Thorsen 1977 World Championship Sled Unleashed!
After the 1977 race season, the kids began plotting and planning how they would hold on to the Midnight Blue Express dominance in oval racing. To that end, they built new sleds with all the best of what they learned in 1977.
To make sure they got it right, they brought Steve’s 440cc World Championship sled to one of the first races of the 1978 season. Years ago, a few of us spotted the 1977 440cc machine tucked in with the new 78’s but were not sure why. Now, we are pretty sure it was the baseline sled they used to test 1978 440’s. By then, it had an updated tank and hood.
From there it went out west, wherein about a year it wound up with the Mires family in Washington state. The brothers raced it for a few years before parking it in a shed.
The sled was there, and lots of people knew about it, but it was a phone call from Mrs. Mires that led me to dig into the machine and figure it out. For a long time, I thought it was Bunke’s 440 – and it was only when the Derby Track was able to look up the serial numbers that we found out it was Thorsen’s sled.
It has been sold (for a record amount I might add, making the factory RXL’s from 77 and 78 more valuable than ever) to Karolyn Eastman for her private collection and it’s already been spotted at the Team Frustration Reunion, and is slated to be at the Polaris 65th Anniversary in Roseau on August 17th.