John Deere Snowmobiles: Development, Production, Competition and Evolution, 1971-1983

Overview

Long respected as a manufacturer of sturdy agricultural machinery, the John Deere Company began in the 1960s to build a line of consumer products in a dedicated factory in Horicon, Wisconsin. Starting with a lawn and garden tractor in 1963, Deere soon entered the fast-growing snowmobile market, introducing two models in 1971. The next 13 years would see a succession of models as Deere vied against tough competitors in a weather-dependent market.

This detailed history, written by...

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John Deere Snowmobiles: Development, Production, Competition and Evolution, 1971-1983

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Overview

Long respected as a manufacturer of sturdy agricultural machinery, the John Deere Company began in the 1960s to build a line of consumer products in a dedicated factory in Horicon, Wisconsin. Starting with a lawn and garden tractor in 1963, Deere soon entered the fast-growing snowmobile market, introducing two models in 1971. The next 13 years would see a succession of models as Deere vied against tough competitors in a weather-dependent market.

This detailed history, written by two key participants in the snowmobile program, describes the development of John Deere snowmobiles from start to finish: the design and engineering decisions that shaped each important model; reception of the snowmobiles by consumers; the factory race teams; the introduction of front-engine and water-cooled models; the process of selecting engines and negotiating with suppliers, including when problems developed; and the snowmobiles' impact on product engineering. The text provides an inside view of Deere's Consumer Products Division at a time of rapid growth, and of the people and processes that made it all happen.

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Editorial Reviews

SAH Journal
comprehensive history...readers interested in the overall span of Deere & Company will find much new history harvested from intimate accounts of an experimental advancement into a new business segment
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786478378
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/24/2014
  • Pages: 260
  • Sales rank: 484,741
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronald K. Leonard applied his engineering skills to John Deere products during a 41-year career. He divides his time between Galena, Illinois and Key Colony Beach, Florida. From April 1974 until retirement in July 2000, Richard Teal worked for the John Deere Horicon Works in Horicon, Wisconsin. He lives in Horicon.

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