Remembering The Apollo: A ‘Snow Shakin’ Sports Sled’

To celebrate social media’s Throwback Thursday, we quite literally reached into a bin that holds hundreds of folders of old press releases and pulled out this: The promotion package for the 1980 Polaris Apollo. Given all of the mainstream hype over the 50-year anniversary of the moon landing by Apollo 11, it seemed strangely appropriate, though this model had an, oh shall we say a slightly more limited impact on the world than the rig that carried Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins!

The Apollo name didn’t last long in Polaris’ lineup — it was launched (pun shamefully intended) as an Apollo 340 in 1979, returned without the number designation as simply an Apollo in 1980 and then disappeared.

So, with no further ado, here’s the text and photo flats from the 1980 Polaris press launch of the Apollo, in all of their glory:


Polaris calls its 1980 Apollo a snow-shakin’ sports sled for some very  good reasons: the full size snowmobile takes to the trail with the enthusiasm of larger, more expensive models, but is as manueverable and easy to handle as the smallest sled in the fleet.

These black-and-white images accompanied the Polaris launch of the 1980 Apollo, and have been in Snow Goer’s back room now for 40 years.

While priced for the economy conscious snowmobiler, the Apollo has the look and feel – plus some of the features – of its higher performance brothers. The handlebars are padded and adjustable; it has a rubber track and soft ride suspension system. The adjustable slide rail, with double shock and bogie wheels, has been tested under race conditions for durability.

The quick, reliable 340cc fan-cooled engine is quick and responsive, with extra power for hill climbing or flat out running.

For the first time, Polaris is offering a full accessory package for this model: It contains the speedometer, tachometer, gas gauge and tow hitch, all of which are usually available only on higher priced machines.

“We call the Apollo the ‘economy sport’ model , because it appeals to families looking for a peppy, get-out-and-go sled that is moderately prices. We believe that the Apollo is the top of its class in dependability, handling and comfort. And as an extra bonus, the Apollo for 1980 is quieter, with freer-running rubber track that reduces vibration and noise,” said John W. Kopf, vice president of sales.

“Take all those features, add the dynamic graphics of the Apollo and you’ll see why we call it a ‘snow shakin’ sports sled,” he said.

The other Apollo shots from the press kit. You may notice the “70% pg 82” markings, plus the black “crop” marks the editors at the time put on the photo.

Editor’s Note: Every Snow Goer issue includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more. Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive print and/or digital issues.

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