As far as years go, 2012 seemed about as random as most.
To celebrate the end of this year and the beginning of another, here are some mostly Arctic Cat pix that are pretty random.
Happy randomness this (and every) year!
Let’s start with the heartthrob of Grantsburg… a Team Arctic racer for decades… and one of the racingest racers I’ve known: Dale Lindbeck, shown here in the Arctic Cat booth at Hay Days posing with his watercross championship sled from the 2012 season. Dale has been ripping it up for Arctic Cat for decades (literally), from MRP snocross in the 1980s to USSA ovals in late-’80s and 1990s to the occasional ISOC cross-country in the 1990s and watercross since the mid-’90s.
Thanks for staying true to yourself and the team, Dale!
Trivia Question #1: What was the first year that Dale won the Grantsburg World Championships of Watercross in the oval class?
For all I know, this guy is the Dale Lindbeck of Qatar. In fact, the only thing I know about this is that this guy bought the first Arctic Cat Wildcat in Qatar.
There is some HEAVY-DUTY legendness in this photo taken of four World Champions at the 25th Anniversary of Eagle River World’s Championship in 1988.
From L-to-R: Brad Hulings (World Champ in 1981 & 1983); Bob Elsner (World Champ in 1979); Jim Dimmerman (World Champ in 1984) and Roger Janssen (1969 World Champ).
I know that Dimmerman and Janssen will be at the 50th Anniversary of Eagle River celebration on Jan. 17-20, 2013. I really, really hope that both Hulings and Elsner will also be there, as I dearly want to shake their hands and express my appreciation for their amazing careers.
Trivia Question #2: Kind of an obtuse question, but what is something that these four have in common regarding their wins at the World Championships?
We’ll go on a bit of a Dimmerman spree here. This studio shot for the 1978 featured Jim Dimmerman in the middle. It was his first season aboard Factory Team Arctic.
Trivia Question #3: Name the two Team Arctic racers next to Jim in this photo.
These days Dimmerman is all about restoring and building great Arctic Cat sleds from yesteryear. That’s him sitting on his custom Thundercat-powered El Tigre at Aaron Scheele’s shop. Lots of El Tigres… that makes me happy in 2012 and beyond.
Here’s Scheele working on a 1979 Arctic Cat El Tigre, one of about 25 or so that have been built in his shop the past few years.
Trivia Question #4: One of Aaron’s mechanics during his time at Team Arctic was Hector Olson. Which current Team Arctic racer(s) does Hector twirl wrenches for in 2013?
I have so many favorite racers, and this is one of them (the guy on the left).
Trivia Question #5: Shown here at the 1991 Jeep 500 cross-country with the “Beef It Up” guy, prior to the start of the second leg from Grand Marais to Duluth, is WHO?
This photo still amazes me for the sheer firepower and dominance that Team Arctic displayed in this era of snocross.
The shot was taken of the Pro Stock final at Duluth.
Trivia Question #6: Name the year and the five Team Arctic racers on the front line.
Same era ZR hood, but this custom Arctic Cat owned by Arctic Cat employee Derrek Dakken has a whole bunch of other stuff that makes if very unique. There are elements of Firecat and other generations of Arctic Cats built into it.
Another shot of Derrek’s sled, this time sporting his summer skis. My goal is to get a photo of Derrek riding this baby down Main Street in Thief River Falls in the summer of 2013.
A few weeks back, a reader of this site who goes by “RL” posted a comment about an experience he had on his 1992 Arctic Cat EXT Special (a sled that, because of its Prowler chassis, I like to tease about).
Here’s what RL wrote (which I think is very, very cool and something I definitely relate with):
Think about this,if Polaris never made the Indy XCR 440 Arctic Cat would never have made the game changing ZR 440. The 91-92 Prowler Special with the AWS II front suspension just could not take the punishment of cross-country racing or even an aggressive trail rider.
I had a 92 EXT Special that I bought as a left over just because I had to have the flamed graphics. To this day it is one of my most favorite Cats I’ve owned. But by 1995 the front end collapsed on me in the Upper Peninsula on a moguled out trail when a pack of ski doos went flying past our group.
Well I could not let that happen even though I had to find a welder that morning to repair the cross members that were cracked because I chased them down doubling the big moguls just like a real racer would.
I passed them and kept it hammered because the rhythm and momentum I had was just way to fun. Than on one final jump my hood popped up when the cross member finally broke, leaving a mess of fox shock oil and myself sitting on the trail side.
After 2-4 minutes the Doo riders passed then 8-10 minutes later my group caught up. But in my mind I was a victorious 23 year old kid that thought he just won a race. It was worth the sacrifice of my beloved 92 EXT special that had served me well and left me with great memories of victory and defeat.
The photo above and below is RL with his machine on that fateful day in the U.P.
Check out the rope that RL used to reposition the cross-brace after the collapse.
Whoa, this is a random transition. But what do you expect when it comes to Popular Science and their predictions of future vehicles?
I included this photo because it reminds me of my late friend, C.J. Ramstad, who always saved and occasionally published weird drawings of futuristic-type snow vehicles.
I miss C..J for a million reasons. One such reason was that, when I’d run across a photo or advertisement like the one above, I could call him up and ask him what he remembered about a particular sled or era, even stuff that went back to the late 1960s.
Knowing him, had I asked about the Sno-Jet ad, he would have made a comment about how cute the woman was.
CJ.. is a good transition to the next few pix of a 1969 Arctic Cat Panther (a good transition because he started working on the Arctic Cat advertising account for 1969).
The ’69 Panther you see here was purchased by my good friend Pete. Pete’s sort of a snowmobiler, insofar as he has a vintage Puma that he rides around his cabin and on the WOBLE.
He’s never gotten into riding modern sleds. Rather, he prefers the coolness and simplicity of the oldies. He likes putting around and he likes tinkering.
A year ago he bought the Panther for his 15-year old son, Ryan.
Over the past few months Pete gradually restored the black Cat.
In fact, unbeknownst to Ryan, Pete finished the Panther on Christmas Eve day, which is when he took the above shot.
The next morning, like in the scene out of the movie A Christmas Story, after all the presents had been opened Pete says to Ryan, “Hey, I think I see one more present over there,” while pointing at the window in their Minneapolis living room.
When Ryan looked out the window, he was of course blown away and excited.
So excited, in fact, that he ran out to the Panther wearing only his socks and no shoes.
Merry Christmas Ryan! It will be good to have you back on the WOBLE again this year, especially sicne you’ll be on your very own sled.
I’ll finish this post with another Christmas photo that brings me great happiness. It’s of Barb and Dave Guenther of Pequot Lakes, Minn. I don’t know Barb, but I know Dave and he’s one great guy, so I have to believe Barb is also great.
Dave always sends a cool Christmas photo via email this time of year. Thanks Dave!
Trivia Question #7: What year/model is the Arctic Cat in this pic?
That’s it for now (and for 2012)!
Thanks for reading, Happy New Year.