The history of the snowmobile industry wouldn’t be the same without a guy named Woody and his partner Jim who revolutionized the handling of a snowmobile 50 years ago.
As legend has it, Jim Musselman and Woody Kozlow developed the first carbide runners for snowmobiles in the mid 1960s, and Woody was the man who went around the pits at races and sold them to race teams. After seeing how well they worked on the track, word spread like wildfire and soon virtually everybody in the pits was seeking a set of “Woody’s” runners — which were actually manufactured by International Engineering & Manufacturing, which was an automotive industry supplier at the time.
Below is the press release from Woody’s/International Engineering.
INTERNATIONAL ENGINEERING & MFG. CELEBRATES 50 YEARS
A Golden Anniversary For Woody’s Traction Products
Hope, MI: International Engineering & Manufacturing, Inc. (IEM), established in 1968, celebrates fifty years of success as the leading manufacturer of snowmobile traction products trademarked as Woody’s. The company will commemorate this occasion with their friends and fans throughout the 2017-18 show season, as well as with affiliates in the Spring of 2018 for a formal gathering. Their festivities will kickoff this year at Hay Days in North Branch, MN the weekend after Labor Day. Additional excitement includes Woody’s Facebook event called 50 Weeks 50 Giveaways, in which followers are given 50 chances to win prizes throughout the season.
Company President, Robert Musselman, states, “All of us here at IEM/Woody’s are extremely proud of this milestone. We would like to personally thank our enthusiastic supporters who helped make this achievement possible, including our customers, suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, employees and the snowmobiling community. As we reflect on IEM’s first 50 years of successes and experiences, we also want to take this time to embrace our vision looking forward. We are excited for future opportunities in our industry and will remain committed to growth, diversification, and excellence in customer service and product quality.”
The story of a successful company began in the mid-sixties as James Musselman and Woody Kozlow put their minds together to revolutionize snowmobile racing by developing the first ever carbide runner. Instead of using three corner files attached to ski bottoms for handling and traction, they decided to use their knowledge of carbide wear characteristics and attach the carbide to a metal base. This was an instant breakthrough in the industry, and soon everyone wanted a pair of “Woody’s” carbides. Shortly after, carbide tip studs were developed and the pair became essential for racing, eventually making Woody’s synonymous with quality in snowmobile traction products.
Today, IEM is a small town, family-owned company managed by second generation Musselman family: Robert Musselman, President and Mark Musselman, Vice President. They currently employ 53 full-time employees, who are all considered family. Perseverance, hard work, innovation, and unwavering commitment to quality products and customer service is what transformed IEM into the international corporation it is today. To change with the times, an office renovation along with a new and improved website can be expected in the near future.