Almost a year ago, I published a story that Jerry Bunke’s 1973 440cc Starfire had been found. I based that merely on a phone call, and I should not have done that. Jerry’s 1973 295 is at home with Gabe Bunke, so I got pretty excited thinking we could get the two sleds back together. The 440 would be really interesting, as Jerry’s performance on that sled is what got him noticed by Polaris, and was partly responsible for him getting a job there for the 1976 season.
After publishing the story I got to talk to the person with the sled again, and he describes the hood perfectly, but the chassis he described had an IFS and a liquid motor… I told him that could not be a 1973 Starfire, if it was, it had been altered beyond recognition.
He had taken the hood to Vern Bunke (Jerry’s brother) and Vern believed the hood to be the original.
But it is not.
A friend of mine found and got the 295 to Gabe several years back. While he had it in his garage, he made a clone out of the 295 hood from an old 1973 Starfire hood. He then painted it up like the 440 and mounted it on a 1994 XLT. The result was pretty fun.
Here’s the photos of the process of re-creating the hood, using the original 295 hood as the model.
So not the real hood, and not the real sled. The sled just got sold a few times, and in the transfers, the truth about the hood got lost.
But the cool part about that is that the real one could still be out there, just waiting for someone to save it and give it a new home!