DATE OF INDUCTION: February 16, 2013
CAREER SPAN: 1968 – 2013
BRANDS RACED: Raider, Manta, Trail Roamer
AGE AT INDUCTION: Posthumous
In a sport blessed with pioneers and innovators, Bob Bracey of Almont, Michigan was unique in his vision and dedication for a sit-in style, twin-tracked snowmobile. For more than three decades his Raider, Manta and Trail Roamer snowmobiles carved a creative and often successful niche in the snowmobile industry, offering riders and racers a compelling alternative to the conventional snowmobile experience.
With an automotive background and penchant for racing, Bracey entered the snowmobile industry in 1968 and would produce the iconic Raider snowmobiles beginning in the 1971 season. Having produced more than 20,000 Raiders from 1971-1975, Bracey switched his focus to oval and enduro competition by producing the lightweight Manta twin-track race snowmobiles in 1974 and 1975. With occasional victories in Sno Pro oval and in Michigan enduro competition, the Manta race sleds proved the handling and cornering success espoused by Bracey.
Bracey would never stray far from his belief in a sit-in snowmobile featuring a rider cockpit with foot controls, rear engine mounting and twin tracks. In 1982 he reprised the Manta name for a series of consumer-based trail machines that enjoyed limited sales success for several years. His passion was reborn again in the late 1990s with the Trail Roamer. Bracey died in 2003 at age 66 in, having made an important, lasting influence on the sport of snowmobiling.