I recently purchased two 1998 Jag 440s from the original owner. Outward appearing, you’re probably thinking, a 98 Jag is NOT a rare snowmobile. And youre right. But they are rare when they have consecutive VIN#s! You just dont see that very often!
I assume most of you reading understand what consecutive VIN#s mean, but for those of you that don’t, it means these two Jags went down the assembly line in Thief River Falls right next to each other (Not rare), were then shipped to a dealer together (Kinda rare) and then were purchased together by one consumer. (Rare!)
Above, you can see the VIN#s end in 803 and 804. For those of you who wonder what year a snowmobile is based on looking at the VIN tag, the common misconception is to think these are 1997 models. They were actually Manufactured 04/97 (April 1997) for the 1998 Model Year.
In addition to the VIN #s being consecutive, these have really low miles! One has 512, the other, 199!
So why the low miles? The original owner told me he purchased these new in 1997 for his twin daughters. He put large bows on them and “put them under the tree” for Christmas. His girls rode them for roughly three days, the bug of snowmobiling didn’t fancy them, and they went in the pole building until I purchased them.
Both were last registered in 2001, which the owner believed was the last time he rode the one with 512 miles on a trip with some friends.
Digging in a snowmobile seat storage trunk can be exciting, and often times disgusting after something has been parked for 20+ years. Either way, whatever you find, tells a story. As you can imagine, what I found in the trunk was really clean!
Fortunately, I didnt reach in to pull out any mice. Instead, I found the basic type stuff that would have been stuffed in the trunks as picked up from the dealer. Brand new spare belts, spare sparkplugs, and peace of mind knowing State Farm profited from these snowmobiles being insured every year despite not being used! Can a guy get a refund on that?
I found it pretty incredible the cardboard jacket from one of the spare belts was in great shape. No water damage at all!
Im fascinated by simple things…like the underhood tool kits AC used to employ in the late 90s. This one had never been touched, and potentially, never opened.
In each of the Jag tool storage cases, were these Original Operator and Safety manuals. Both in great shape with no water damage.
Underneath the hoods on each Jag, the 440 fan-cooled engines with electric start are dirty, but theyll clean up nice with a bath. Ill drain the gas and oil, clean the carbs and put in some fresh plugs along with new fuel lines and filters and get them running again. Ill share more of the story then. Enjoy a few more photos of these classics.
What a great find! I sure miss the Jag in the Cat line up. We have a mint ’94 model. Fantastic little sled. Good luck with the clean up process!
Nice score! Can’t wait to see them after a wash.
Nice find kale!
I’ve been looking hi and low the last few yrs for those exact type of sleds,
Yours must be the deluxe, with the electric start and purple hood/seats,
Usually i find them all faded and seats cracked and turned pink !
So many people sure neglect them outside,
However, i did finally find one recently for my 10 yr old son.
Its also a 98 jag 340 with 1800 mi.
And immaculate cond.
My son loves it too!
I just love that era of cats!
With that integrated tool box like u said,
And so much room under the hood,
It’s a real joy to perform maintenance on!
Looking forward to some more stories about them,
And more pics. After u detail them!
Brandon – Ive always been a fan of the Jag.
Fred – What kind of story will wake you up? Serious question.
Darin – Great purchase for your son! Happy you enjoy seeing them, and enjoy yours this winter.
Kale, OMG what a rare find! Tell us the story on how you happened on this find. Good for you and the people who will get to ride these great sleds. Gotta love that Arctic Cat Purple!
I’m hoping to find a sled just like this but still in the crate. LOL!!!! Good find!!!
Nice find, I like it! That hood design to me always looked like it was somewhat of a precursor to the Firecats with that ‘beak’ up front.
My wife’s Jag Dlxe was a yawn too. Then I changed with the airbox, boots and flanges and dual carbs off a wrecked 440Z and was a riot to ride and still ran all day on a tank of gas.
Paul J Nadeau – I get quite a few people reaching out with items they want to sell (particularly AC items) Its gotten to the point where my wife has given up asking why I brought it home versus the limited storage space we have. (Smiling) This was one of those cases. The original owner reached out via email and asked if I was interested.
He didn’t know where I lived, and after finding out we were literally 5 miles from each other, I had to go look since it was so convenient. I learned of the consecutive VIN#s while looking them over. I paid more than they are worth, but that seems to be the story of my life. For me, its fun bringing this story to the light of day. Its something you just don’t see.
great story, I love these little machines, drive all day on a tank of gas, my friend has one, 1000 miles on it at this time , easy to work on, dependable just fun to ride, I rode my little Z370 100 miles yesterday riding my Z440 today , another 100 mile trip planned for today great sleds enjoy them Kale!
Remember building those sleds like it was yesterday back in the haydays at cat. Worked on putting the first protos together on the line also. Have cleaning them up and doing what they were made for to ride.
Had a Jag just like those a bunch of years ago. Was a great sled for growing boys to ride and learn some skills.
For an older guy who just wants to putt putt I’d buy a good used one of these in a heartbeat. Nothing wrong with a simple fan cooler IFS sled that’s been babied. I saw these brand new 1998 model show at Coudersport lodge. Hard to believe its 23 years ago until I realize the toddler of mine that I had to keep off the Kitty Kat is now a mother of 4!
In the fall of 2007, took delivery of my two 2008 M8 Sno Pro Nightfire 153″ LE sleds with sequential serial numbers. Still have the two end caps of the shipping crates with my name and serial numbers. Maybe I can sell them for a premium someday and retire?
I am one of the twins. LOL! So Happy they found a home where they will be appreciated! Make sure if you get them up and running to go swing by the farm, I know my dad would love to see it!