Bob Eastman's Polaris Shooting Star

Bob Eastman wanted that title of “World’s Fastest Snowmobile” to come home to Roseau, and in 1973, he had a great way to get it.

The new 73 Fuji 800cc engines were absolute horsepower monsters, and one of them helped Bob lead the Eagle River World Championship from start to finish for the win. His speed record sled that he dubbed the “Shooting Star” was going to get two of the fantastic engines.

But getting both motors under the hood of 1973 Starfire was going to be a real challenge. But with nothing more than a stack of magnesium raw material, Bob engineered the whole thing in his head, got some help from others in the race department and put it all together in a stunningly short period.

Stan Hayes went home for Christmas break in December of 1972, and when he came back, Eastman had the whole sled done!

The motor closest to the driver is flipped around with the cylinders on backward and an ignition that rotates background.

The all magnesium chassis, patterned after a 1973 Starfire, but on closer inspection, you can see she’s all custom.

It attempted to break the record on three occasions. Once time in Boonville, NY it went 127 MPH, but the track broke before they could do the back-up run, which prevented the record speed from being official.

In West Yellowstone she the Shooting Star went 128.6 MPH and again, the track broke on the second attempt.

In Roseau, both Bob and Dorothy Mercer thought they had the record, but the timing system was set too high to record it, and by the time they got it figured out, the track was in too bad of shape to continue. The calculated time was 133.3 MPH.

The sled has been in Bob’s possession this whole time. But over the years a few parts were picked off to aid in the development of ATV’s at Polaris, but the recovered missing items were put back together.

Jim Haug, David Lee, Donny Wentsloff, and Donna and Les Pinz and yours truly all helped with the recovery of parts. I had found one of the heads in a salvage yard and gave it back to Bob the next time I saw him. 

The “Shooting Star” is now owned by the Karolyn. J. Eastman Trust and is on display in Greenbush, MN.