Jim Dimmerman is restoring the 1984 Eagle River World's Championship-winning Phantom racer for celebrations commemorating the event's upcoming 50th Anniversary.
Dimmerman's historic win aboard this machine in '84 was the last of the singletrack victories in the era that included the Ski-Doo twin track racers.
The Phantom, as Dimmerman called it, was one of the six Factory Team Arctic & Scorpion Sno Pro machines built for the 1981 race season and piloted by himself, Team Arctic's Bob Elsner and Scorpion's Brad Hulings.
As Arctic Enterprises was in its final days, Ted Nielsen bought five of the six racers and set about creating his own team for the following seasons with Dimmerman as the pilot. The duo would prove to be formidable against the Ski-Doo factory team, highlighted by their World Championship win in 1984.
They continued to develop and race the sled through the 1986 season, after which Dimmerman retired and the sled was hung in Nielsen's dealership.
With the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Eagle River, Dimmerman has been restoring the machine to its original race trim circa 1984. More than just making it look exactly like it did in '84 (above), Dimmerman will make it a runner.
"This sled will be capable of going into turn one at Eagle at 90 mph," said Dimmerman, who plans to make a few laps on the famed Derby oval aboard the sled. "There are several past champions who are readying their sleds for a couple of parade laps during the 50th."
After talking with Dimmerman for an hour this morning, I've learned that there's a bunch more history about this machine than most people realize. Hopefully I'll get a chance to share it in the coming weeks as Dimmerman completes the restoration.
"I've been making trips here (to Nielsen's) to restore the sled to the condition that it looked like after the '84 season, dents, scuffs and all," he said. "The next time I work on it, I'll have it running and tuned on the jackstand.
"It will be on display at the Snowmobile Hall of Fame in St. Germain, Wis., as well as at the Derby track during the Championship weekend."
Here's Phantom in the 1983 season, with the original Scorpion nose.
And this was the Phantom in 1985.