AmSnow.com is now SnoWest.com A Lifelong Passion
Massey Ferguson got me! I am 57 years young, and I have been married for 25 years. Snowmobiling has been an important part of my life and my wife’s. My Father was a Massey Ferguson Lawn & Garden Dealer in the late 60's and snowmobiles were a new and upcoming product that came with the garden tractor dealership. The Massey Ferguson branch manager in Columbus, Ohio got the Columbus area dealers together for a ride in Grayling, Michigan in 1969. My brother and I wanted to go on the trip, being age 11 and 10, my Dad chuckled and said, “If you 2 boys can get the MF 380 started by yourselves then you can go on the trip with us.” My Dad knowing the MF 380 was the hardest thing to start when it was cold, so he wrote us off as not going.
Well my brother and I figured out a way to start the single cylinder 380JLOE, steel starter cable thumper. A light shot of ether and both of us on the starter cable we got the 380 thumper started. So, off to Michigan we go. We rode 2-up for that long weekend in Grayling and had the best time of our lives. This got us hooked on snowmobiling when snowmobiling was a luxury sport. In 1972, my brother and I bought two new 500 SST Masseys for $680.00 a piece with the money we earned from setting up around 200 garden tractors. We rode them with the Columbus Dealers to Grayling, Mich., every chance we could. Back then, 60 miles in a day was a good day. My brother and I rode the 500 SST’s during the blizzard of 1978 in Powell, Ohio, for the police and fire rescues.
In the summer of 1978, we sold the 500 SST’s for $780.00 each, which was $100.00 more than we paid for them new. We both bought new 1979 440cc Arctic Cat Panthers. The Panthers were the latest and greatest 2-up snow machines. The Cats were the most dependable sled, but Arctic Cat temporarily went out of business, and in 1986, I sold my Panther and bought a Yamaha Phazer Deluxe. My brother kept his Panther and restored it in the late 80s, and it was the first sled his son rode in the late 90s.
I went through the Phazer years from 1984-1995. I married in 1990, and my wife Becky would ride 2-up on the Phazer when I could get her to go with me. In 1995, we purchased an Arctic Cat Pantera 580. The Pantera riding 2-up would beat my souped-up Phazer flat out, so I sold the Phazer to my best friend and the wife and I rode 2-up for the next few years. Then in 2000, she bought me a new Arctic Cat ZL580 with illusion hood for our 10-year anniversary. What a woman! Fast forward to 2015, and Becky is riding a TZ1 Arctic Cat and I am riding a 2008 Sno Pro with 10,000 miles on it. After 40-plus years of snowmobiling, I am still hooked on the white cold stuff.
The Massey Ferguson 380 started my fever for snowmobiling and the dealers, manufactures, engineers, innovators and suppliers continue to feed my passion with the latest and greatest. THANKS and keep making tracks in the snow!
– Dale “The Snowjunky” Huffman, Ohio