Sno-Prince snowmobiles were marketed from 1967 to 1972. These machines were manufactured by the Canadian company Lionel Enterprises, acquired by Giffen Recreation Ltd. in 1968. Although the 1973 lineup was presented, Sno-Prince snowmobiles disappeared from the market after the 1972 model year. If you want to learn all about the legendary Sno-Prince sleds and find out where you can still find one, this post is for you.
We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know about vintage Sno-Prince snowmobiles under one roof!
Sno-Prince Snowmobile History
The history of Sno-Price snowmobiles goes back to the mid-‘60s when the first Prince prototypes appeared on the trails.
Prince snowmobiles were manufactured by the Canadian company Lionel Enterprises in Princeville, Quebec. Mass production of these sleds started in 1966, and the first models hit the market in the 1967 model year.
Surprisingly, the first lineup only contained two models, the Sno-Prince and the smaller Ski Jet.
The Ski Jet, known as the “1967 Lionel Ski Jet,” was a surprisingly small machine powered by a 2-stroke, 180cc Hirth engine. This power mill produced a moderate 8.2 HP at 4200 RPM and utilized a Tillotson carburetor.
The Lionel Ski Jet was known for its lightweight design, as the entire machine only weighed 185 pounds and only had a single front ski.
In contrast, the 1967 Lionel Sno-Prince had a 300cc Hirth engine that cranked out 15 HP at 5200 RPM. Thanks to this power source, the top speed of the Sno-Prince was 35 mph under ideal conditions.
Unlike its smaller brother, this sled featured two skis and weighed about 270 pounds.
Standard features on both models included a bogie-wheel suspension system, Salsbury clutch, and a rubber 15 ¾” track.
By 1968, the new Sno Prince lineup included many new models available with 180cc-372cc Hirth engines. However, the unique Ski Jet was dropped for this season.
The entry-level model in the fleet was the 1968 Sno-Prince D-16, powered by a 180cc Hirth single, while the mid-range models like the A-16, A-16 De Luxe, and A-17 had a larger, 300cc Hirth power source.
Powered by a 372cc Hirth triple, the flagship Sno-Prince E-17 produced a remarkable 21 HP.
Each machine featured a 3 ¾-gallon fuel tank, reinforced fiberglass hood, bogie-wheel suspension, diaphragm-type Tillotson carburetor, metal tool box, chrome bumpers, and a 15 ¾” track.
At the end of 1968, the Montreal-based Giffen Recreation Ltd. acquired Lionel Enterprises. Aside from Sno-Prince, Giffen also owned and controlled the popular Boa-Ski and Moto-Ski snowmobile brands.
What’s more, Sno-Prince snowmobiles were also distributed by Montgomery Ward through its catalogs. Like competitor catalog retailers Sears and Penney, Montgomery Ward also wanted to take advantage of the ballooning snowmobile market.
For the 1969 model year, each Sno-Prince snowmobile was built on the same stainless steel chassis. These machines were 98” long (with skis), 33” wide, 35” high, and weighed around 280-300 pounds.
During this season, vintage Sno-Prince sleds were available with various engine options. The entry-level models had a 17 HP, 300cc Hirth single, the mid-range units utilized a 19 HP, 386cc Lloyd twin, while the most powerful Sno-Prince SM-248 was powered by a 24 HP, 370cc Sachs engine.
Compared to the previous year, standard equipment on the sleds remained unchanged, but the electric start was now available as an option.
Besides the sleds, the manufacturer offered snowmobile suits and passenger sleighs like the popular Sno Prince Cutter.
In the 1969 model year, the three companies – Sno-Prince, Boa-Ski, and Moto-Ski, produced 56,000 sleds and sales reached $31 million.
These numbers made Giffen Recreation Ltd. the third biggest snowmobile manufacturer, slightly behind Arctic Cat (54,000 units) and the market leader Bombardier (180,000 units).
By 1970, the Sno-Prince lineup was rounded up with eight models named after storms like Blizzard, Hurricane, and Tornado. These machines had Sachs, Lloyd, and Hirth engines, which produced 12 – 28 HP depending on the model.
The 18-inch wide rubber track made its debut in this model year, utilizing metal cleats, a self-cleaning system, and a patented sure-grip tread.
