5 Historic Rotax Snowmobile Engines
Published on July 26, 2011 in Guest Columns, News & Updates, Safety, Vintage
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Phil Mickelson of Snow Goer picks 5 historic Rotax snowmobile engines.

Start asking questions, and you realize that each engine in that wall has its own special place in history, and in Phil’s heart. We asked him to share some of those stories, and he developed an 11,000-word document. We then asked him to narrow the list to the top five in his collection.

When I graduated from college, I had no idea I would become involved in the snowmobile industry. I raced motorcycles while I was in high school and college and had quite good success in my region. The year I graduated from college I got a call from Halvorson Equipment Company in Duluth, Minnesota, a distributor of Ski-Doo snowmobiles. They were expanding their racing team and wanted me to help build racing engines for their team.

I was dropped into a team that included Steve Ave, George, Stan and Doug Hayes, Jake Kimbal, Ed Schubitzke and Jim Bower. While I didn’t know much about snowmobiles when I joined them, I learned about them in a hurry from that team.

Steve Ave was the reigning Eagle River World champion in 1968 and I had a chance to work with some of the most incredible engines of the day. I knew that many of the engines I worked with would become points of reference in the future and I had the opportunity to collect some of them.

This article defines five of my favorite engines in my collection, starting with number five and working down to my number one favorite in the collection.


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