History of The Snowmobile Hall of Fame
In 1983, while trail riding near Minocqua, Wisconsin, Mike Trapp, C. J. Ramstad and Loren Anderson were talking about the great and exciting history of snowmobile racing and wondered “Why doesn’t the sport have a Hall of Fame?”
Mike was a two-time Eagle River World champion and Loren had been a number one bib in open and 650 classes. CJ talked of the fantastic photo library he had which told the thrilling history of racing. Before that day’s riding was over, the three had decided that a museum and a hall of fame should be created to honor the race drivers and to display their unique and exciting sleds.
The idea for the Hall of Fame and Museum was born. Loren and Mike approached Larry Bosacki of Bosacki’s Boathouse in Minocqua. Larry joined the team and offered his restaurant for the first RIDE WITH THE CHAMPS headquarters. Mike and Loren were very involved with Minocqua Lions Club Snowmobile Races each year at Winterama. It was natural to combine a fund-raiser for the Hall of Fame with the event.
The first RIDE WITH THE CHAMPS fund raising event for a future Hall of Fame and Museum took place January 27, 1984. Riders from all over the Midwest were able to spend an entire day riding with the first celebrity guests. Steve Ave, Allen Decker, Mike Decker, Jim Dimmerman, Bobby Donahue, Bob Eastman, Bob Elsner and Mike Trapp donated their time and efforts to help make that first RIDE WITH THE CHAMPS a success.
In 1986, the RIDE WITH THE CHAMPS was headquartered in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Participants had a fun filled day of riding with some of racing’s greatest names. In 1987, Al Unser, Jr. joined the ranks as he spent the day riding through the beautiful Northwoods. Since the first ride in 1984, dozens of celebrity drivers and Hall of Famers have participated in the annual celebrity ride. The entry fee includes breakfast, lunch and the Hall of Fame banquet, each rider gets to keep their souvenir bib and a lot of great memories.
- In 1986, Meyers Snow Plow became the corporate sponsor of the annual RIDE WITH THE CHAMPS.
- From 1992 -1993, Roetin Industries was the ride sponsor of the annual RIDE WITH THE CHAMPS.
- Woody’s Traction Products became the sponsor for 1994 – 1999.
- FAST / INJEX OIL / BLADE were the sponsors for the 2000 through 2002 events.
- WOODY’S returned as the sponsor for 2003 which marked the 20th anniversary of the prestigious and very successful RIDE WITH THE CHAMPS.
In 1985, the SNOWMOBILE HALL OF FAME and MUSEUM was incorporated and received tax-exempt status. In 1988, the first ten racers were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Each year, four more people are inducted into the hall. In 1989, the Hall of Fame leased space for a museum in downtown Eagle River at the corner of Highway 45 and 70 West. Since 1993, the Hall of Fame Museum has been located in St. Germain, Wisconsin at 8481 Hwy 70 West. Historic photos and memorabilia are on display. The museum has more than 60 historic sleds in its collection.
Plaques commemorating all Hall of Fame inductees are on display.