1939 Ford Michigan State Police Snow Flyer

39 Ford Michgan Police Snow flyer ColorIt seems that where there is a will there is a way! While Snow-Flyer-type conversion of the state police vehicles were a rare addition to any police location, it was one that was sought after in the bitter northern clime’s of the snow-belt states before WW-II. These tracked setups came from several suppliers and were only used were the weather was of the most trying. They had been around since the Model T and at least these late 30’s wagon conversions offered a heated, fully enclosed interior. The Model T saw an assortment of Sno-Flyer-type conversions and virtually every body style of Ford. The tracked set up offered a huge surface area to stop the vehicle from sinking in soft snow. This 1939 station wagon conversion used by the Michigan State Police was engineered so the vast majority of the wagons weight was carried on its tracked, six-wheeled carriage. This helped prevent the wagon from being nose-heavy in the snow. The toothed-track drive offered superior traction and the skis up front helped with turning and supported only some of the front-end weight in the white stuff. Apparently this conversion could be done in about a week as the rear doors had to be shortened to clear the tracks. Returning the wagon to basically stock could be done in about one day. Installation of the track carriage  required mounting holes be drilled in the chassis and cross member for attachment points and all four fenders needed to be removed. The ski’s attached to the stock mounting points on the front axle. The installation also required new head and taillight mountings using the OEM wiring harness. I have no performance figures for this conversion but it seems that 30 mph might have been its limit. In places with extreme weather these days, police and emergency service mostly use four wheel drives or snowmobiles but there are some who are equipped with some fascinating tracked rescue vehicles from Pisten Bully, BRP, Thiokol, Tucker, Bombardier and others.

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