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The Story of Allen Hetteen and Rosco Racing

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November 30, 2023

Allen Hetteen was one of the three founders of Polaris in 1954. He served as the president, worked on development, and was hands-on on all the fronts. He turned wrenches and handled business decisions. On June 1, 1970, Allan Hetteen retired from Polaris Industries. He then started a Polaris Snowmobile Distribution company, Rosco, Inc. This story tells the beginning of that journey.


1970-1972 Rosco Race Team

Allan always felt a race program would advance the development of the snowmobile, which in turn would help increase sales of the product. He passionately believed his new company, Rosco, Inc., would also benefit from a racing team. Thus, the Rosco Race Team was formed. 

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The team would support the dealers and their customers, being visible to the public, answering concerns, and helping the other race drivers when needed for support with parts and mechanical assistance. Allan expected the drivers to be gracious, helpful, and good sportsmen, treating others as part of the team. His opinion was to create a positive image, which would help sell the products supplied by Rosco, Inc., but most importantly, present a positive picture of the recreational winter sport of snowmobiling. The team participated in races in the upper north half of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. 

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Rosco Racing Badge 1970
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Officer Dale Amundson; General Manager Gene Fichter; Mechanics and Race Team Drivers.  Allan Hetteen, on the far right, in the back row, shaking Race Manager Wayne Burkel’s hand.

He was pleased with the success of the team’s winning seasons. Allan felt every employee was an essential asset to a successful company. He was thoughtful in recognizing the staff and team for the efforts each of them contributed to Rosco, Inc., A Polaris Distributor. He would visit the Race Garage regularly. He was checking on the sled items needed and asking the drivers how the machines performed and what ideas for more speed and performance were required.

Left to right: Wayne Burkel, Team Manager, Bob Przekwas, Duane Opdahl, Ed Mansueto. Sitting on the sled: Roger Helgeson, Tony Burkel

At the end of the 1973 season, Rosco Incorporated would no longer be a distributor. The large sponsored Rosco Race Team of 1971 & 1972 ended.  Although he no longer had his “own” race team, Allan still felt racing was important. He continued to sponsor racing for the 1973 season as a Polaris distributor, establishing a “Racing for Gold” incentive program for independent and dealer-sponsored race drivers.

On March 15, 1973, Rosco, Inc. was sold to Polaris Industries, A Textron Company.

Polaris Save the Date 1

Save the date to attend the 70th Celebration in Roseau. We will honor the heritage and look at the future of the company.

Hotels are limited. Click here to view lodging options.

Allen Hetteen was one of the three original founders of Polaris. in 1954. Allen served as the president and worked development. He was hands on all fronts. He turned wrenches and handled business deciissions. Allan Hetteen retired from Polaris Industries on June 1, 1970. He went on to start a PolarisSnowmobile Distribution company called Rosco, Inc.