Vintage Snowmobile Ad Tuesday: Remembering The Raider

Let’s get this out of the way right up front: We truly have fond memories of Bob Bracey, and the products this Michigan-based innovator created.

With a background in the automotive market yet a passion for over-snow transportation, Bracey tried, tried and tried again to bring cockpit-style snowmobiles to the market. His most successful launch was probably his first — the Raider. It is this week’s featured ad for Snow Goer’s Vintage Snowmobile Ad Tuesday.

The Raider grew out of Bracey’s Leisure Vehicles Inc., company in model year 1971, though their development can be traced back to 1969. The machine featured twin tracks in the rear and dual skis up front, and thus promised to be more stable that other snowmobiles at the time. Another selling point was the cockpit seating position — you “drove” a Raider (and subsequent cockpit snowmobiles), you didn’t ride it.

The Raider started as a single machine, but it soon had a sibling (the Roamer), and then specific Raider models (the Bandit, 34TT, 44TT, Hawk, Eagle and Double Eagle). In all, it is estimated that 20,000 Raiders were built before the company shut down in 1975.

Bracey wasn’t done with the concept, however — far from it. He returned with the Manta a couple of times in the 1970s and 1980s, and then in the 1990s he launched the Trail Roamer, all based on the cockpit style. We remember meeting up with Bob for a test drive of the Trail Roamer in West Yellowstone, Montana, in about 1995 — his enthusiasm for his inventions was infectious. Up until the time when he died in 2003 at age 66, Bracey never totally gave up on his dream. For his untiring efforts, Bracey is being inducted into the Snowmobile Hall Of Fame on February 16.

To see this trade ad for the Raider 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 here 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

Harley-Davidson

Northway Snowmobiles

 

 

5 thoughts on “Vintage Snowmobile Ad Tuesday: Remembering The Raider

  • I grew up with Raiders. Well first I had a Roamer, then a Raider 44TT. Back then I didn’t realize it was an unusual concept or machine. They could really “fish tale” around a corner. They were fun machines. Now in my 40’s I was telling my boys about the machine. I had to look up pictures because they thought I was making it up.

    Reply
  • Had my Raider Hawk out a few days ago and its running great! Gets a lot of looks/ stares when I’m out riding it. It won 1st place in a local sled show for MOST UNIQUE in 2003. The next year they used a picture of my Raider to put on all the winning plaques! That was really cool! If you have a Square Valley Trail Blazers 9th Annual Don Rowe Snow Sled Show plaque from January 10, 2004 you have a picture of my sled!

    Reply
  • I’m looking for a vintage Raider snowmobile to restore. Any condition.
    Thanks for your help.

    Reply
  • John Drawe, I have a 1975 Double Eagle I would like to sell, comes with manuals and extra tracks, Needs a windshield and some TLC,engine has compression, but hasn’t run for a while

    Reply
    • I am interested I the double eagle please call/text me 413 272 3979 Adam

      Reply

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