1973 - What a Year!
For the 1973 racing season, all the manufacturers (and there were a lot of manufacturers back then) built a race sled for consumers. Allouette, Sno*Jet, Arctic Cat, and many more pumped out open-pipe, ground rattling, lightweight machines that could be purchased through your local dealership.
The rules stated everyone, including the factories, had to start with the production machines, but there was a lot of wiggle room for modifications by the manufacturer professional teams.
Polaris was no exception. The 1973 Starfire – still one of the most collectible sleds there is – came in 295, 340, 440 and 650cc versions. There was also a kit to convert a 650 into an 800cc monster machine, but precious few of those made it out on to the race track.
At Polaris, the 295’s to be raced in cross-country events were beefed up with extra gussets, re-enforcements, and some other closely guarded secrets. The oval sleds came off the line, and out came the drills to lighten them up.
Despite extremely tough competition from all the other factories, Polaris managed to win the majority of races, including the big ones, like the Bob Eastman’s win in the Eagle River World Championship, and Stan Hayes’ victory in the punishing Winnipeg to St. Paul I-500.