Welcome to another edition of Random Photos. This month’s batch includes some time-warpers, great submissions and even a Trivia Contest.
It’s tough to be any more random than Bengan Westerlund holding an Arctic Cat bicycle at the recent SHOF Vintage Round Up. Bengan is an interesting cat who has oodles of interesting Arctic Cat products in his collection, many of which are in his home country of Sweden, and many of which are here in the U.S.
I’ve wanted to nab a decent condition version of this bike for years. Bengan refuses to sell this one to me, claiming that he has plans of touring Europe on it later this summer.
From two wheels to four, in the form of this sweet Jeep pulling a pair of Panthers. For my friend Kale, this photo represents the closest thing to heaven on earth.
As long as we’re working the theme of towing Arctic Cat snowmobiles, here’ an interesting situation worth looking at. I would love to have been an anonymous bystander, watching and listening to the 10 minutes of f-bombs as these guys wrestled the Firecat into the wagon.
Thanks yet again to Minnesota Rob for sending pix my way, including the above image.
In contrast to the old-sled-loaded-on-a-new-vehicle like the station wagon image, here we have a 2012 Arctic Cat Sno Pro race sled loaded onto the back of an old Dodge flatbed.
The above photo also kicks-off the Trivia Quiz portion of this post.
So, question #1: Which famous Team Arctic racer owns and currently drives this truck?
Speaking of Team Arctic racers, here’s an image from the Bob Vojvodich Collection of Kevin Uhlenkamp, shot at an early MRP event in Grantsburg, Wis. I shot a lot of pix of Kevin when I was an editor at Snow Week.
Anyone know what he’s up to now?
Another from the Bob Vojvodich collection (of which the next several images are also from)
I’ll make this the easy question of today’s contest…
Question #2: Name the racer piloting this El Tigre EXT.
Another Vojvodich Collection image, this time of legend Steve Thorsen (left), getting ready to test-ride Brian Sturgeon’s Wildcat at an MRP race in 1987.
I love that Thorsen is wearing his old Polaris Factory Sno Pro helmet! Classic stuff.
Speaking of Sturgeon, here’s a shot of Brian’s younger brother, Dan, tail-standing it at the 1995 ISOC cross-country at Brainerd International Raceway.
Also a Vojvodich image.
This Vojvodich Collection is awesome!
Trivia Question #3: Name the racer and the race he’s competing in the above shot.
Bob Vojvodich still loves the old Arctic Cats, as evidence of this shot of him racing a ZR at ERX last winter. Bob’s from Oak Grove, Minn.
Here’s Bob on his 700 EFI ATV. Thanks for all the cool images, Bob! Much appreciated.
Longtime Team Arctic racer/rider Auggie Musech sent the above image. Like so many Team Arctic racers over the years, the Musech’s were successful racers/crews, but were sort-of unsung in their accomplishments on the race track. And I’m as guilty as anyone for not doing more to highlight their efforts back when they were racing.
In Auggie’s words, here’s some background on their team:
“We set three NSSR World Records in 1995, 1996 and 1997 racing for Tim Berg at Black Magic Motorsports when speed runs were a big deal. We raced against Jim Dimmerman, Kelly Shilts and many others.
All of our sleds were sponsored by Black Magic. In 1995 we raced a ZRT 800 and went 115.353 mph. In 1996 we raced a Thundercat that went 116.756 mph and in 1997 we went back to the ZRT 800 and went 114.437 mph. All of these were World Records running on shaved ice, from a dead stop for 1000 feet.
The driver (seated) was Dave Lohse. At his right is me Auggie, the crew chief, and the other crew member is Bobby Musech.
Our race program started for me in 1993 when Tim Berg called and said that he had a T-Cat he wanted me to set-up for speed runs. To make a long story, I worked on the sled for a month. We took it to an outlaw speed run and wouldn’t you know it: Jim Dimmerman was also there. We beat him pretty bad that day, so afterwards he came over and wanted to know who owned that sled. I told him that Tim Berg owned it.
He said “Don’t I know you?” and I said that he was in my carburetion class when I taught service training schools for Arctic.
Jim had an NSSR race the following weekend and wanted to run our sled, so I told him to call Tim, which hid did and he (Jim) picked up the sled on a Wednesday and set the World Record on Saturday! “
So here’s a current shot of Auggie’s trail sled, a ZRT (ahem) 800.
It gets the “ahem” because when you open the hood, you see the 900 heads. Love it!
Yet another submission, this one from a cryptic, crazy Canadian who goes by the name of Hammer.
He claims this is the original Fire Cat, and I must admit that he has a valid point.
In his words:
“This is pretty top secret stuff right here so keep it on the QT. If word of this gets out, I’m sure that sparks will fly!
Our insiders (aka: Lumberhead) tells us that this is one hot sled. When you fire this baby up, it really burns up the trails and will smoke the competition. Definitely not a “Rider Forward” chassis but does boast the biggest seat storage in the industry. A few early recalls due to excessive under-hood temps. Horsepower numbers have been listed in BTU’s. Sounds suspicious. Might be a metric thing. After going through a bush cord, a wood shed, two test riders, a 2×4 and a carton of cigarettes, it’s reported that this prototype is still in the developmental phase.”
I’m trying to ink a deal with Hammer to write all future captions for ArcticInsider. It might take a lot of Labatts Blue, but I think I can make it happen…
Speaking of the original Firecat, the guy on the left in this picture is one of the people who conceptualized and built the Arctic Cat version of this fames machine.
Kirk Hibbert, shown here giving the low-down on the ZR skidframe during the 1997 Team Arctic Race School in Thief River Falls.
Anyone beside me wish for the return of Race School in TRF?
On the subject of Team Arctic, Race School and the 1990s… here’s a shot of then-Race Manager Joey Hallstrom (left) and the guy who can build anything (and make it go fast), Al Shimpa, sitting inside the old Race Shop.
I’ll finish up this random photo post with something VERY modern: a shot of Team Arctic cross-country fast-guy Ryan Greening, test riding a prototype of the next Arctic Cat Sno Pro race sled just a couple weeks ago.
So my last bit of trivia involves Ryan…
Question #4: Ryan’s uncle was one of the fastest cross-country racers of the 1970s and early ’80s. Name him.
(The first person to answer all four questions will win one of the amazing prize packages that this site is famous for. Good luck!)
Thank for reading.