Classic snowmobiles of old on show in Albert County

A Canadian twist on the classic car show will be on display in Hillsborough this weekend.

Albert County Winter Carnival hosts antique snowmobile show

Classic snowmobiles are different as night and day from today's machines, says Paul Wilson of the Golden Oldies Snowmobile Club. (Albert County Winter Carnival)

A Canadian twist on the classic car show will be on display in Albert County this weekend.

The Albert County Winter Carnival will be hosting a classic snowmobile show.

The show in southeastern New Brunswick will be put on by the Golden Oldies Snowmobile Club.

Paul Wilson, the club president, said "antique" is a grey area in the snowmobile world, but the club believes a machine made before 1990 qualifies. 

Wilson's love of snowmobiles goes back to his childhood.

"My grandfather used to have a snowmobile dealership in the Petitcodiac area back in the 70s, and I guess it's kind of in our blood," he said.

"I remember being just a little kid and out on the old snowmobiles. It kind of stuck with me, I guess."

Rivalries

Wilson said he has a few classic snowmobiles, most related to his grandfather's shop.

"My grandfather sold Evinrude snowmobiles, so that's what I go mostly," said Wilson.

Wilson said the club has 25 members, and some rivalries over who has the best machine.

Snowmobiles on display at last year's Albert county winter carnival. (Submitted by Paul Wilson)

"We like to tease and heckle each other on different things," said Wilson.

"It's like people who root for different hockey teams."

Changing world

For anyone who hasn't seen old snowmobiles, Wilson said the difference between what will be on display at the show and what can be seen on the trails is night and day.

"They've come a long way in the past 40 to 50 years," said Wilson.

"Different suspension, different engine combinations. Just completely different. It was like an old car compared to a new car."

The amount of maintenance required depends on how well the machine has been treated through the years, he said.

While it can be difficult to fix up an old snowmobile, Wilson likes the challenge.

It's winter carnival season in the province. In Hillsborough, the Golden Oldies Snowmobile Club will be there with some vintage machines to show. Club president Paul Wilson says what qualifies as an antique is a bit of a grey area, though. 4:14

"There was over 200 different manufacturers in the '70s, and now there's only four," he said. 

"So you can imagine trying to find parts for something they haven't made for 40 years."

But it's becoming easier to track down parts and advice because of social media.

"There's quite a wide reach to the hobby, I guess, now," said Wilson.

The show will take place at the Albert County Winter Carnival at the Kiwanis Event Centre in Hillsborough, about 24 kiometres southeast of Moncton.

With files from Shift