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Prototypes, limited editions, limited productions and early builds from the 1980's

1980 Arctic Cat IFS cross county racer prototype (2 Produced)



1980 Arctic Cat Woodys Sno Pro design drawings



1980 Arctic Cat plans for a three cylinder El Tigre for 1983



1980 Arctic Cat Pepper Panther 4000, 440 Suzuki f/c (12 Produced)



1980 Spirit Outboard design drawings



1981 Scorpion Sno Pro design archive



1981 Arctic Cat Sno Pro design drawing



1981 Arctic Cat Sno Pro prototype wood buck



1981 Arctic Cat Prototype hood



1981 Arctic Cat IFS test mule prototype



1981 Arctic Cat Budmobile promo sled 1 of 5 produced



1981 Arctic Cat twin track prototype

This is a 1981 Arctic Cat Twin Tracker 440cc prototype. Tested but never put into production, this was Cat's answer to the early 80's Ski-Doo Twin tracker threat. At the time, Cat was experiencing financial difficulties that almost killed all nine lives. When the fire sale came, this machine and her sister were in the parking lot for sale. Restored by SnoPro Unlimited and it's current owner, Jerry McGee, this is cetainly an endangered species and one of the rarest of rare sleds.  Jerry McGee bought this from Steve Olson in about 1997. Steve built the mold up to fix up the original hood, as you see it here. Arctic Cat had 2 chassis, this was the only one that got completed.


1981 Arctic Cat twin track prototype with Jim Dimmerman



Arctic Cats designed for 1982 before they went belly up.



1982 Arctic Cat single ski concept prototype



1982 Arctic Cat 3whelled scooter prototype



1982 Arctic Cat Jag prototype "rough concept #1"

This Sled is an early prototype to what ended up as the 82 Arctic Cat Jag. Referred to as "Rough Concept #1" this particular sled was built in 78 or 79.

Being an early, "rough concept"(as Donn Eide called it) it didn't have a lot of detail(dash, guages, decals). I believe I will reproduce it as such and refrain from including too much detail.

Because the sled is an early prototype to the 82 Jag a lot of the parts I need will come from copying a 82 Jag.

Fuel tank- Panther/Trail Cat maybe?

The hood and seat resembled the 82 Jag. Such an early prototype that not even a 82 Jag hood will fit without modification(I intend to reproduce one and modify it)

The suspension was special, he made the comment that the 82 Jag has a special suspension that allowed for better traction than the standard cat suspensions of previous years(more front arm weight). He also made the comment that this sled had many suspensions with different alterations to them.

For whatever reason, the tunnel is 18" wide. He didn't remember why, but said that it was an early prototype. The track was the same as the 82 Jag.

The two holes in the tunnel... were for direct drive and a drop case. They were testing both scenario's at the time. They found the DD scenario to reduce the top speed by about 5-6 mph. 

The "correct" engines for this chassis is pictured below. There were 8 of these 440 f/c engines built for Cat by Suzuki in 77-78. These were test engines for the production 440 F/C engines that were later found in the jags and panthers. What makes this special is that it was modified to get the top speed back on the sled, they altered the intake port which increased the HP and increased the top speed about 5-6 mph.

It was 1 of 8 built by Suzuki, for Arctic Cat in either 77 or 78. Aluminum parts are sand cast, carb is a odd ball that never saw production, plastic pieces are slightly different than production(notice the spaces in the fan intake grid, more room on this one, they had to tighten these spaces for production so no one stuck their fingers in there). Has oil injection as well, which wasn't seen until 80. And the mechanical tach output on the recoil.



1982 Arctic Cat Jag prototype

Pre-production prototype, no vin number ever. This Jag model had been entirely re-designed and is very different from the popular Jag models that had been offered from 1975 thru 1981. All-new chassis, rear suspension, belly pan, hood, seat, etc were to debut on this had it been released. This is another model that was to be offered for 1982 that has direct-drive. 440 fan-cooled engine with oil-injection. It was purchased from the old Arctic salvage department. . Full instrumentation is in place but it appears that the speedometer has never been hooked up, actual mileage is unknown. It still bears number "P 25" on the side of the tunnel from its early days at Arctic Enterprises.




1982 Arctic Cat Jag prototype
Notice the prototype cat cutter.



1982 Arctic Cat Puma prototype

This is one of the never-released prototypes that was scheduled for the 1982 model year. Has direct drive without a traditional chaincase. 440 fan-cooled engine. Rubber track. This sled has over 6700 miles on the odometer and has had 2 owners prior to our purchasing it. It is nearly all original and likely will be left as-is to preserve as much of the originality as possible. This sled does have a vin number on it, 1000013. As more info is learned about the 1982 protos it looks as if 2 similar, but different, Puma models were being developed. One version had a slightly shorter hood/belly pan design and a 300 cc single-cylinder fan-cooled engine with oil injection. This twin-cylinder Puma's hood/belly pan styling mostly matches the 82 Jag design.



