the dream of riding a 440x at the eagle river track comes true
It took a great deal of time and frankly a stupid amount of money, but after I got most of this 440x together, Tj Patrick got it over the finish line, getting it running, setup and ready to rip.
The bulkhead, part of the motor, the front and rear skid are from Jerry Bunke’s second 440X that was built just in time to race in Eagle River in 1978 and was the last ride in Beasejour in that same year. The rest of the parts are genuine 440x parts with a few repop parts thrown in to make it all work – and look great.
The project was lengthy – but worth it!
First Up: Gabe Bunke
In retrospect, we should have had TJ ride it first, and we really, really should have warned Gabe that you cannot go too slow on one of these!
Gabe took it all in stride, and I hope he had a good time despite the spill!
It’s worth noting that each driver was warned that if they crashed, they were on their own, because the ambulance would be coming for the sled!
Next: Taylor Bunke
Third to go:
Boe Bunke kept a close eye on how is dad and older brother drove the machine.. and then NAILED IT!
Jerry Bunke’s older brother Vern – fulfilling a life long dream to ride one of the Polaris factory 440X machines!
For the first time since he raced the sled in 1979, TJ Patrick gets on her and gets ‘er done!
Finally - ME!
Like Vern, I wanted to ride one of these things so bad when I was a kid that it hurt… and thanks to the hard work of a great many people, and the folks at the Derby Track and The Snowmobile Hall of Fame, I finally got to go out on that track (for the first time ever) and see if I could hang on!