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What Treasures Might Surface?


(8/30/2011)

Prototype Single-Ski Arctic Cat

Seems like big swap meet events like Princeton (Minn.) and Haydays occasionally bring out of the woodwork an old treasure, or a historically-significant snowmobile.

It's unlikely such an occurrence will unfold this year, at least for Arctic Cat fans, since the Arctic Cat 50th celebration would have been the place to display such a machine. In fact, there were dozens of such machines at the 50th, which was one reason the event was so historic.

I mention the out-of-the-woodwork possibility because I believe there are still many more machines tucked away in barns, shops and garages. And I believe that time will eventually shake loose their roots, enabling them to surface.

What machines?

Perhaps one of the single-ski prototypes shown here?

Prototype Single-Ski Arctic Cat

I grabbed these photos in the mid-1990s, when these early 1980s prototypes were holding down the weeds out back of Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls. They stayed put for a couple years, then were gone.

But where did they go?

Prototype Single-Ski Arctic Cat

A story I heard repeated multiple times at the 50th by several different collectors, was that the TRF area is still a goldmine of rare and one-off sleds, clothing and stuff from the past 50 years.

Garage sales occasionally produce highly-collectible items selling at low prices.

Murmurs of treasure troves parked among back-forty graveyards are undoubtedly true.

There are of course "pickers" who are keeping keen eyes/ears trained on such opportunities. And sometimes the just-appeared treasures go back underground as quickly as they surfaced.

It's all part of the intrigue that surrounds the hobby. I love this stuff, and I wonder what cool items we might see in the coming months?

Any ideas?



Comments (13):

artdcat says:
8/30/2011 9:10:00 AM

I bet Dale or Greg have all kinds of stuff tucked away. Those 2 ran the salvage department back when Arctco got going. Greg & I threw away, crushed & scrapped all kinds of new stuff when the CPC deal was finalized. And some of the things from old engineering that ended up in the weeds, like the single ski proto you are on....thinking about what those would be worth now makes me ill. But it also makes me smile cuz those were the days.



Tom Rowland says:
8/30/2011 4:03:00 PM

I would walk 5 miles down highway 95 into Hay Days for sleds like these!
IBLEEDGREEN says:
8/31/2011 8:15:00 AM

So the folklore is true about stuff that was buried in big holes in certain peoples back 40's when it needed to be destroyed....imagine what just one of those grave sites could be holding!?


I slipped up a few months ago when doing some picking and came accross a complete Arctic Cat Cub, the owner said it was for sale (not cheap) I had to pick between braces for my 14 yr old or the Cub. I hope my son enjoys his straight teeth!!

John...I have always enjoyed your work.....but the 50 Years of the Cat tops it all....nice job!

Eric Leigland
Auggie says:
8/31/2011 11:52:00 AM

Speaking of stuff buried in big holes I remember the plastic gas tanks on the 1970 sleds that cracked. Man there must be a hole the size of an open pit mine where they buried all thoes tanks.

Auggie
Stephen Knox says:
8/31/2011 2:36:00 PM

Hehe amesome John, I remember the gold mine by the fence. We were not supposed to dig around back there so we never did....;-)
jeff says:
8/31/2011 9:34:00 PM

How did those not get sold at the Auction back in 82? Somebody at Cat has to know where they went if they were there till the mid nineties. John, love that sweater, Hibbert's 93 I-500 victory, i think i still have mine.
John Sandberg says:
9/1/2011 8:06:00 AM

Eric: Thanks for the kind words! Lots of people helped to make that book.

Over the past few months I've heard several interesting stories about sleds (that were supposed to be scrapped) being recovered from the TRF dump. Very entertaining and slightly mysterious. Perhaps I'll figure out a way to share the stories.
Mampukah says:
12/19/2015 6:32:00 PM

I adore the Robin. (Capital R!) I think of them as the Garden Manager, they seem to have a silent abtiily to control the behaviour of all the other birds. The naughty tits don't seem as naughty when the Robin is about. I loved your memories of snow back in the day. I was just telling my son (22) this morning who was driving me to work, (I hate driving in the snow even though my car is very capable, the driver most ertainly isn't so we car share at snowy times) about the times when my brother and I would be building igloos against the infant school walls using the 9 ft drifts! I also remember how we would stay out for hours and when we did go home I would be so cold I cried and my Mam, (I'm from up North) would sit on my feet to warm them through. Happy Days.I am looking forward to see how your relationship develops with your Robin. I remember my Grandad telling me about a Robin that used to sit on his spade when he was busy digging in the allotment. Prime position to snag the fat juicy worms!
Mampukah says:
12/19/2015 6:32:00 PM

I adore the Robin. (Capital R!) I think of them as the Garden Manager, they seem to have a silent abtiily to control the behaviour of all the other birds. The naughty tits don't seem as naughty when the Robin is about. I loved your memories of snow back in the day. I was just telling my son (22) this morning who was driving me to work, (I hate driving in the snow even though my car is very capable, the driver most ertainly isn't so we car share at snowy times) about the times when my brother and I would be building igloos against the infant school walls using the 9 ft drifts! I also remember how we would stay out for hours and when we did go home I would be so cold I cried and my Mam, (I'm from up North) would sit on my feet to warm them through. Happy Days.I am looking forward to see how your relationship develops with your Robin. I remember my Grandad telling me about a Robin that used to sit on his spade when he was busy digging in the allotment. Prime position to snag the fat juicy worms!
Mampukah says:
12/19/2015 6:32:00 PM

I adore the Robin. (Capital R!) I think of them as the Garden Manager, they seem to have a silent abtiily to control the behaviour of all the other birds. The naughty tits don't seem as naughty when the Robin is about. I loved your memories of snow back in the day. I was just telling my son (22) this morning who was driving me to work, (I hate driving in the snow even though my car is very capable, the driver most ertainly isn't so we car share at snowy times) about the times when my brother and I would be building igloos against the infant school walls using the 9 ft drifts! I also remember how we would stay out for hours and when we did go home I would be so cold I cried and my Mam, (I'm from up North) would sit on my feet to warm them through. Happy Days.I am looking forward to see how your relationship develops with your Robin. I remember my Grandad telling me about a Robin that used to sit on his spade when he was busy digging in the allotment. Prime position to snag the fat juicy worms!
Maria says:
12/21/2015 12:45:00 PM

maybe that cat is your cousin's ruawnay pet. the siglap one not bad leh!! we sat beside the rubbish bin and ate our fish soup with guni. sibei surreal. http://xwdmcereup.com [url=http://lrvszcejm.com]lrvszcejm[/url] [link=http://sjezacnqsn.com]sjezacnqsn[/link]
Maria says:
12/21/2015 12:45:00 PM

maybe that cat is your cousin's ruawnay pet. the siglap one not bad leh!! we sat beside the rubbish bin and ate our fish soup with guni. sibei surreal. http://xwdmcereup.com [url=http://lrvszcejm.com]lrvszcejm[/url] [link=http://sjezacnqsn.com]sjezacnqsn[/link]
Maria says:
12/21/2015 12:45:00 PM

maybe that cat is your cousin's ruawnay pet. the siglap one not bad leh!! we sat beside the rubbish bin and ate our fish soup with guni. sibei surreal. http://xwdmcereup.com [url=http://lrvszcejm.com]lrvszcejm[/url] [link=http://sjezacnqsn.com]sjezacnqsn[/link]

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