Freddy Muhlberger didn’t set out to become famous on the internet last Thursday when he wanted to take his snowmobile to Ticonderoga.
But with no truck or trailer available to get the sled from his home in Johnstown to his buddy’s place in Essex County, Muhlberger and a friend used a bit of ingenuity and his “winter beater” 2002 Ford Focus to transport it north.
On the roof of the Ford, that is.
Muhlberger became a viral sensation thanks to drivers who saw him on the Northway that day last week with his Arctic Cat F6 strapped to the roof of the car. There were Facebook posts aplenty as drivers who were surprised by what they saw sought to document it.
Some of the posts included comments that were not flattering, with many people wondering about the safety and sanity of the situation.
But Muhlberger, 20, said he used three ratchet straps, two of them heavy duty, to secure the snowmobile in place, and it didn’t move during what he estimated was a 105-mile trip.
He said he initially topped out at about 40 mph until he got to the Northway, when he was able to get to 55 or 60 mph.
“I passed a few cops, but I didn’t get pulled over,” he said.
(One state trooper who saw the photos on the internet said he couldn’t think of any traffic violations that would apply if the sled was secured to the roof well.)
They got the sled atop the car by backing the car up to a snowbank that was about as tall as the vehicle and rode the sled up the bank onto the vehicle.
So getting it on was easy, but how did they get it off?
That wasn’t as simple for Muhlberger and buddy Maverick Bowman.
One of the skis of the snowmobile got stuck on the car’s rear spoiler as they lowered it down, and they had to rip the spoiler off. But that was the only major damage to the car, with the roof suffering just a minor dent, Muhlberger said.
“One way to get her done!,” Bowman exclaimed on his Facebook page, next to a photo of the car/snowmobile combination.
Whether the return trip will go as smoothly remains to be seen. The snowmobile is still in Ticonderoga.