Old Sled Sighting: 1970’s Arctic Cat Pantera—a ‘Rat Sled’

Once known as the "Cadillac" of sleds, this vintage Arctic Cat Pantera snowmobile has seen better days.

Picture of vintage Arctic Cat Pantera snowmobile.
A rusting, forgotten Arctic Cat Pantera snowmobile. Photo courtesy Keith Powell

So what’s a “rat sled?” It’s sort of my own definition of an old snowmobile you might find abandoned in a field, stashed behind a barn, tucked away against a wooden fence or languishing in some other unprotected environment—left to rust away and exposed to the elements.

This old 1970’s (possibly 1980’s) Arctic Cat Pantera definitely falls into the "rat sled" category. I discovered it sitting outside in the rain and snow behind a rural shop (along with a half dozen other rusting snowmobiles).

Picture of vintage Arctic Cat Pantera snowmobile.
Photo courtesy Keith Powell

The Arctic Cat Pantera was produced starting in the early 1970’s and was often called the “Cadillac” of snowmobiles. This was for its smooth ride, distinctive profile and powerful engine. As one reviewer stated, “No one could mistake the Pantera profile for any other brand. It was a fashion statement with sloping hood, chromed bumpers front and rear, high headlight and ample wind-deflecting windshield.”

This old Arctic Cat “rat” sled retains little of the machine’s past glory but Arctic Cat enthusiasts are sure to remember the grand old days of these early Panteras.

Got an old sled story or photos to share? Send them to: [email protected]

Related Articles

A late 1970's Ski-Doo Blizzard 5500.
Old Sled Zone Old Sled Sighting: 1979 (80’s) Ski-Doo Blizzard 5500

Ski-Doo’s impressive line-up for 1979 featured three Blizzards: the 5500, the 7500 Plus and the Blizzard 9500 Plus.

Two vintage beauties: the Ski-Doo Alpine and the Ski-Doo 340.
Old Sled Zone Old Sled Sighting: Single-Ski Ski-Doo Alpine—“The World’s Slowest Snowmobile”

We dip back into Doug Williamson’s vault of great vintage snowmobile photos from the Cranbrook Snowmobile Club Vintage Rally last February.

An Arctic Cat Panther.
Old Sled Zone Old Sled Sighting: Late 1970’s Arctic Cat Panther

The Arctic Cat Panther was often referred to as the Cadillac of snowmobiles in its heyday.

>
View all Old Sled Zone articles

Comments