DATE OF INDUCTION: January 18, 1990
CAREER SPAN: 1954-2011
AGE AT INDUCTION: 69
One of snowmobiling’s true visionaries, Edgar Hetteen co-founded the Polaris snowmobile company in 1954 and later the Arctic Cat snowmobile company in 1959. A tireless promoter of the fun of snowmobiling, Edgar made spreading the word of this this winter sport his life’s work.
A relentless “idea man”, Hetteen continually searched for ways to make his dream of winter fun better and improve the performance of the vehicle he helped create. His ideas led to many important developments which are standards of the sport today. His innovations include breakthroughs like the slide rail suspension, the aluminum chassis, the forward-mounted engine as well as many other designs which continue to define the snowmobile to this day.
Recognizing early the value of racing both as method of development and as a highly effective promotional tool, Edgar was a strong supporter of all forms of snowmobile racing. He had a hand in the success of the first Eagle River Derby in 1964 by bringing a team from the Arctic Cat factory. He helped to spur competitiveness and steady technical development that was part of many snowmobile racing teams, including the legendary Team Arctic of the 1970’s.