1976 SMI Zamboni 116 Ice Resurfacer (VW Powered) – SOLD!
Zamboni ice resurfacers rely on four-wheel-drive to move around an ice rink, so before you ask, “Why?” now you know! We came across this 1976 example on Craigslist in Warwick, New York where we assume the rink owner is trying to get $5,000 for it. Unfortunately, none of our pricing guides currently list values for used Zambonis, so you’re on your own to see how much you can negotiate off the price.
Despite what you may think, the concept of automated ice resurfacing machine was not developed in a colder region like Canada but actually in Paramount, California by Frank Zamboni. After seven years of developing and testing various designs, Frank came up with his Model A in 1949 that shaved, washed, and squeegeed the ice to create a smooth surface that worked well enough for him to receive a design patent in 1953. Despite the patent, many “copy cat” versions of Frank’s design became available over the years that genericized the term Zamboni, so by the late 90’s Frank had enough. On August 15, 2000, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office awarded Frank’s company a registered trademark on the design, configuration, and even name Zamboni of its fabled ice resurfacer.
While modern Zambonis rely on electric-powered motors on all four wheels to minimize emissions inside ice rinks, back in the mid-seventies, Zamboni’s model 116 such as the example here utilized Volkswagen’s famous air-cooled 1600 cc flat-four engine. The horizontally-opposed “pancake” design of the VW engine was a perfect fit underneath the snow accumulator tank to run the hydraulic pump that provides drive to the wheels as well as all of the other ice cleaning controls.
The seller of this Zamboni is being sold as-is and that while it runs, it has a wiring issue and is in need of some TLC. If you’ve ever been to an ice rink, chances are at one time or another you probably thought how cool it would be to drive the Zamboni in your local ice rink. Well here’s your chance, so good luck with the purchase!