Those snowmobiles zipping down trails and across lakes nowadays are sleek, fast, refined examples of today’s complex engineering and pictures of reliability with price tags exceeding $10,000.

But stepping into Dale Jones’ 110-foot by 60-foot pole shed on his Le Sueur County farm is like stepping back to a simpler time when snowmobiles were smoking, cantankerous and sometimes as unreliable as they were inexpensive — $500 would put you in the driver’s seat.

The 85 or so gleaming yellow and black Ski-Doo snowmobiles, all painstakingly restored, that Jones has on display in neat rows of his Ski-Doo History Hall harken back to the earliest days of snowmobiling.

A former Ski-Doo dealer, he has gained a reputation nationally, even internationally, as the Ski-Doo doctor. If you have a question about or need a part to restore one of the vintage sleds, odds are pretty good he can help.

That’s because after three decades of selling snowmobiles from his farm a few miles east of Le Sueur, rather than liquidating his parts inventory, he simply locked the doors.

Now, several years later, all of those parts tucked away in bins along with those he has acquired from other former dealers has made him the go-to guy for vintage Ski-Doo parts.

In addition, he has become a source for reproduction parts, something anyone searching for a replacement windshield in the restoration-correct yellow tint will appreciate.

Jones’ snowmobile collection is not all-show and no-go.

On wintery weekends, likely as not, he’ll hop on one of his sleds and, along with other vintage snowmobile enthusiasts, cruise the several miles of trails that wind through his farm.



To see an audio slideshow about Dale Jones and his Ski-Doo collection, click here.

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