DEC. 15, 2011 – The world's oldest snowmobile is on display during "Santa on the Slopes," a special holiday exhibit at the Kemp Auto Museum.
The snowmobile, a 1923 Model T Ford, will be displayed in a holiday-themed atmosphere in the exhibit, which runs through January. Visitors will get a glimpse into the unique function, structure, and craft of early snowmobiles.
Considered the best preserved and most original snowmobile of its kind, this Model T Ford shares many of the same features as modern snowmobiles, including its ski equipped front-end for steering through the snow and its rigorously chained rear tires for traction.
Toward the late 1920s, Model T Ford snowmobiles had grown immensely popular in Snowbelt states. Typical buyers included doctors answering house calls and rural postmen delivering mail. It was not until the second half of the century that the snowmobile’s more recreational uses were discovered, giving way to smaller, faster designs showcased in sports such as snow crossing and jet skiing.
In collaboration with the exhibit, film footage on the history and development of snowmobiles will be on display daily. This 30-minute presentation will feature rare commentaries, archival photographs and advertisements on snowmobiles as well as demonstrations on how they operate and maneuver.
"Santa on the Slopes" is included with general admission and does not require advance reservations.
Kemp Auto Museum is at 16955 Chesterfield Airport Road, Chesterfield, Mo., 63017. Call 636-537-1718 for details.