site for antique outboards, mopeds, and select automobiles
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.
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!
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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