The increased size and the new features ensured better traction on ice and increased floatation in powder.
Most models were equipped with sealed dual headlights and an extra-large storage compartment beneath the seat. This was a great place to carry tools, emergency equipment, lunch, or even ice fishing accessories.
The new lineup was expanded for the 1971 model year with 11 models. Two “Junior”’ models were marketed throughout this season. The Junior 180 had an 8 HP, 180cc Hirth, while the Junior 230 housed a 12 HP, 225cc CCW engine.
The mid-range XL line featured five different models, from the most affordable Sno-Prince XL-300S to the more advanced Sno-Prince XL-400.
This season, flagship Sno-Prince sleds were released under the “GT” brand name utilizing 24-35 HP Hirth and JLO engines.
By 1972, some models like the entry-level Junior 180 and the XLS-340 had been dropped. On the other hand, the all-new SST family made its debut.
This innovative line featured two models, the Sno-Prince SST-345 and the SST-445. The latter had a 40 HP, 438cc Hirth engine, while the 345 was designed with a 330 HP Hirth twin rated at 30 HP.
These new SST sleds were bigger and tougher compared to the other model lines.
They utilized bigger brakes, a stronger clutch, and easier steering. The new 15 ¾“deep-ridged track offered excellent traction on all types of terrain.
The skis featured double-reinforced leaves and stronger bump dampeners, resulting in more comfort and a higher level of safety.
According to one of the 1972 flyers:
“Still sleek and speedy, the Sno-Prince SST line sports other important changes, such as a new engine design that doesn’t cloak the power. You can get 292 to a 438 c.c. twin-cylinder engines, flexing 14 to 40 HP of axial cooled engine muscle. Plus a new tinted windscreen and softer yet tougher seats.
You get all this – quality, sporty new looks, and unbeatable performance in the new Sno-Prince SST line. And it doesn’t cost a king’s ransom. Court a Sno-Prince SST – or any of the other 10 models – at a Sno-Prince dealer near you.”
The 1973 Sno-Prince lineup shrank to a couple of models like the XL, SST-345, and the SST-445.
But to the greatest regret of many fans, these models were never sold, and Sno-Prince snowmobiles disappeared from the market before the 1973 model year.
Sno-Prince Snowmobile Models
For your convenience, we’ve compiled the production Sno-Prince snowmobiles into one list:
Sno–Prince 1967 Models
1967 Ski Jet (Engine: 8 HP, 180cc Hirth)
1967 Sno-Prince (Engine: 15 HP, 300cc Hirth)
Sno–Prince 1968 Models
1968 Sno-Prince D-16 (Engine: 8 HP, 180cc Hirth)
1968 Sno-Prince A-16 (Engine: 10 HP, 300cc Hirth)
1968 Sno-Prince A-16 De Luxe (Engine: 10 HP, 300cc Hirth)
1968 Sno-Prince A-17 (Engine: 18 HP Hirth)
1968 Sno-Prince E-17 (Engine: 21 HP, 372cc Hirth)
Sno–Prince 1969 Models
1969 Sno-Prince A-18 (Engine: 17 HP, 300cc Hirth)
1969 Sno-Prince A-18 EL (Engine: 17 HP, 300cc Hirth)
1969 Sno-Prince A-28 (Engine: 19 HP, 386cc Lloyd)
1969 Sno-Prince A-28EL (Engine: 19 HP, 386cc Lloyd)
1969 Sno-Prince SM-248 (Engine: 24 HP, 370cc Sachs)
Sno–Prince 1970 Models
1970 Sno-Prince Blizzard (Engine: 12 HP, 277cc Sachs)
1970 Sno-Prince Tornado I (Engine: 18 HP, 386cc Lloyd)
1970 Sno-Prince Tornado II (Engine: 18 HP, 300cc Hirth)
1970 Sno-Prince Cyclone I (Engine: 22 HP, 386cc Lloyd)
1970 Sno-Prince Cyclone II (Engine: 24 HP, 368cc Sachs)
1970 Sno-Prince Cyclone III (Engine: 24 HP, 372cc Hirth)
1970 Sno-Prince Hurricane I (Engine: 24 HP, 372cc Hirth)
