Forget the small, modern snowmobiles with four-stroke
engines. They are way less cool than these old monsters, which include
car-to-snowmobile modifications and sled weapons. Here are some of the greatest
snowmobiles ever made.
Antarctic Snow Cruiser (a.k.a. “Penguin 1” or “Turtle”)
This 55-foot, 8-inch vehicle was designed between 1937 and
1939 by a team led by Thomas Poulter in preparation for Admiral Byrd’s second
expedition in 1939.
The only way to get it from Chicago
to Boston was
to drive it across the country at a smooth 10-13 mph cruising speed.
Once in the Antarctic, the Penguin 1 had some problems: It slipped
off a too-narrow bridge and later sank into the snow because of its large,
smooth tires and its 30-ton weight. After the crew installed some chains and
spare tires, it was able to drive at a very low speed; they’d cover 96 miles in 12 months.
The team eventually left the Penguin 1 in the Antarctic when
the expedition returned to the U.S. A few years later an other expedition found it and made it fully operational,
but they’ve left it somewhere at Little America in the Bay
of Whales. The location of the Antarctic Snow Cruiser is now
To read the full article and see pictures and video of the
Penguin 1 and other snowmobiles from the early 20th century, click here.