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caroth
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The Internet is a great tool for sharing information. Unfortunately, there is a lot of incorrect information about the Kristi Kats floating around on the web. This topic will discuss many of the myths of the Kristi Snow Cat.

The information found on this website, specifically in the History section of the main website, was written with the help of many original Kristi Company employees and owners of both Kristi in Colorado and Kristi in Washington. The final draft of the History was approved by direct relatives of Bill Schomers, the Messenger family, and the Baker family. Special thanks to all of the folks who had direct involvement with the Kristi Company, they made this website the best source for accurate Kristi Kat information.

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caroth
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Myth #1 - Kristi Washington built additional KT-3s

This is not true. Kristi Washington refurbished KT-3s built in Colorado. The Kristi Washington crew received a list of Kristi Colorado customers and tracked down as many Kristis as possible. Kristi Washington rebuilt and/or refurbished around 30 KT-3s replacing worn tracks, installing new engines, and replacing drive sprockets.

Kristi Washington did not install any passenger side doors or make any body changes other than repairing damaged fiberglass. All 3 door KT-3s were ordered from Kristi Colorado.

A few of the KT-3s found in the registry have yellow stripes on the bottom of the half of the cab. These stripes were added by the FAA for high visibility. They stripes were not added by Kristi Washington.

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caroth
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Myth #2 - Tucker was Kristi Company’s main competitor

Tucker builds great snow cats, but they are much larger in design. The main competitor for the Kristi Kat was Thiokol. In the early 60s, Thiokol was in fierce competition with Kristi, both companies aiming at the small snow vehicle market. Parent company Morton-Thiokol Inc. already had many defense contracts with the US government and had deep pockets to build snow cats.

The Kristi Company, on the other hand, was a small privately owned company without the capital to needed to compete with Thiokol. Ultimately, Thiokol priced the Kristi Company out of many government contracts which led to Kristi shutting down its new vehicle production in 1968.

Tucker produced a small snow cat aimed at competing in the small snow vehicle market, called the Kitten. The Tucker Kitten 322 is VW powered but lacked the Kristi Ski action and had a heavier footprint.

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caroth
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Myth #3 - Kristi targeted private consumers for sales

Although most Kristi Kats are currently owned by private individuals, the Kristi Company sales team focused on sales to the government, utility companies, and ski resorts. Of the 180 Kristi Kats produced and sold, only 7 were originally sold to private individuals. The FAA, Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph, and the Colorado State Patrol were some of the biggest customers for Kristi.

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caroth
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Myth #4 - Kristi drive sprockets

It was originally thought that the KT-2 and KT-2A drive sprockets were different from the KT-3 and KT-4 drive sprockets. Further research followed by confirmation from original Kristi employees indicate that the Kristi drive sprocket was revised by Bud Messenger in the early 1960s.

Dimensionally, the drive sprocket remained the same diameter and kept the same tooth width. Messenger designed the revised sprocket to include a shoulder on each side, tripling the sprocket width and stabilizing the front of the track. The redesigned front sprocket reduced de-tracking and also helped to keep the tracks away from the body.

One easy way to tell if a Kristi was refurbished by Kristi Colorado is to take a look at the sprockets. When Kristi Colorado refurbished a vehicle, the snow cat always received the revised drive sprocket.

Kristi Washington purchased a limited supply of revised sprockets from Messenger. Many refurbished KT-3s sold by Kristi Washington retained original sprockets.

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caroth
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Myth #5 - Kristi serial number system

When an order was placed and deposit received for a Kristi vehicle, the first step was to generate a serial number (VIN) for the Kristi. The serial number was chronological not based on model. The original Kristi logbook is provided in the Registry section of the main KristiSnowCat.com website:

http://www.kristisnowcat.com/registry/index.asp

Note: The first KT-4 was serial number 00068 and was one of four amphibious Kats built for the Gulf Oil Company and used in Africa.

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caroth
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Myth #6 - Kristi Water Walker

The "Kristi water walker" term has been used to describe any amphibious KT-4A built. This is not correct. The phrase "water walker" was published by Fred W. Crismon in his book U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles and referred to an unique military prototype developed for the US Army. See the details of the "water walker", including original video, in this link below:

http://www.kristisnowcat.com/history/prototypes/KT4JC/kt4jcgallery.asp

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caroth
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Myth #7 - The history of the Kristi Company

It has recently come to our attention that another snow cat enthusiast’s website is claiming to have helped in the authoring of the history of the Kristi Company at KristiSnowCat.com

THIS IS 100% FALSE

The information used to write the history of the Kristi Company was gathered from original Kristi Company records (which KristiSnowCat.com owns), former Kristi Company employees in Colorado and Washington, former Kristi Company owners in Colorado and Washington, and from public records found on the Internet. Former employees and owners were interviewed in person and over the phone and provided the honest and complete history of the Kristi Company. It has been a pleasure to meet and get to know these former Kristi folks. We have recently lost two key people close to Kristi Kats, Steve and Duane will be missed.

It is an insult for another website to claim they provided information or "did the research" for the history published on this site.

A special note to those on the other site who have claimed to help; Get your facts straight before posting information, public records are a wonderful thing:

http://co.san-juan.ut.us/archives/Commission%20Minutes%20-%20html/2July1973.htm
http://co.san-juan.ut.us/archives/Commission%20Minutes%20-%20html/15October1973.htm
http://co.san-juan.ut.us/archives/Commission%20Minutes%20-%20html/4March1974.htm

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KT-3 00145
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I had heard and believed 1-4. Regarding #3, the Kristis look more like personal cats while most other makes look more industrial, so I can see how that misconception may have occurred. The sales records obviously say otherwise.

--------------------
Those who would sacrifice freedom for safety deserve neither.

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