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History

C&A Pro Remembers Dale Cormican, Inventor of C&A Pro Skis

Dale Cormican leaning on the Boss Cat holding a trophy
Dale Cormican with the Boss Cat. 

C&A Pro is sad to announce the passing of our founder Dale Cormican, the record-breaking snowmobile racer and inventor who transformed the snowmobiling industry with numerous innovations, including the invention of C&A Pro Skis in the 1990s. Dale passed away at the age of 77 July 12 in Fargo.

Inducted into the Snowmobile Hall of Fame in January 1997, Dale was the two-time winner of the storied Winnipeg-to-St. Paul International 500 cross-country race, racing Arctic Cat Panthers to back-to-back victories in 1968 and 1969. He broke the world land speed record for snowmobiles in 1971, cruising to 125.87 mph in the 1,000 horsepower turbine-powered Boss Cat I that he built with the late Denny Ray. The following year, Dale survived a fiery explosion in the Boss Cat I that nearly took his life during a trial run in Boonville, N.Y. According to the Snowmobile Hall of Fame, Dale developed several early engineering breakthroughs including innovations in lightweight fabrication, rack steering and fuel injection. He teamed up with John Deere in the mid-1970’s, working on the original John Deere cross-country 340S model and the Liquidator that Brian Nelson raced to victory in the International 500 in 1976. He also engineered the smaller “Little John” (later the Spitfire) that predicted direct-drive technology.

Closeup image of Dale Cormican's face

Dale continued innovating for decades, engineering new suspensions and drive systems. He pioneered the application of slick plastic snowmobile skis for racing when he invented C&A Pro high performance snowmobile skis. C&A Pro Skis continue to be the ski of choice among professional snowmobile athletes as well as recreational riders.

Dale Cormican was born June 16, 1944 in Warren, Minnesota to Laverne and Lillian (Teal) Cormican. He attended school in Euclid, MN and the North West School of Agriculture in Crookston, MN. He married Sandra Stine on August 17, 1962 in Crookston, MN.

He worked for the State of Minnesota as a diesel mechanic before going to work at Arctic Cat in their Race Department where he was also a successful snow mobile racer for many years. He operated his own Motorcycle Store, Cormican’s Kawasaki, before starting his own Construction Company.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Sandra, Mentor, MN; children, Shawn (Lisa) Cormican, Crookston, MN, Brandon (Stephanie) Cormican, Mentor, MN; brother, Leroy “Skip” (Kathy) Cormican, Battle Ground, WA, sister, Marilyne Cormican, Bemidji, MN; 7 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Della Montreuil.

Read Dale Cormican’s obituary here.

Read Dale Cormican’s Snowmobile Hall of Fame Profile here.

Learn more about the Boss Cat Legacy here.

 

A collage of pictures depicting Dale Cormican with the Boss Cat

Photos courtesy Snowmobile Hall of Fame.

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