Mike Honken is quickly becoming Mr. “I found it!” as he’s turning up all kinds of interesting finds. The one he sent in today is astonishing.
Jerry Bunke, along with his team mates, got shiny new 73 Starfires to race for the 1973 season. Jerry’s dad (who owned the dealership in the home town of Rushford, Minnesota) got Jerry a 295 and a 440. In 1974, they cut the living bejesus out of them, turning them into what they called “ultra-lights’. Bulkhead, steering column… everything had holes drilled in it to lighten the chassis. They even removed the recoils, rope starting them instead, to lose some weight.
In 1975, they raced the same machines, refined a bit more. Jerry won a high point driver award in the central division. That and a resume got him noticed enough by Polaris that by 1976 they hired him to move up to Roseau and become part of the Polaris Professional Race Team. The rest, as they say, is history.
This is clearly Jerry’s 295, which was converted to a 340 for 74 and 75. Current owner wants to remain anonymous, and it is NOT FOR SALE. Mike talked him into some photos however to share with all of us… more proof folks…it’s still out there….
In fact, this means Jerry’s 440 is still out there some where, as is team member Wally Nahrganger’s….