This past summer-Fall, Chris Olin and the gang at Rox Speed FX in Grand Rapids, Minn., built another one of their stunning custom sleds. It’s a tradition that began early on in the company history to highlight its products, vision and aptitude for customization.
Their most recent creation is one that stirs emotions for longtime Arctic Cat fans: a retro El Tigre-themed 2015 Arctic Cat ZR 6000.
The return of the Tiger in 2014 was a popular move for Arctic Cat, one that many people (myself included) appreciated because of the powerful emotions associated with the name. The El Tigre name expanded for 2015 and 2016, available as a package in 6000, 7000, 8000 and 9000 engine series configurations.
Rox had their own vision for what a modern ProCross chassis-based El Tigre needed to be. That vision was sparked a year ago by the purchase of an original 1980 El Tigre 6000 that had sat untouched for nearly 20 years, with only 627 miles on the odometer. Olin bought the nearly perfect Tiger, cleaned and restored it to showroom-like condition, and then launched his plan for a retro ProCross Tiger.
True to form for Rox, the retro El Tigre custom had to blend old and new in just the right proportion, and with just the right elements. Chief among them was the use of an original front bumper (complete with the OE decal and end caps) that was cut and welded to fit the new ProCross chassis.
Rox also fabricated two hood vents that matched the shape and size of the vents found on the 1980-81 Tigers, and then added them to hood/airbox of the new Cat.
Out back, an original round bar rear bumper and tunnel reflectors were added to fully frame the project.
A new seat cover was commissioned to include the iconic green-over-green seat of the ’80 version.
Rox tapped Arctic Cat for unpainted suspension rails to match the original tigers, as well as a tinted windshield and black spindles. And Bottomline Traction came up with colorless hyfax that harken back to the old days.
New decals were imagined, created and dialed-in from Robb at Blown Concepts (who has done the decal work on nearly every Rox custom since day one).
Of course it wouldn’t be a Rox custom without a few products that highlight the company’s wares. Green anodized, adjustable height Rox risers add much appreciated versatility, while Rox Speed FX multi-color green Flex Tech hand guards and Rox bar pad top-off the custom perch.
Rox grip strips (anodized green, naturally) deliver a new level of foot traction for the running boards, while a 1.6-in. lug Camoplast ICE Cobra track eliminates any worries about getting the other kind of traction.
Rox added the ultimate set of dampeners: FOX Tucker Hibbert signature series FLOAT 3 EVOL RC2, ZERO C2 and ZERO RC2 shocks. And a set of SLP MoHawk skis completed the package.
The end result was the stunning sled you see here. Of course, like all Rox customs, the retro Tiger is no trailer queen. It was built to ride (just like the original).
So enjoy a little then-and-now images of two classic Arctic Cats.
Thanks for reading!