In 2002, working some very talented people, I finished the restoration of my first 1978 Polaris RXL. Al Enno, Doug Monson, my brother “Doc Jim” and I brought it back to life with a super stock 340 monoblock engine, pipes and a new hood, amongst many other smaller parts.
I bought the sled from Mark Taylor in Michigan, and it had been drag raced with Rotax in it. Later checking the serial number, it was originally sold as a super stock 340 and not raced a on the oval a whole lot.
I got a call in the fall of 2002 from Aaron Johnson at Polaris who wanted to know if I would be okay displaying it at the Polaris Experience Center in Roseau. I jumped at the chance, thinking it would be the best possible storage for it.
When I arrived in Roseau, to my surprise, the remaining members of the team that built the RXL’s who were still working at Polaris all came out to greet me! Greg Hedlund, Arlen Saage, Jim Bernat, Bob Eastman and Jomar Bernat all stopped their normal work and came out to take a look.
Talk about pressure – having the guys behind such an iconic piece of hardware looking it over with a fine tooth comb! Bernat did look down and notice one fuel line was pinched. Can’t get nothing by these guys!
It just so happened that 2002 was the 25th Anniversary of the RXL (they were built in the fall of 77 for the 78 season), so I had this poster made up and gave them to the people in the photo and those that helped with the machine.
The machine was in the Experience center for quite a few years, then I sold it to Bruce Pattocka in New York, who has since sold it again. I wouldn’t want it back (I’ve still got too many of them), but it would be interesting to know where it went and how it’s doing now!