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Making all other ski rides obsolete.
It’s the East’s definitive mountain-approach vehicle. It’s the screaming yellow, decal-decked staff car for Sole Systems, a company specializing in patented footbeds that Gordon Hay (a former Jackson Hole Air Force skier) recently brought to Vermont.
So taken was Hay with the 1961 Jeep Willys (one of only 2000 built)-which started life as a Forest Service truck before it was converted into a full-time domicile by a dope-farming Oregon hippie couple who fitted it out with a cabin and woodstove-that he traded his Volkswagen Jetta and $1,000 on the spot for it.
To dial in its full-on ski functionality, Hay put in a 350-horse engine and turbo, then tricked out the two-seat cab with an eight-speaker sound system courtesy of Boston Acoustics. Yakima came on board with a cargo basket on the roof and its largest Space Case cargo box mounted aerodynamically backward behind the cab. Above the front bumper is a heavy-duty winch-which Hay has yet to use in Stowe: “I’ve buried it to its nuts, and it’s still walked out.”