VSCA Vintage Snowmobile Magazine PAGE 16
VSCA Vintage Snowmobile Magazine PAGE 17
year 1976 this one and only Arctic Cat Twin Track 440X
was designed and built in Thief River Falls Minnesota by Roger Gage
in coordination with the Arctic Cat Research and Development Department.
and the Arctic Cat Advanced Racing Department
built five different twin track race sleds during the years 1974 to 1979.
of Arctic Cat was instrumental in the design and development
of the original fiberglass body for the 440X. The twin track and roll cage
design was a 1970’s era of innovation to help create safer race sleds for
the drivers in the professional circuit.
Racing and the consumer snowmobile market took a dive during
the fuel crisis of the mid 1970’s. As a result, Arctic Cat was faced with
financial troubles and ended R&D programs like this, eventually closing
it’s doors in 1980.
sled was sold in 1980 by Dave Thompson who was in
the Arctic Cat Race Department. A farmer near Thief River Falls Minnesota
purchased the sled, retiring the 440X to the farm for personal enjoyment.
Mike Johnson [aka: Sled Digger] located the sled and contacted
Jerry Kienbaum in Spokane Washington to take a look at the 440X.
The sled was routed to Spokane, Washington, then wound up being purchased
by an individual from the midwest. The ' 76 440X was then transported back t
o the midwest. Two years later the gentlemen that had bought the sled in 2007
decided to sell it and call Jerry to see if he still had interest.
purchased the sled this time around, routed the sled to
Spokane, Washington and accumulated the correct OEM parts necessary
to do a complete restoration. By October 2009 Jerry had the sled, plenty of parts
and "the" plan. The entire contents and outline was then transported to
Western Washington to it’s original innovator, Roger Gage at the
beginning of 2010.
is an expert at snowmobile restoration and sourced the detailed parts
required for authentic OEM restoration. Roger Gage recreated his original design with
complete chassis restoration. Arthur Bonenfant completed the incredible fiberglass
craftsmanship. Custom decals special ordered from Frank Sadlon at E-Graphics.
Within the first 60 days of 2010, this sled was ready to be tested by Jerry’s designated
driver, Jeff Biddiscombe in West Yellowstone Montana.
12th, 2010 the Arctic Cat 440X arrives early for the show in
West Yellowstone. Jeff & Roger Biddiscombe met with Jerry and unveiled the
sled for Saturday’s display at the 7th Annual Vintage Snowmobile Roundup.
It received the WSVSA 1st Place Race Restored Trophy that Saturday in West Yellowstone.
Wednesday SNO PRO USA was there to get the scoop from Jerry, take
some fresh photos and roll the 440X back into the museum until it‘s next event.
a true one of a kind race snowmobile and X marks the spot for all of the
that surrounds it. Jerry Kienbaum coordinated another eye popping restoration that will
provide a fresh archive of snowmobile history and innovation.
by Joel Wheeler - Spokane , Washington
ROGER GAGE: BIO Under his Photo
Roger Gage went to college and studied to be an engineer. He graduated
After graduation he went to work for Arctic Cat in the New Product Department.
In 1974 he was promoted to the Advanced Research and Development Department.
Later in 1978 he became chassis engineer for the race team.
Two years later Arctic Cat closed down.
In 1980 Roger went to work for Bayliner Boats for a period of 9 years.
Roger also had his own business building custom car trailers.
Next he went to work for Basketball Products as Vice-President of Engineering.
The company sold to new owners back east.
In 1990 Roger went to work for Boeing and maintains employment there currently.
January 2010 Roger was able to turn back the clock and restore one
of his own innovations he engineered for Arctic Cat in the 70‘s.
The restoration turned out incredible and has renewed a 34 year old
snowmobile into a fresh archive to show everyone “How It Was” in 1976.