Bobcats are unusual, but I dont think they are any more deseriable or valuable than any other vintage snowblower..
... and of course there are long time owners/users who believe they are the best ever made.In my opinion,they are LESS so than other vintage snowblowers.I've owned two Bobcats,had the use of a newer unit, and wouldn't take the gift of another.They are VERY over-complicated machines and parts,when they can be found,are very expensive.Their level of performance can easily be matched by many other vintage or modern blowers that are much easier and cheaper to maintain and far more reliable.
I will say that the newer models like the OP was looking into,are better engineered than the older models I had.I believe the newer ones used COMMON belts you can buy anywhere-mine used that rare,odd,skinny sucker that costs a king's fortune,and wears quickly.
The weak point of all Bobcats is the chain-driven auger.The driven sprocket on the auger is large and rather robust,but the drive sprocket is tiny(8 tooth?) and they wear incredibly fast if you don't lubricate them constantly.The original sprockets were very well hardened but supplies of the original sprocket/shaft assemblies have dried up.There are guys out there making them,but they aren't hardened well after the welding process and they wear quickly-lubed or not.
I purchased one from a fellow on the net and the sprocket was shot after just a few storms.The assembly is easy to make,but knowing how to properly re-harden the sprocket after welding is another story.
...and that's exactly why my post starts with those three words,"In my opinion".I based my opinion on my own experiences with them-which wasn't good.I've never personally used one, but this is what I've heard from others...
Many owners of vintage blowers say they are no more desirable than many other vintage blowers.
Obtaining parts/repairing can be more difficult that other vintage blowers (Ariens, Toro, Deere, etc...)
Due to their design, they are longer than a standard blower and can be a handful to maneuver in tight areas.
They are heavy, the largest model (28" I think) is 375 lbs.
... and of course there are long time owners/users who believe they are the best ever made.
The finding of the parts is somewhat difficult but when you do,they are usually priced as if they are 24k gold plated.Used One Today in a few inches of Wet Heavy Stuff. It Worked and Moved it Very Good, and Threw the EOD Slop No Problem. Downside is, it has the Small Auger. The Unusual Impeller Design seems to Minimize Clogging. Finding Parts Might be Challenging...
Take the old scraper bar off to use as a template and get a nice 3/16 to 1/4 inch thick piece of steel and make your own. I did this on my old Gilson made Montgomery Ward 8/26 now re-powered with a Predator 212cc and it works great.Hi I have a Bob Cat snowblower just like the one in the picture. I need a scrapper bar and can't seem to find one anywhere. Linda