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A Tribute to Edgar Hetteen

Edgar Hetteen Tribute Plaque

Carved from granite and depicting a classic image of the “Grandfather of Snowmobiling” from his 1960 trip across Alaska, this plaque is a tribute to Edgar Hetteen from Gary Koska and others.

Here’s the story in Gary’s words:


I’m from Cold Spring, Minn., and a member of the Antique Snowmobile Club of America (ASCOA).

I first met Edgar in 1975 at the Dayco Spectacular oval race in Alexandria, Minn. I had bought a new Arctic Cat 440 Z and decided I was going to be a racer.

When I’d arrived in Alexandria with my new Z, it only had 2.8 miles on it. And when it was my turn to take to the track, I shot off the first turn and did a few flips.

As I sheepishly made my way back to the pits, I was met by this stately older gentleman who said to me, “Looks like you didn’t come to prepared!” This older gent was Edgar, of course.

We talked for a long time, and I ended up with an invitation to Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls, for a job interview in the computer area. Well, that opportunity didn’t work out and, six months later, I was a truck driver in Alaska

But, from that date on, Edgar always knew my name whenever our paths crossed, and I always enjoyed his company. He was one of the Guys.

That’s my Edgar Story, and what made me want to do something special for him after his passing last February.

So several months ago, I started the ball rolling on getting a tribute for Edgar Hetteen, founder of Arctic Cat and Polaris. It’s a 15 x 18-in. block of Labrador Green granite from Brazil, then processed by a local granite counter shop.

A friend of mine, Ron Dietman, who owns Free Bird Monuments in Kimball, Minn., did the fantastic etching on the stone. Tom Anderson from the World Snowmobile Museum in Eagle River, Wis., has reserved space for the Edgar Tribute, as well as a similar stone in the making for Bud Wieman, one of the founders of the ASCOA.

We ALL miss Edgar, and I particularly miss my monthly trips to Grand Rapids, Minn., to give him his “secret stash” of burnt peanuts. 

Edgar Hetteen Tribute Plaque

Edgar Hetteen Tribute Plaque



  1. To bad that someone has to pass before they get the recognition they deserve. Hey, lets tell the ones we think a lot of how great they are while they’re alive…like John here at the Arctic Insider…John Sandberg has entertained Arctic Cat followers for years and deserves many honors, and a place in snowmobiles Hall of Fame!

  2. Hey John Z… I appreciate the thought, but I respectfully have to disagree on two fronts. The first is that I believe Edgar was well-recognized for his incredible contributions when he was alive.

    Second, I deserve to be nominated for Snowmobile Dorks of Fame, but not the SHOF.


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