The Struck family didn’t know in 1971 what their father would start as a lifetime passion collecting the Starcraft snowmobile.
My dad Frank Struck purchased the 1971 Starcraft Eliminator from Tony Sumbera in the fall of 1973 by working for Tony in trade for the snowmobile. My brother Carl remembers us taking a one day, long trip to Sleepy Hollow on New Year’s Day in 1975. Other than that, we would mostly ride the Eliminator around the backyard in a circle for hours. In one 1976 snowstorm, we had to use it on our newspaper route. We didn’t want to let our customers down and we had fun along the way! Lastly, Dad would sometimes use the snowmobile to check his traps on Tony’s property.
We moved to Chesaning and the snowmobile was only used a couple more times before being stored in the back of the barn and eventually being covered with dirt by woodchucks. In the year 2000 my Dad called me and said he was going to scrap the sled if I wasn’t going to come get it. So I went to pick it up. I thought I was getting a Ski-doo, but then I realized it was the Starcraft. I cleaned the points and changed the fuel lines to make it run again. Later on, I went to a Vintage snowmobile show in Houghton Lake, MI and realized I had something special. As I have done more research and met more people by going to a few more Vintage Snowmobile shows, I have been adding to my Starcraft collection. Once people know of my interest, they let me know of their own Starcraft sleds stored in their barns. Then my son Bryce and I get to work completely disassembling and rebuilding some of them to get them to how they look today.
My family currently enjoys Vintage Snowmobile shows and displaying my vintage collections of Starcraft snowmobiles and cutters. We even still ride them today down local backroads, and doing circles in the backyard, like I did as a kid.