Bassett’s Blog : New Sno Pro Cats For Vintage Races?
Story by Jerry Bassett, Dec. 10, 2006Email a friend Print Friendly RSS
Strong rumors—consider it unconfirmed truth—suggest that Cat’s senior vice-president of engineering spearheaded the effort. Our question is this: If many of the same engineering crew, racing team members and factory created these sleds, are they replicas or modern day born-again Cats?
The Sno Pro Cats were very interesting. I remember how the race sled handlebar was cocked to the right a bit in order to get the best leverage in the turns. It was really strange to fly down the straights with bars that were twisted to the right. But when you set up for the left turns and went to full lock, it all made perfect sense and felt very precise.
You wanted lots of steering leverage. Remember, these were the early days of independent trailing arm suspensions. The long runners and aggressive carbides carved deep grooves in the ice and if you think your trail sled can ‘dart’ on you, try an early Sno Pro racer. Guys like Bob Elsner who made those sleds win were a special breed of cat.
Because the Sno Pro machines were so light, acceleration from the 440 Sno Pro machine was intense.
Since this was Elsner’s World Championship winning sled, he seemed a bit on edge while I test drove it on Team Arctic’s replica Eagle River track. It may have been nerve wracking for him, but it was a highlight for me. In addition to being a terrific racer, he was a true gentleman.
If the rumors are true and this vintage era Team Arctic Sno Pro machine reappears, make a point of watching them run. In the Elsner years, these Cats gave Polaris’s RX-Ls all they could handle.