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1 Millionth Arctic Cat Snowmobile


One Millionth Arctic Cat

The machine: a 2011 Arctic Cat Crossfire 800 LTD, serial # 4UF11SNW9BT108931. That's 1 Million Arctic Cat snowmobiles since Aug. 1983, when Arctco Inc. arose from the ashes of Arctic Enterprises.


One Millionth Arctic Cat

All of the more-than 1,100 current Arctic Cat employees signed their name to the historic sled.

One Millionth Arctic Cat

One Millionth Arctic Cat

As the sled rolled down the line throughout the day, the people who work at Cat came down to sign their name, grab a photo of themselves with the machine and simply soak up the historic moment.

One Millionth Arctic Cat

When Kale (aka KDub) signed his name, the value of the sled shot off the charts. I wonder if he spelled it "Kale" or "Kayle?"


One Millionth Arctic Cat

There were smiling faces everywhere, like those of Robbie Omdahl and his mom, Paulette, one of many "generation" families who have made Arctic Cat the greatest snowmobile (and ATV) company in the world.


One Millionth Arctic Cat

A handful of people gathered during an impromtu story-telling session by Chris Twomey (top center, gesturing with his hands).


One Millionth Arctic Cat

While everyone was listening to Twomey and not looking, I put an ArcticInsider decal on the sled. Not really.


The other 1 millionth Arctic Cat

Technically, the 2011 Crossfire isn't the 1 Millionth Arctic Cat snowmobile. The actual sled that holds that honor is this 1994 EXT 580, which represents the 1 Millionth Arctic Cat snowmobile built since the company was founded by Edgar Hetteen in 1961.

I know there are some people at Cat who maybe feel a twinge of discomfort, perhaps even embarrassment, that Arctic Enterprises went out of business following the 1981 model year, and that the brand "went fish'n" for a couple years.

I don’t share that sentiment.

Companies succeed and sometimes fail. But even in failure there can be some form of success.

The incredible story of the amazing people who resurrected Arctic Cat – bringing back to life the passion that’s fueled nearly five decades of dreams – is a primary reason why my heart and soul are green.

We all fail at various points in life… but these missteps shouldn’t define us. Instead, we should be defined by how we respond to our failures.

I love and respect the people of Arctic all the more because of their response to the failure of Arctic Enterprises. They’ve inspired me countless times during the past 27 years, and I owe them a debt of gratitude that words only feebly convey.


The 100,000th Arctic Cat (since 1983)

I suppose that I do understand how having essentially two "Arctic Cat" companies presents a dilemma when it comes to counting sleds or anniversary dates.

This 1990 Prowler on display in the entry way at Cat is marked as the 100,000th Arctic Cat since 1983.

At the end of the day though, Arctic Cat as a company has a deep understanding of history and loyalty, and that's what matters the most.


Chris Twomey (left) and Claude Jordan

There was even a bit of history-replay by recreating the "cake" photo from p. 220 of the "Legend" book. That's Arctic Cat CEO Chris Twomey on the left, with President/COO Claude Jordan on the right.


Arctic Cat legend Roger Skime

Is there no limit to the greatness of Roger Skime (left)?

During the celebratory lunch, the VP of Engineering/Soul-of-the-Company served up potato chips at one of the buffet tables.

Roger does things like this because it was a job that needed to be done and because it's a small way to express his own gratitude to the people who work at Cat.

Roger is pure class to his very core. Talking with him at various points during the day, it was abundantly clear the immense pride he felt toward the company and its people.

I wish that original company founder Edgar Hetteen would have been in good enough health to have joined Roger on this day. I know that Roger thought of Edgar throughout the celebration.


One Millionth Arctic Cat

When the completed Crossfire was rolled out of the factory and the 800-or-so employees who work in TRF streamed behind it, I had a lump in my throat.

Imagine the joy... the adventure... the discovery... the relationships... and the dreams made possible by 1 Million snowmobiles. How could we even begin to measure such things?


One Millionth Arctic Cat

And when everyone gathered around the sled for this group photo, I couldn't help but wonder about how many more joys and dreams would be fulfilled by the next 1 Million snowmobiles.


