There’s nearly an entire Barnes & Noble full of songs and storybooks about the fat man in the red suit, but there’s comparatively little written about his sleigh. We can only guess at the sort of technology that allows Santa’s sleigh to fly around the world in 24 hours without refueling, while carrying that much payload and defying every known principle of aerodynamics.

As of yet, no manufacturer has come forth to claim responsibility for designing & manufacturing the sleigh. It’s shocking to imagine that nobody would want to lay claim to such a tremendous piece of engineering. We imagine that, with Santa Claus’ resources, any company that wants to keep their lights on (and not end up with a stocking full of coal) would carefully honor any non-disclosure agreement required by a contract with St. Nicholas.

Thanks to my network of industry contacts, though, I found someone who was willing to talk under condition of closely-guarded anonymity. We met in a quiet coffee shop for hot chocolate and cookies, where they revealed that, to my surprise, Santa had BMW build his sleigh around twenty years ago. During the course of the conversation, I managed to gather several more details:

  • Every year, the battery goes flat sometime in mid-January as a result of several modules that continue to function even while the sleigh is turned off.
  • Santa has tried everything to diagnose his perpetually-illuminated “Check Reindeer” light  (Rudolph’s nose, of course) to no avail; now he “just sort of deals with it.”
  • The rear end of the sleigh sags a bit because the SLSR (Self Leveling Sleigh Runners) no longer hold pressure. Apparently the ride is “not too bad” but the trip back to the North Pole after delivering all of the presents is considerably less bumpy.
  • Santa’s elves have been scrambling to replace the worn front lower runner bushings as well as address the cracked rear runner mounts.
  • Speaking of cracking, one of the elves was demoted to Assistant Cobbler Trainee after forgetting to treat the leather before storage a few years back.
  • Parents are encouraged to leave out bottles of Pentosin instead of milk. Besides, the cupholder broke over a decade ago.
  • Presents typically arrive smelling a bit musty with a vague aroma of coolant.
  • Base-model 3 Series leasees who ask for ///M badges make up a disproportionate amount of the “naughty” list and receive coal instead. The “coal” is actually lumps of carbon deposits from Mrs. Claus’ N54-powered daily.
  • “When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,” it was because Santa’s VANOS had failed and needed to be rebuilt.
  • The reindeer prefer Shell, and no-one seems to know exactly why.

Apparently, despite all of these issues, Santa has no plans to upgrade his sleigh any time soon. Even after several delays and breakdowns, it’s quick enough to deliver everyone’s presents on time, and, besides, “the newer sleighs just don’t feel the same.”



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