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The Phantom for the Eagle River 50th

Jim Dimmerman's Phantom Sno Pro race sled will be restored for the 50th

Jim Dimmerman is restoring the 1984 Eagle River World’s Championship-winning Phantom racer for celebrations commemorating the event’s upcoming 50th Anniversary.

Dimmerman’s historic win aboard this machine in ’84 was the last of the singletrack victories in the era that included the Ski-Doo twin track racers.


Jim Dimmerman's Phantom Sno Pro race sled will be restored for the 50th

The Phantom, as Dimmerman called it, was one of the six Factory Team Arctic & Scorpion Sno Pro machines built for the 1981 race season and piloted by himself, Team Arctic’s Bob Elsner and Scorpion’s Brad Hulings.

As Arctic Enterprises was in its final days, Ted Nielsen bought five of the six racers and set about creating his own team for the following seasons with Dimmerman as the pilot. The duo would prove to be formidable against the Ski-Doo factory team, highlighted by their World Championship win in 1984.

They continued to develop and race the sled through the 1986 season, after which Dimmerman retired and the sled was hung in Nielsen’s dealership.


Jim Dimmerman wins the 1984 Eagle River World's Championship, photo: CJ Ramstad

With the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Eagle River, Dimmerman has been restoring the machine to its original race trim circa 1984. More than just making it look exactly like it did in ’84 (above), Dimmerman will make it a runner.

“This sled will be capable of going into turn one at Eagle at 90 mph,” said Dimmerman, who plans to make a few laps on the famed Derby oval aboard the sled. “There are several past champions who are readying their sleds for a couple of parade laps during the 50th.”


Jim Dimmerman's Phantom Sno Pro race sled will be restored for the 50th

After talking with Dimmerman for an hour this morning, I’ve learned that there’s a bunch more history about this machine than most people realize. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to share it in the coming weeks as Dimmerman completes the restoration.

“I’ve been making trips here (to Nielsen’s) to restore the sled to the condition that it looked like after the ’84 season, dents, scuffs and all,” he said. “The next time I work on it, I’ll have it running and tuned on the jackstand.

“It will be on display at the Snowmobile Hall of Fame in St. Germain, Wis., as well as at the Derby track during the Championship weekend.”


Jim Dimmerman aboard the Phantom in 1983, photo: CJ Ramstad

Here’s Phantom in the 1983 season, with the original Scorpion nose.


Jim Dimmerman aboard the Phantom in 1985, photo: CJ Ramstad

And this was the Phantom in 1985.



  1. Awesome Jim,
    I hope you finished the restoration of your 79 before you took on a new project!

    I guess I’ll have to be the one to say it. The picture above is from the Eagle River race in 83 not 84.

    The Phantom had the standard Scorpion nose (as above) for 83.
    For 84 the Phantom got a nose job, a new elongated and more aerodynamic front end.

    The body stayed the same for 85 and 86 but the once grey and blue sled became white and red.

  2. Jim:
    Great job— you guys are amazing! What year did they add bales to the corners at the track as I boycotted the twin track years. I know bales aren’t much better but the boards still look nasty.

  3. Great project Jim! I’ll be eager to see it when you are finished and to hear some of your memories and insight of the years you piloted that historic sled! I may not see it at the 50th running of the race in January, but, intend to see it at the Hall of Fame in St Germain in February. I have to caution you on something though…if you intend to again wear any of those race suits that you wore in the 1980s…I have found that most of mine no longer fit me the way they once did? Fabrics used in that era must have been prone to shrinking.


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