Old Sled Sighting: Late 1970’s Arctic Cat Panther

This dream cruiser is in pristine condition and oozes all the creature comforts a sled could offer a snowmobiler.

An Arctic Cat Panther.
A late 1970's or early 80's Arctic Cat Panther, seen at the Lumberton Vintage Ride and Rally near Cranbrook. Photo courtesy Doug Williamson

The Arctic Cat Panther was often referred to as the Cadillac of snowmobiles in its heyday. As one reviewer stated, “a machine built only for the man who recognizes and appreciates unqualified excellence—smooth, quiet and (well) behaved.” Classic deep purple accents, eye-catching leopard seat, low-slung windshield, loads of shiny chrome and a powerful power plant under the hood and this vintage Arctic Cat makes a distinctive impression on the snow.

Here’s a late 1970’s or early 1980’s Arctic Cat Panther that certainly fits that bill. This dream cruiser is in pristine condition and oozes all the creature comforts a sled could offer a snowmobiler.   Thanks again to Doug Williamson of Cranbrook for sharing his photos from last winter’s Lumberton vintage ride and rally near Cranbrook.

Here’s a little history of the iconic Arctic Cat brand compliments of Wikipedia: “Arctic Cat was formed by snowmobile pioneer Edgar Hetteen in 1960 due to his departure from his previous self-started business, Polaris Industries. Like Polaris, Arctic Cat grew to become a major manufacturer of snowmobiles, watercraft, and all-terrain vehicles (ATV's). The company's first name was Polar Manufacturing but was soon changed to Arctic Enterprises. The company made their first snowmobile in 1960 and in 1970, started the Boss Cat line. Various boat manufacturers, including Silver Line, Lund and Spirit Marine, were bought to attempt to expand the company. However, Arctic Cat went bankrupt in 1982. Two years later, a new company Arctco was created to continue the production of Arctic Cat snowmobiles.”

Arctic Cat, of course, was recently purchased by Textron Industries which announced the Arctic Cat snowmobile line will continue to exist, however their ATV lineup will now fall under the Textron Offroad brand.

Got a vintage snowmobile story or photos? Share them: [email protected]

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