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Chrysler Sno-Runner

Easily the goofiest vehicle I have, the Chrysler Sno-Runner (later Sno-Rabbit) is a real oddity. I am told that Chrysler 's outboard division developed them for the military as a snowmobile that infantry could carry on their back. Also that the military versions would do in excess of 40mph. Apparently the military did not make a large purchase of them leaving Chrysler to try and sell them to the general public. By the late 1970's the market for new snowmobiles was pretty crowded and the Sno-Runner, while unique, did not attract much of a following. My Snow-Runner came as an premium/incentive in the trunk of a new New Yorker sold in late 1979 - a troubled time for Chrysler.

Sno-Runner Brochure

The engine is mounted under the seat with a zero gravity carb pulling fuel from the frame spar. The powerhead is a Chrysler 2-Stroke industrial engine of 7 hp, it looks very similar to the old West Bend Shrimp outboard powerhead. Braking is accomplished by a handlebar brake (like a moped) that slows the tread. A front ski is turned by the handlebars with a large standard 7 1/4" automotive headlight mounted in the center. (there is also a tail/brake light mounted under the seat on the back of the engine) The seat is a large comfortable affair, needed since there is no suspension!

When I first got the thing I was seriously thinking it couldn't work, after all there are no wheels to rotate and give you balance! However, it does work and is really a lot of fun to ride. Top speed is about 25 but carburetor troubles have kept me from really trying a long speed run. Handling and braking are pretty good. I don't have the original bag but removal of a few pins and the entire rig can be bundled up to about the size of a golf bag.


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