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All Grunt, No Glory: 1966 Arctic Cat Cub

left front

Look what Bob G found for us listed on eBay. It’s in Salem, Oregon and the bidding is under $700 with 4 days left. Choices were limited before the coming of the ATV if you needed to haul stuff places a jeep wouldn’t go. In 1960 Arctic Cat began building snowmobiles. They developed the Cub to keep up cash flow in the slow summer months. These things are like a 2 wheel truck. A geophysical company I worked for had a couple that the field crews used. If the Land Cruiser couldn’t get to the site, one of the Cats could hauling the camp and survey gear. Many of the sites were remote, 50 miles or more from the nearest road. They are slow but they do haul a lot of gear. This one doesn’t run and is said to be in need of a complete restoration.

Arctic Cat Cub

Powered by an 8 horse 4 stroke engine, they have a top speed of 28 mph. The transmission is a CVR similar to the ones used in snowmobiles. A roller chain gets the power to the wheels.


There is no suspension except the cushioning provided by the tires. Construction is very basic and sturdy. This Cub looks intact with no obvious signs of damage or rust. Here’s a site with pictures of a Cub being restored.  It also shows details of how the drive mechanism works.


This Cub will get you places a side by side won’t because of its narrow width and might possibly do a little better in boggy terrain. These were introduced at a time when no one had thought of using anything off road except for horses and 4×4 vehicles. They didn’t build very many, but once again, rarity doesn’t make it valuable. This Cub might still be usable for someone. It will be interesting to see what uses you can think of for it.


  1. HoA Howard A Member

    What an awesome site here. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something like this pops up. ( I thought for sure this would have been a “Scotty G.” submission)( no offense, David) So this is where the “Rokon” got the idea from ( also not very successful). I thought I’ve seen every mechanical contraption, but this is really cool, although, I bet it’s a handful to actually drive.( heaven help you if it tipped over) I still don’t understand how the front wheel drives and turns.( I see the U-joint , but would need to see it up close) Even on the link provided, the owner of the restored one says they usually run with the front chain off. Not many made, but even rarer, is the “1000” model, a forerunner to the 4 wheel ATV market, of which, less than 20 were made. Talk about wrong timing, look where the ATV market went, although, AC still leads the way there. Thanks for the history lesson. http://www.bosscatlegacy.com/acproto/tractor/1000-8.jpg

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  2. Bill

    This looks like it would be a lot of fun, and a very useful vehicle for hauling gear. I’d love one (if i had room).

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  3. Mike

    Rick Harrison on Pawn Stars had one of these restored and it cost him like $3,000 to have it done by Rick’s Restoration do it. But that one needed a lot of work. They don’t run real fast, but they climb like a mountain goat!!!

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  4. Andrew

    wait, that is a 2wd bike? Is that what all those chains are for?

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  5. Doug Towsley

    Yes 2 WD, Tote Goats, Rokons were the others. Seems the seller is into these things as his FeeBay handle is ROKONWORLD. Ive seen a few of these show up from time to time at the OVM (Oregon vintage MC club) show in Corvallis and the Car and MC museum in Salem so not sure, but guessing its the same guy?
    I live about an hour from this seller (Dont know him) and doubt i could tell anything more with a personal inspection than you can get from emails or pictures, I dont need it, but it sure is cool. Maybe good for going back and forth to your moonshine operation up in the hills. Or Deer hunting if you shoot something in a tough to reach spot. If the Zombie apocylypse happens, You can live off the grid but not sure you can outrun Zombies with this (im thinking Zombies dont do well on rough terrain though)

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  6. Glen

    This would look good in the back of that Ranchero.

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  7. Mike

    Both Polaris in Roseau Mn and Arctic Cat in TRF MN used that same Kohler engine in their early snowmobiles. I live 30 miles from TRF and after they started using 2 cycle engines my Uncle bought a bunch of new Kohlers motors. We have one that we built a wood splitter around.
    The engines were bullet proof and ours still runs like a new one. We had that engine in the first front engine Polaris that was called a Comet.

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  8. Charles

    Looks like a go anywhere machine. How does it haul a lot of gear?

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  9. Metalted

    Christini and Yamaha are making 2wd dirt bikes. Many top pro riders are switching to them , and they are awesome. Twice the traction, of the other bikes, but the same power and suspension.
    There are getting popular.

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    Top speed 28 mph. .. bet that feels pretty fast. Maybe not to fast on asphalt, but this thing isn’t made for asphalt. Maybe I’m just too old, but 28 mph through the woods or over rough terrain, that is hauling A$$
    Love it.

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  11. Cattoo CattooButt Member

    Growing up on a wheat farm in NE Oregon we had lots of room outside for us three brothers. Our nearest neighbor seemingly had many of the cool toys available fir work and play. I haven’t seen one of these since the last time we were riding around on the beast. Downright freaky climbing up and descending hills and piles of rock at the quarry fording creeks and up the side of the embankment all wet and slippery. Nothing seemed to bother this two wheeler to anywhere. Enjoy it whomever gets it. They are unique.

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  12. Hammer

    They still make the Rokon Trailbreaker, Scout & Ranger today, in New Hampshire The Ranger can be registered for street use. They have been around since 1958. Great purpose built machines. Good web site. https://www.rokon.com

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  13. david maddux

    did it sell?

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    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      David, it did sell, unfortunately for $50 over my bid at about 1 second left on the auction.

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