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Princeton 2015: (My) First Swap of the Season


(8/31/2015)

Nothing signals the end of summer and the beginning of autumn quite like a snowmobile swap meet.

For me and several thousand others, the annual Swap/Outlaw Drags in Princeton, Minn., served up all the great reminders that our favorite season is only a few months away.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

The Arctic Cat booth had its usual share of tire-kickers, checking out the newest sleds and ATV/ROVs.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Likewise, area dealers like Thomas Sno Sports and Country Cat were out in force, with good people offering excellent conversation, insight and great deals on all kinds of stuff.

 

And as the event name implies, there's some great grass drag racing at Princeton. The big winner was none other than Team Arctic's Kelly Shilts, who dominated the races and set a new track record aboard Dave Morris' ProMax "Agent Orange" Cat. This sled is seriously wicked!

 

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Like any good swap that you attend year after year, Princeton offers up a chance to see old friends, like Team Arctic father/son duo Aaron and Anson Scheele.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Four-time World Champ P.J. Wanderscheid was at Princeton, practicing left-hand turns on an XF with his passengers, claiming it's his secret for winning world titles.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Meanwhile, pulp huckster and OSM editor Pat Bourgeois (right) was talking a big game throughout the day. I happened to catch his conversation with Alex Fortune (left), who had driven up to Princeton from his home in Iowa.

Mention to Pat that you saw this picture of him actually working, and he'll give you 79% off a subscription to OSM.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

For sure Princeton is an event to see the new iron, but the swap meet is its heart and soul. And more than most swaps, Princeton is a swap that emphasizes vintage.

I'll let you enjoy a few pix without commentary:

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

It's rumored that my friend and vintage/antique enthusiast Dave Guenther actually rode this Arctic Cat bike to Princeton from his home in Pequot Lakes, roughly 100 miles away.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

There's a special "Memory Lane" at Princeton that showcases some truly beautiful examples of great sleds from yesteryear.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Among them was a sweet display of Winnipeg 500 race sleds that included the 1977 Cross-Country Cat raced by Brian Nelson and tuned by Hubert Fixsen.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Many of the pristine sleds on display in Memory Lane were pieced together with parts they bought at swap meets like this one.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

All kinds of vintage Arctic Cat goodness makes Princeton a rewarding trip for fans of the brand.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

And like any swap there are a few outliers that bring a smile to your face and a scratch of the head.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Anyone looking for an AKTIV Grizzly would have found one at Princeton.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

1986 called and wants its sleds back in time for the Snow Goer Shootout.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

There were even some options for winter lovers of the silent sport persuasion.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Same for motorcyclists who insist on snowmobile engines/clutching.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

I don't know what weird interstellar convergence occurred, but I saw more Suzuki Furys at Princeton than I've seen the rest of my lifetime.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

When you see a palette of three mint Vikings, you gotta get a photo for posterity. Somewhere, there is a family of Norwegians in Viking, Minn., enjoying potato dumplings, proud of their purchase.

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Ditto for whomever snagged the Scorpion and Gilson and thousands of other machines for sale at Princeton.

I'll end this post with a few happy buyers, each getting a complimentary ride to their car with their new purchase.

Thanks for reading (and may you also swap summer for autumn sometime soon).

 

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Arctic Cat and other vintage snowmobile stuff at 2015 Princeton Swap. Photo by ArcticInsider.com



Comments (7):

Tom Rowland says:
9/1/2015 6:29:00 AM

Judging by one of the images posted about mid-way down, the high windshield vs low windshield debate has raged on since at least 1969.
Donn says:
9/1/2015 8:55:00 AM

Thanks for sharing the Princeton story John...Anybody know who owns the Jag Special ? Tom is that yours pal ?

We got snow on Mount Hood two days ago...Probably 4" or so....Suppose to get some additional down to 7k feet tomorrow....Yeah !!!!
Bobby Flame says:
9/1/2015 9:55:00 AM

I can't read the price on the Ski-Doo with the freestyle seat.
John Sandberg says:
9/1/2015 10:01:00 AM

I think Cat collector Jack Speckel owns the sweet Jag Special.

Price on the Bobby Flame-Edition Ski-Doo is $5550 but my guess is that the seller was willing to trade for a set of 10-plus-10-equals-20-in. handlebar risers.
Alex says:
9/1/2015 10:20:00 AM

Great seeing you and Pat this weekend, See you again hopefully at haydays!
Mike F says:
9/1/2015 1:46:00 PM

That Jag special sure brings back good memories.....
Andrew Kramer says:
9/1/2015 7:35:00 PM

I wish they would have started racing earlier, my kids only made it to 11:30 so I only saw a few practice runs. Good show though and well ran like always!

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