1982 Arctic Cat Panther prototype

Pre-production prototype snowmobile. Arctic Enterprises was going to produce a 500 Panther for the 1982 model year with a 500 oil injected liquid cooled engine package, this sled is a surviving example of that. The vin number on this sled is 0053769. It still bears number "P1 44" on the side of the tunnel from its early days at Arctic Enterprises.



1982 Arctic Cat Pantera prototype

Pre-production prototype snowmobile. Arctic Enterprises was going to produce a 440 Pantera for the 1982 model year with a 440 oil injected liquid cooled engine package, this sled is a surviving example of that. We are the second owner of this sled. The previous owner had used it as a daily driver for many years. The bulkhead, belly pan and console are all similar to an 81 Pantera. The hood, tunnel, skid frame, oil tank, radiator mounts and more are all different from any production parts I have seen and are unique to this sled. No vin number on this sled ever.



1982 Arctic Cat Cougar prototype

This is a pre-production prototype that was scheduled to be released for the 1982 model year. Is vin numbered as a 1981 model. Has a 500 fan cooled engine with many signs of being a pilot build...oil-injection, dual carbs, 1st generation plastic cooling shroud, hand stamped i.d. number, etc. Has an 82 only hood, nose cone, console, fiberglass belly pan, seat, etc.



1982 Arctic Cat El Tigre 6000 prototype

This snowmobile was a pre-production prototype. Had Arctic Enterprises actually produced any 1982 models, the El Tigre would have looked much like this sled. This unit was an engineering-model and not a photo-shoot model, thus it has a seat cover from a 1981 El Tigre on it. It is VIN numbered as a 1981 and looks to have began life as an 81 El Tigre. This has the common 500 liquid cylinders on the engine however it has a rare sandcast experimental bottom end on the engine that allows oil-injection. Oil injection had not been used on previous Cat liquids, nor was it used in the immediate years following either. The hood, windshield, nosecone, belly pan and console are all unique to the 1982 prototypes.



1982 Arctic Cat El Tigre Sport

This snowmobile was a pre-production prototype based on the 1980 cross country prototype.



1982 Arctic Cat prototypes



1983 Arctic Cat IFS prototype.

This prototype was a radical new design tested in 81 which used ball and joint IFS. it was designated to be a possible design for the 83 season.



1983 Arctic Cat Cougar design drawings



1983 1st Arctic Cat Panther off the Arctco line



1985 Arctic Cat Cougar prototype


1985 Arctic Cat El Tigre 6000 pre-production

This is one of only about 50 of the very first AFS El Tigres that were released in approximately January 1984. This has a 1984 vin number and was produced in November 1983. This has the general appearence of the new-for-1985 El Tigre AFS but with many subtle differences...Open rear shock fender design; Hand cut,narrowed track; Styled rear idler wheels, similar to an Indy; Welded on hood hinges; Twin exhaust pipes; Different seat back profile; Different length of spindle leg; Differences in Belly Pan construction and routing; Differences in skid frame arm construction; Different Sway Bar and Arms. Vin Number:8402705; Engine Number: H50-100758. This machine was originally part of the Gordon Rhode collection near Wausau Wi. The odometer showed only 23 miles on it when we aquired this and we believe it is possible that is accurate.



1988 Arctic Cat Wildcat prototype

This is one of the earliest Wildcat protos. This picture is from late 85. Notice the radiator on the sled.



1988 Arctic Cat Wildcat pre-production

1988 was the first year of the Wildcat model for Arctic Cat, regular production began on October 9th 1987. Many of these first 100 went to racers, dealers, etc...some were held back for further evaluation. Sometimes called 1987s, these pilot build Wildcats are pretty easily spotted as they have a large one-piece seat design different than the production models. Engine number A65-100124. The dash, seat, hood and bulkhead were different from the 88 models. It also used 40mm carbs, the 88 had 38mm.



1989 Arctic Cat Cheetah pre-production

This sled is a pre-production 89 model with a 1988 vin number. Likely was built up for engineering or marketing purposes. This unit has a special hand fabricated fiberglass handlebar pad that was a forerunner to the new-for-89 handlebar design. Also has slight variances to the windshield mounting location that seperates it from the production 89s. The rear tunnel extension and taillight housing is very different from the 88 models and slightly different from the production 89 models. This is a well preserved sled in very original condition. This sled used a 500cc fan-cooled engine, 16"x156" track. Reverse, electric start, mirrors, speedometer, tachometer, handwarmers and 2 passenger seating. All was standard equipment on this model.



1989 Arctic Cat El Tigre 6000 prototype

This sled is a prototype '89 El Tigre 6000 now that was once used for marketing. You can tell it started out as an 88' but then appears to have been modified with almost all of the updates the 89's had. the dash has the 88 three gauge cluster. Additionally the seat and air box are different then the production sleds from 88 and 89. During both years, the air intake was on the left through a vent that was made in the seat cover near the gas tank. This sled does not have that feature. The air intake is similar to the 85-87 El Tigre's where it comes in from under the radiator directly into the air box. But instead of a plastic mesh over the intake, there is foam to keep dust out.


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