1970 Sno-Prince Hurricane II (Engine: 28 HP, 493cc Hirth)
Sno–Prince 1971 Models
1971 Sno-Prince Junior JR-180 (Engine: 8 HP, 180cc Hirth)
1971 Sno-Prince Junior JR-230 (Engine: 12 HP, 225cc CCW)
1971 Sno-Prince XL-300S (Engine: 15 HP, 277cc Sachs)
1971 Sno-Prince XL-300J (Engine: 15 HP, 295cc JLO)
1971 Sno-Prince XL-340 (Engine: 18 HP, 338cc Hirth)
1971 Sno-Prince XLS-340 (Engine: 22 HP, 386cc Lloyd)
1971 Sno-Prince XL-400 (Engine: 24 HP, 399cc JLO)
1971 Sno-Prince GTS-340 (Engine: 24 HP, 372cc Hirth)
1971 Sno-Prince GT-400 (Engine: 24 HP, 399cc JLO)
1971 Sno-Prince GT-500 (Engine: 28 HP, 493cc Hirth)
1971 Sno-Prince GT-640 (Engine: 35 HP, 634cc Hirth)
Sno–Prince 1972 Models
1972 Sno-Prince Junior JR-230 (Engine: 14 HP, 223cc JLO)
1972 Sno-Prince XL-300S (Engine: 15 HP, 277cc Sachs)
1972 Sno-Prince XL-300J (Engine: 19 HP, 292cc JLO)
1972 Sno-Prince XL-340 (Engine: 22 HP, 338cc Hirth)
1972 Sno-Prince XL-400 (Engine: 26 HP, 399cc JLO)
1972 Sno-Prince GT-400 (Engine: 26 HP, 399cc JLO)
1972 Sno-Prince GT-500 (Engine: 28 HP, 493cc Hirth)
1972 Sno-Prince GT-640 (Engine: 35 HP, 634cc Hirth)
1972 Sno-Prince SST-345 (Engine: 30 HP, 330cc Hirth)
1972 Sno-Prince SST-445 (Engine: 40 HP, 438cc Hirth)
Sno–Prince 1973 Models
1973 Sno-Prince XL (Engine: 26 HP, 292cc Hirth)
1973 Sno-Prince SST (Engine: 30 HP, 338cc Hirth)
1973 Sno-Prince SST (Engine: 40 HP, 438cc Hirth)
This list is for informational purposes only!
Vintage Sno-Prince Snowmobiles for Sale
Vintage Sno-Prince snowmobiles are already collectible items that are popular with vintage sled enthusiasts and private collectors. They occasionally appear in vintage shows or even on the trails.
Since new sleds are very expensive and challenging to work on, many younger riders prefer vintage sleds over shiny new machines. Vintage snowmobiles have a much simpler design and fewer features, which results in easier maintenance.
If you’re considering buying one, you may find a vintage Sno-Prince snowmobile for sale on Craigslist, eBay, Sledswap, Sowmobilesoup, Snowmobiletrader, and other snowmobile ad sites.
You also can’t go wrong by visiting some Sno-Prince snowmobile forums and FB groups. Besides some good deals, you can also find a lot of helpful information on vintage Sno-Prince sleds!
Takeaways – What Happened to Sno-Prince Snowmobiles?
As a takeaway, we’ve compiled the most common questions about these iconic sleds under one roof!
What years did Sno-Prince make snowmobiles?
Sno-Prince snowmobiles were made from 1967 through 1972 in Princeville, Quebec.
Who made the Sno-Prince snowmobile?
Sno-Prince snowmobiles were manufactured by the Canadian Lionel Enterprises, but the company was acquired by the Montreal-based Giffen Recreation Ltd in 1968. This industry giant also owned and controlled other snowmobile brands like Moto-Ski and Boa-Ski. Also, Sno-Prince snowmobiles were marketed through the catalogs of Montgomery Ward.
What happened to Sno-Prince snowmobiles?
The production of Sno-Prince snowmobiles was ceased because of the recession that hit the entire snowmobile industry. In the mid-‘70s when high oil prices and mild winters resulted in poor sales figures. What’s more, countless new manufacturers caused a massive oversupply in the snowmobile market. All of these caused many brands to close their doors, and Sno-Prince was no exception.
When did Sno-Prince Stop making snowmobiles?
Finally, Sno-Prince stopped making snowmobiles after the 1972 model year.