Volo Auto Museum exhibit shows snowmobiling history

  • Chris Beal of Elgin, left, and Bob Raygor of Palatine look at unique snowmobiles Sunday at the new seasonal snowmobile exhibit at the Volo Auto Museum. The exhibit includes more than 20 rare snowmobiles, including a model of the first snowmobile, a 1923 Ford Model T on metal tracks and skids.

    Chris Beal of Elgin, left, and Bob Raygor of Palatine look at unique snowmobiles Sunday at the new seasonal snowmobile exhibit at the Volo Auto Museum. The exhibit includes more than 20 rare snowmobiles, including a model of the first snowmobile, a 1923 Ford Model T on metal tracks and skids. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Martin Kos, left, and Jim Dolan, both of Chicago, look at unique snowmobiles, including the 1962 L-55 Polaris, far right, at the new seasonal snowmobile exhibit at the Volo Auto Museum on Sunday. The exhibit includes more than 20 rare snowmobiles, such as a model of the first snowmobile, a 1923 Ford Model T on metal tracks and skids.

    Martin Kos, left, and Jim Dolan, both of Chicago, look at unique snowmobiles, including the 1962 L-55 Polaris, far right, at the new seasonal snowmobile exhibit at the Volo Auto Museum on Sunday. The exhibit includes more than 20 rare snowmobiles, such as a model of the first snowmobile, a 1923 Ford Model T on metal tracks and skids. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 1/24/2016 4:56 PM

Visitors to the Volo Auto Museum had a chance Sunday to go back in time and explore the origins and history of snowmobiling.

Some of the one-of-a-kind sleds included in the museum's seasonal snowmobile exhibit date back more than 90 years. The exhibit will be on display through April.

 

"It has been a couple of years in the making collecting the unique and different snowmobiles. A lot of these in here are one-of-a-kind or one of less than 100 built that people haven't seen," said Museum Director Brian Grams. "These aren't the typical snowmobiles that you think of, like this rocket-powered snowmobile. A lot of snowmobile museums have more common stuff than what we have here. I don't think anybody has a rocket-powered snowmobile in their museum."

Among the rare machines visitors could see were a 1923 Ford Snowflyer which, according to the museum, is considered one of the first patented snowmobiles. It was designed by Virgil White of New Hampshire and cost around $750 at the time. The museum has one of the 75 Snowflyers produced in 1923.

Other sleds include a rocket-powered 3,000-horsepower snowmobile, an air sled that can hit speeds of 100 mph, and many classic snowmobiles from the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

For more information about the Volo Auto Museum and its 33 exhibits, visit volocars.com.

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