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Ryan, Reese's, and Ed's John Deere Snowmobiles

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History

earlydeere.jpg

John Deere Snowmobiles
 
 
Production Years
1971 to 1983
 
Deere and Company entered the snowmobile businness during the winter sport boom of the 70's.  Designs actually began in 1969 by engineers in the Horicon Works, and after the completion of several early model plans were made to go into full production in 1971.  The September/October 1971 issue of The Furrow announced the companies first two models.  The 300 and the 400 (with 339 and 436 cc powered).  Dealers were enthusiastic about having a line of machines to sell and service during the winter months.  The 1971 snowmobile line also introduced a new advertising slogan, "Nothing Runs Like a Deere."
 
It is not know exactly how many models were sold in 1971, though it was probably no more than a few thousand.  In 1972 sales, which included the new 600, JDX4, and JDX8 models, totaled about 12,740 machines.  Base price of the 400 model was $1,195, while the 500 sold for a suggested retail price of $1,325.  A third JDX model was offered the following year, all three being offered in Blitz Black, with the other models availible in Mean Green.  JDX models had a adjustable slide suspension while the other had a bogie wheel suspension.  Models smaller in size were introduced in 1978 with the Spitfire series.
 
About 225,000 John Deere Snowmobiles were produced between 1971 and 1983.  By 1983 inflation caused a dramatic increase in pricing.  The least expensive model which was the spitfire was selling for $1,949.  When Deere entered the market more than 100 brands competed, though most had bowed out in the decade to follow.  Unpredictable Winters made stocking snowmobiles a risky business, when there was no snow, there was no demand for snowmobiles.  Although successful in many respects, the snowmobile business was exited due to limited sales and unpredictable production needs as the company braced itself for the recession of the 80's.

Model Year

Available Models

1972

400, 500

1973

400, 500, 600, JDX4, JDX8

1974

300, 400, 500, 600, JDX4, JDX6

1975

300, 400, 800, JDX4, JDX6, JDX8

1976

300, 400, 340 Liquifire, 440 Liquifire, 340 Cyclone, 440 Cyclone

1977

300, 400, 340 Liquifire, 440 Liquifire, 340 Cyclone, 440 Cyclone

1978

Spitfire, 340 Liquifire, 440 Liquifire, 340 Cyclone, 440 Cyclone

1979

Spitfire, 340 Trailfire, 440 Trailfire

1980

Spitfire, 340 Trailfire, 440 Trailfire, Sportfire, Liquifire

1981

Spitfire, 340 Trailfire, 440 Trailfire, Sportfire, Liquifire

1982

Spitfire, 340 Trailfire, 440 Trailfire LX, Sportfire, Liquifire

1983

440 Trailfire LX, Sportfire, Liquifire, Snowfire, Sprintfire

1984

Trailfire, Sportfire, Liquifire, Snowfire, Sprintfire

340s, 295s, and liquidator excluded from chart, as they were limited production models.
 
If you see any wrong information, please email me at jdsledguy@hotmail.com