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April 9, 2013

Some Of The Most Amazing Snowmobiles Ever Built



io9.com


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 completely unknown.

To read the full article and see pictures and video of the Penguin 1 and other snowmobiles from the early 20th century, click here.



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