1969 Snow Hawk..King Of Snowmobiles

September 17, 2017

That was the tagline used by Sno-Hawk snowmobiles, which was made in London, Ont., about two hours northeast of Detroit, Mich. Production ran from 1968 to 1973 and the parent company was called Eagle Tie Machine Co. Inc. 

The first models came with German-built JLO engine’s in different sizes including 227, 252, 297, 372 and later a mighty 600cc twin. However, if they did make them, very few 600cc’s were made and may or may not exist. In late 1972 models Sno-Hawks featured Kohler engines with sizes ranging from a 294 single at 20 horsepower to a 399 twin at 28 hp. The Sno-Hawk I own is a 1969 with JLO 227cc single rated at 12.5 HP with a Tillotson HR carburetor. 

Sno-Hawk’s streamlined fiberglass hood is hinged at the front for easy accessibility for fueling and maintenance. It also came with a removable front mounted fuel tank which is great for us vintage guys who need to clean them out. Fuel capacity was 3 IMP gallons. Metal type rear hood hinges were used to hold the hood in place, but my personal choice would be rubber ones that would not move as much, or rust, and would be easier to use. 

The Sno-Hawks have nice chrome sloping handle bars with simple throttle and brake levers. The sleds utilized a disc brake which was great. There is a cross shaft to support the disc brake and the 10-inch driven clutch used two small pillow block bearings on each end which made it hard to change the drive belt. You had to disconnect the drive chain and the bolts holding the pillow block bearing to be able to slide the new belt on. 

The driven clutch had an aluminum center with finned outer hub for cooling the drive belt system. The drive chain was a single #40 exposed design, so every so often you would have to lube the chain and you don’t want to get too much lube on there, as being an open design, it tends to fly out all over everywhere. 

The drive clutch was steel and used four kidney style drive weight’s which worked good for its time.

The Sno-Hawk came in a nice bright orange color and other colors were supposedly optional, although I have not seen them. That bright orange color made this sled really easy to see coming or going! 

The seat and back rest was 4-inches thick, black in color and was held on with snaps. The rear back rest was a large 14x10x7 inch fiberglass storage compartment. It had nice rear chrome side handles for passengers and brochures said it could seat three people. 

The track was twin drive 3-ply nylon rubber with exclusive self-cleaning steel treads and 16-inches wide, which made for a good flotation in deep snow. Three sets of four bogey wheel assemblies made for a comfortable ride. The rear snow flap was held on a rod with belt lacing which made it swing easy and it worked great. 

In 1972 pricing for 399cc was $1055 but they had to liquidate their stock during that year and dropped the price down to $599. That was the last production year and you don’t see many around down in the states. 
In addition to the slogans in the title of this article above, one of the memorable ad slogans was “To add a touch of fun to your winter wonderland.”

 

Sleek and sexy was what the marketing guys were pushing in the late 1960s. Like the oversized and stylish cars of the day, this sled was bright, long, luxurious, but still somehow looked fast!

 

 

 

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