Winter’s Almost Here! 1976 Tucker Sno-Cat

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Thanks to Pat L for tracking (cough) this one down! This 1976 Tucker Sno-Cat is on the New Hampshire/Vermont border in Norwich, Vermont. It can be found on Craigslist for $7,000. The seller will deliver within a 200-mile radius for free, $1/mile roundtrip after that. So, if you live where these are made, in Medford, Oregon, plan on shelling out another $6,000 in shipping charges to the seller.

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Tucker Sno-Cat Corporation is still very much in business, based in Medford, Oregon, where they only get 7-inches of snow a year but they’re surrounded by some pretty awesome snow-creating topography. Mr. E.M. Tucker was born in the beautiful Rogue River Valley area of Oregon and he spent a few years in Los Angeles, where he tinkered with different machines to traverse snow-covered terrain. He then moved to Grass Valley, California where his first production line was set up. Homesick, he moved the company back to his birth area and settled in Medford, Oregon where Tucker Sno-Cat Corp. is the world’s oldest successful manufacturer of snow vehicles.

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This particular Sno-Cat was used at the Mad River Glen ski area in Vermont, known as the most-challenging ski area in the eastern US. It’s a two-seater and it has a pickup back for hauling supplies, or almost anything else that you can think of. This is one powerful machine, it’ll pull a tree out of the ground if it’s asked to. The seller says that a few of the wheels will need new bearings but hopefully that wouldn’t be a huge project, you’ll want to remove the tracks and check everything out anyway.

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Switches-a-plenty there! This is a tough, pragmatic machine for sure, but is that a radio cut-out on the dash to the right of the bank of switches and dials? I can imagine that it’s fairly loud in that cab so they must have had a heck of a set of speakers in there. The seats look great but what a tangle of wires under the dash! There’s a small heater in the cab which must have been quite a luxury when the company first offered those. This one has a 5-speed manual which is always nice, but it will be a pain for those stop-and-go traffic jams on your winter commute (kidding)..

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This tough, tracked traverser is powered by a Dodge 318 V8 and supposedly it runs great. The seller says that this powertrain moves this almost 4-ton machine “very swiftly” over the snow! There are a few leaks but they’ve kept up on maintenance and they check fluids regularly. This would be a heck of a restoration project, at least size-wise. But, if someone needed a big, powerful, tracked vehicle for winter use, it’s hard to beat these Tucker Sno-Cats. Is this one worth restoring or would you just keep it maintained and use the heck out of it like I would?

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Comments

  1. David Wilk Member

    Very cool find Scotty. I think you should buy this and use it to commute from Duluth to the Twin Cities seven months a year.

  2. Ed P

    This is making me think of “The Shining”

  3. 68custom

    There were a few in the Kurt Russels movie ” IT ” as well? Looks like nothing would stop it. No need to restore just maintenance IMO.

    • Fireman Dan

      The movie was The Thing not It
      And they were Thiokols

  4. Rock On Member

    I bet that this Cat can really purr!

  5. JW

    Except for a ski resort or maybe a rescue station in the mountains I see not much use for the $$$. Cool find tho !!!

    Like 1
  6. Howard A Member

    This is why we are so lucky to have Scotty here. Stuff like this. Thanks, man. This is the “standard” Tucker Sno-Cat I was so familiar with in my snowmobile heydays. Late 70’s through the ’80’s. I’ve got news for you, coming up head on into one of these is an intimidating experience, especially at night, ( with half a package on) when most groomers run and the groomer always has the right of way, so you best get out of the way. What’s missing here, is the 10 or 15 foot “drag” they pull, and this unit has hydraulics ( on the left side of photo), to raise and lower the drag, as needed. If you’ve spent any time snowmobiling, you know the trails get pretty choppy ( mostly from people spinning the tracks or going 100 mph) and it was always a welcome site to come up on a groomer, because the trails were like a sidewalk after they went through, for a while. Today’s modern Sno-Cats are fancy machines, with cushy interiors, diesels with automatics and cost 6 figures. I have a friend that operates one near me in N.Wis. This, with it’s bullet proof Chrysler mechanical’s would be a great alternative for a struggling club, or if you are building your own ski hill, but not for much else. I’ve seen these stuck, and it’s not a pretty sight. One thing for sure, they sure sounded nice, that V-8 in the crisp air. Very cool find.

  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    I remember the Big Mountain ski resort in Whitefish, MT had one of these that they ran for years. It’s been a long time since I’ve been there so I don’t know what they’re running today.

    The spring of ’67 brought in a blizzard that dropped a record 6ft. of snow on us in three separate storms. Local ranchers (including my dad) rushed out and bought up sno-cats and whatever else was available on tracks so they could feed their cattle. Between the Nodwell (which we had) and a Chinook helicopter, courtesy the National Guard who generously helped out, we were able to keep our livestock fed. Next winter all we needed was the 4×4 pickup.

  8. Jay E.

    Have a lot of hours driving one of the Sugar Bowl ski area in the 80’s. Speedy? Not. Loud, not so bad. Maintenance hogs? Yes MPG? Don’t ask. Cool factor, 10.
    Switched to grooming at Squaw Valley and Thiokols (2100 and 3700’s) Pisten Bullys and Lieghteners. Got out once winch Cats came along.

  9. Dave Wright

    IN the West, these are most commonly used bu utility and power companies ti acess the back country with crews in the winter. Even radio stations with remote rowers have them parked on trailers in there yards in case they are needed. one of the largest sno cat dealers in the country is here in my small Idaho town. I think many of there machines are leased in the winter to operators but they also do sales. Off course, these older machines are not used in industry much any more being replaced by modern equipment that is eiser to operate and maintain so the value on the older equipment is going down, I have bought and sold a few over the years. Tucker’s have limitations over full tracked (single track on each side) machines because of there limited turning radius but are simpler to maintain and drive. The Canadian industrial giant Bombadier has taken over the market in today’s world and even pickups are being converted to 4 track systems like the Tucker with some success. Like the interesting old rail road equipment, today a simple modification of street vehicles accomplish many tasks we used to have specialized equipment for.

  10. Peter K

    This would make simple clearing of my 2000′ driveway in central ct when it snows…

  11. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Loving the stories.
    Thanks for posting.

  12. Justin

    Hey I suppose you don’t have this any more but if you do or know of any similar I might be interested..

  13. ERIC RUSSELL

    How much?

  14. Micah L Berube

    I am interested in purchasing

  15. John

    Is this snow cat still for sale

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