soft snow, had to get one of my 4X4’s out to give it a tug…….maby its time for another Trackster!!!

      • Dave Wright

        Great conversation Robert…..I love talking to someone with experianced deeper than a Google search………

  14. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Second time in a week that I’ve seen one of these. First was a recent episode of Counting Cars.
    Pretty cool vehicle.

  15. Robert Wentz

    We still own our 1970 trackster we bought new. It’s like NOTHING else that has ever been made. And to the guy who thinks its old and boring, you’re way off base bub. And to the guy with his idiotic track conversion 4-wheeler, you must have more money than brains. The trackster would run CIRCLES around that expensive joke. The Honda conversion is NOT powerful, its power range is way too low for those hydrostats. Stay with the OMC 2cycle if you can. Only the orig set-up works best. I know, we still use ours 46 years later to get us to our mountain-top radio tower site. A little 2-cycle smoke is well worth it. And no one knows that better than us, 46 years later.

  16. Jack

    I havent thought of these since I was a kid in the 70’s. My uncle had one of these for years and it may still be up at his place. I will have to look next time I go up. But I sure had a blast up in those woods with it. A couple of his neighbors kids wer spoinled little monsters and had Honda 110 ATC 3 wheelers . They would rip up and down the logging roads dusting me out as I cruised along at about 10 mph …..But once we left the dirt roads they werent anything but useless. Usually one would flip over on one of those knuckleheads anytime we started off the road into the woods. They would just get stuck on fallen limbs etc as I crawled up and down the skid trails . I did have a pretty scary situation due to lack of speed once. I crawled up a hillside and as I started to turn to explore to the right of me I got a glimpse of a large brown something moving fast through some trees to my left. When I finally got a clear look I realized it was a rather large brown bear coming at me at a pretty decent clip. Fortunately I had something with me that was faster then the Trackster and the bear……My 15th birthday gift from my uncle ….my lever action marlin 30 30. In a panic I emptied my marlin as I pointed the rifle at him. And I ended up hitting the bear exactly 0 times . But it was enough noise that he turned and split without waving goodbye. I got a good look at him a moment later realizing he was a young adolecent and was probably just curious if anything . But when he was running at me he was a 11 ft tall 1400 lb man eating Kodiac Grizzley and he was hungry ! ;)

    Like 2

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