Did you know that a Thunder Jet was once the fastest sled in the world? What if I said it was a Hirth powered Thunder Jet?

The pictures and information below were sent in by Rob Brownlee. The sled was built by Rob's uncle (Lynn Hicks) in the the 1977 season. Lynn was the original developer of the Ski Whiz snowmobile. He worked for Massey for years and hen started his own Hirth engine company, Hicks Hirth Engines in Northville Michigan. He was the main distributor of Hirth engines for the US in the 70's.

Two sleds were built, they were 800cc 3 cyl cases with 3 650 hirth jugs with a crankshaft made from 2 650 hirth engines. One sled was built for drag racing, the other for trying to break the worlds speed record and to get into the Guiness Book of World Records. Everyone thought they were just 800cc but they were really a total of 975cc's.

They sucessfully broke the world record in 1978 by going 135.93 mph. If you look in the 1978 Guiness Book of Records you will find Don Pitzen's name in there. It was done on Union Lake in South East Michigan. The record only held up for 1 year since Budwieser changed all the rules for the following year. They were makeing 180 hp out of those engines on the dyno.

Very few people know that a Sno*Jet was once the fastest sled in the world. Rob still has all the documentation from Guiness as well as a copy of the book and also the official letter from Guiness. Everyone in the family still races. Rob's dad is 72 and still races, Rob's son won the world series of snow drags in Michigan on a 440 ski sno pro in the juniour class.