One Millionth Arctic Cat

Everyone hung out for awhile, sharing stories and looking at the historic sled. Events like this are important on so many different levels.


One Millionth Arctic Cat

After the big group photo, the Serial #1 1984 Arctic Cat Panther was rolled out to join the Crossfire, along with 23 of the 56-or-so employees who comprised the company back in the summer of 1983.

One Millionth Arctic Cat

This photo brings a smile to my face. It's also a bit startling the size difference between these two machines... but that's a post for another day.


One Millionth Arctic Cat

Eventually the party ended. People went back to work designing, testing, building, selling, supporting, and dreaming snowmobiles and ATVs.

And the 1 Millionth Arctic Cat snowmobile was placed in the lobby, where anyone can (and should) see it.

I'll end this post with a massive, heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS! to everyone who has ever been part of the Arctic Cat story, from employees to dealers to us riders. Really... thank you all!

And a special thank YOU to Edgar Hetteen. Your dream continues to inspire.

I look forward to an even bigger 50th Anniversary party next summer, when we all can gather to celebrate.


Comments (16):

Premium says:
8/27/2010 1:55:00 PM


A perfect example of why us Cat guys bleed green.
joni says:
8/27/2010 5:23:00 PM

Congrats Arctic Cat!!! Keep up the Grrreat work!!
Dave says:
8/27/2010 7:11:00 PM

Super Job AC. I`ve always been proud to ride a cat.
Kdub says:
8/27/2010 8:52:00 PM

That was a really fun day to be a part of! Great story Sandberg. I chose to go with "Kale" for the signing. Its trademarked. :)

Mike Mattson says:
8/27/2010 9:58:00 PM

Congratulations to all of your workers for making a great product for many years. I always enjoy coming to TRF and touring the factory and visiting with everyone. You have a passion for Arctic Cat that I appreciate. I hope you can have a big Cat's Pride Ride like you had many years ago. I was there for the 1M building of the EXT and that was a great day as well. The memories I have of those weekends will never go away. Your employees went out of their way to make us all feel welcome as well as the city of TRF.
Go Cat!!
Arctic Pilot says:
8/27/2010 10:22:00 PM

Hat's off to Cat and all the employees who made the one millonth sled possible, and how about a Home Town Tour like the one in 2001 to celebrate the 50th, Kathy Johnson are you listening????

Sheldon says:
8/28/2010 11:14:00 AM

I am so pumped we made it!!!!! I have dreamed of this day for soooooo long!!!! Someone pinch me, oh god oh god oh god............. YES! That is all
JonnySox says:
8/28/2010 1:13:00 PM

Congrats Cat! Way to go! Loved the Panther/Crossfire photo.
Browndogg says:
8/28/2010 3:43:00 PM

Wish I was there.Working there and assembling sleds would be my dream job.
CColby says:
8/29/2010 9:20:00 AM

Congrats Friends, nice article John.
AKCAT says:
8/29/2010 5:24:00 PM

Congats and thanks to all that have been involved in Arctic Cat since 1962. If it wasn't for you I would have more money :)
jim R. says:
8/30/2010 1:05:00 PM

That photo of the actual millionth sled built was a 1994 EXT not a 1984 model. I was there and actually had that exact same sled that year. Just an FYI!
John Zanon says:
8/30/2010 9:33:00 PM

Congratulations employees for their fine work. I've been aboard a Cat since the 1967-68 season.
John, another great story...thanks for keeping us "out of staters" informed!
Todd Ulschmid says:
8/31/2010 8:22:00 AM

Congratulations Arctic Cat! Great story John.
EK says:
9/9/2010 1:49:00 PM

My parents worked at Cat in the 60's and early 70' designed sleds, mom worked in the display building that burned down. Mom is still there, I worked there from '86 - '95. Nice tribute to a great company....
ArcticSportsCenterAlaska says:
12/16/2014 6:38:00 PM

WELL SAID!!!Arctic Cat has that following like no other, well for us that were raised in a dealership/racing household setting. Arctic has always be a part of my family heritage. the memories that I hold from being raised with the cat and arctic written all over my house growing up, is something that I'm proudly instilling with my kids.
Thank you Arctic Cat

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