The name “Super Snow Bird” was really something to live up to, and it looks to us like B.P. Arps and Adolf Langenfeld did just that. Produced in significant numbers until 1939, Admiral Richard E. Byrd evidently thought enough of their idea to take a couple along with him on his first and second Antarctic Expeditions. He had reportedly more success with them than with his later ill-fated, more complex and extraordinarily expensive Snow Cruiser. In a recent post, we covered Virgil D. White’s trailblazing design and recently came across a short piece about his early Buick-based prototype. Arps and Langenfeld took his concept to the next level.
After White sold his patents to the Farm Specialty Manufacturing Company of New Holstein, Wisconsin in the late twenties, they continued to produce his Snowmobile essentially unchanged. But with the debut of the Model “A” Ford in 1928, the Arps Corporation, as it was now called, needed to update their product. They responded with a new, more complex and sophisticated system the details of which are explained in considerable depth in the pages from a later thirties sales flyer you see below.
The Super Snow Birds provided yeoman service through the Thirties and during the Second World War, after which wear and tear, improved winter road maintenance and the wider availability of four wheel drive vehicles gradually rendered them obsolete. The Arps Corporation is still doing business today as Amerequip, a manufacturer of custom-built backhoes and other equipment. We will do a follow up showing more Snow Bird features and later Ford V-8 Ford conversions soon. You can find more unconventional vehicles here on The Old Motor. Top photo courtesy of Amerequip. Thanks to Terry Harper for sharing the brochure pages.
Details of the “Super Snow Bird” wheel and runner attachments below.