Vintage Snowmobile Ad: A Simple Image, A Straightforward Message

Long before there were SKS models, not to mention Summits and RMKs, MTXs and ProClimb Ms, adventure riding still existed in the old West. Maybe we didn’t get as deep into the backcountry as people can with the custom-built super sleds that dominate the steep and deep territory today, but when you were living in that era, the then-current model snowmobiles seemed awesome, and much better than the snowmobiles that were built just a few short years before then.

Remember that, 15 years from now, when you look back on today’s super sleds and wonder, “Gosh, how did we ever muscle those things around — today’s sleds are SO much better.”

For that very reason, we were drawn to this simple ad for the 1981 Yamaha SS440. It features a beautiful (though rather dark) image of a place we’d all want to be, with a simple message — basically, if you think you’ve got a realistic shot at this particular mountainside, you’d better have the right equipment. You can’t even make out the snowmobile in the shot — instead, Yamaha and its ad agency let the words sell the product.

The SS440 was dubbed “a new Exciter for the ’80s” in the November 1980 issue of Snow Goer magazine. Introduced for 1980, the SS440 featured a 50 horsepower 437cc fan-cooled twin with tapered exhaust ports. We had a more recent, full review of the model in our Timeline department in Snow Goer magazine — here’s a link to the story  — so we won’t regurgitate all the data and specs. Instead, we’ll just let you enjoy the image, and the thoughts of trying to muscle THAT sled around in the western backcountry today!

As always, to see this ad in full glory, simply click on the photo below and it will blow up to a larger size on your screen, uninterrupted. To subscribe to Snow Goer magazine, click here. And below the image are links to past Vintage Snowmobile Ad Tuesday features.












Ski-Doo Formula SP and Citation LSE

Evinrude Skimmer

Brut LC44 and LC29

Boa-Ski SS 440

Arctic Cat El Tigre


Northway Snowmobiles

The Raider

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