DATE OF INDUCTION: February 19, 2011
CAREER SPAN: 1968–2013
BRANDS REPRESENTED: Ski-Doo
AGE AT INDUCTION: 65
As a racer, engineer and writer, Phil Mickelson’s contributions to the sport of snowmobiling, and to Ski-Doo specifically, are the stuff of legend. Mickelson parlayed his penchant for finding horsepower into a job on the Halvorson Equipment race team in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, where his alcohol-burning Rotax engines helped propel Steve Ave, Ed Schubitzke, Doug Hayes and Stan Hayes to countless victories, making the regional Ski-Doo distributor a “giant beater” against the factories. Mickelson’s highly-modified Rotax engines caught the attention of the factory, and would greatly influence later production engines.
Beginning in the mid-1970’s and continuing into the early 1990’s, Mickelson was the service manager first for Halvorson, then for Bombardier. He was the acting U.S. race manager for Bombardier, presented all technical and set-up information to racers and dealers, and was instrumental in creating the record-breaking Ski-Doo cross-country race team that included Gerard Karpik and Stan Hayes.
With a unique ability to explain engineering complexities in a style that was understandable and engaging, Mickelson transitioned to become the technical editor at Snow Goer magazine in the early 1990’s, and wrote two books chronicling Ski-Doo’s rich history and racing success. His love of engines and history are also evident in his prized collection of Rotax engines. He continues to write about snowmobiles from his home in Duluth, Minnesota.