Jim Adema *

Inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 1988


AdemaJim72(1942 – 1975)

When the name, Jim Adema, was mentioned at the racetrack, all people dropped what they were administering and went to watch Jim.

Jim was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jim’s First achievement as a young boy was putting a washing machine motor on his own homemade Go Kart. Jim was impressed at such a young age (early teens) from that time on Jim was always interested in speed and what made them run. Also, Jim was the first person to ever put a 350 Chevy on his own homemade Go Karts.

After Jim graduated from high school he went to work at Grand Rapids Engineering. In time, he was very, very knowledgeable in this field.

Of course, Jim did not Forget about racing during his learning years as a tool and die maker. Jim became more intrigued with the sport of racing. First it was go-karts; then drag racing, then Late Model Asphalt Cars, and finally snowmobiles.

At the age of 26, Jim started to get serious about the sport of snowmobile racing.

In the year of 1968, Jim decided to get married. Jim and Pat ventured to the state of Alaska for their honeymoon. In December they flew back to Michigan to begin racing Sno Jets for Watercraft Sales, Rockford, Michigan. He captured many state championships during his winter and summer campaign.

Both Jim and Pat enjoyed their entire life together racing Sno Jets. It was a very memorial and enjoyable experience, one race fans will never forget.

All of Jim’s engineering and ambition put Sno Jet Snowmobiles on the map. Jim was now known as “Mr. Sno Jet.”

Jim was the inventor of the first water cooled snowmobile engines, three cylinders on a motor, and of course, his Titanium Track Cleats which he designed and built the die to produce them. Jim was also the first snowmobile racer, in the nation, to use carbide inserts for steering and traction products on snowmobiles. His knowledge goes way beyond recognition! He never seized to amaze one!

Jim’s career continued on with the Sno Jet snowmobiles and further advancement in the sport occurred. In 1972, Jim decided to attend the World Championships at Eagle River, Wisconsin. He captured the Mod I and III championships. In 1973, Jim captured the Mod I and III and IV championships. In 1974, Jim returned again to the Derby capturing Mod I and Mod IV world championships.

Jim’s knowledge for the Snowmobile Industry was so far advanced we would never know how much he knew! He just kept coming up with new stuff to try and it would work! Then he started manufacturing and selling his own racing components. He was also successful at this goal of his racing career.

In 1975 Jim switched to Yamaha Snowmobiles, as Sno Jets were bought out from Kawasaki Corporation.

On December 14, 1975, Jim’s career ended. Jim was racing his first race of the season, competing in the Ironwood Olympus at Ironwood, Michigan, when his fatality occurred at the young age of 33.

We all deeply regret the loss of this fine and young snowmobile genius and his distinguished racing ability.