My brother Ric got me into sled racing in 1969. We started on Polaris Colts with those huge 372cc JLOs. We moved to Ski-Doo factory Blizzards and just kicked butt because nobody made a faster sled in the stock single classes with exception of a Cat or two with mod engines. I have no idea how we survived on those Doos with 26" ski stances or whatever they were. We didn't know they handled like crap so we were hanging off the left hoods to make them turn.
I started racing bikes in 1971 and Ric went on the USSA World series and did very well. 29 years later we attempted to get into vintage sled racing.
I was painting custom sleds in the beginning and years later started molding my own hoods. I still dabble in sled stuff but most of my time is bikes. Currently I am in the process of making a race hood for ET250 Yamahas-the world's most undiscovered fun snowmobile and an RXL race hood for older Indys.
Barber pole racing suits
In 1973 a Hopkins, MN based Polaris dealership, Machines of Man, formed a racing team of its employees to promote sales. They employed stock Colts for the task and designed attention-getting uniforms for team recognition. Media coverage and word-of-mouth resulted.
The suits, designed by Phil Little, were based on the white Polaris two-piece suits offered at the time. 3 ½” bands of alternating red and blue stripes were sewn on to pants and jackets to create a barber pole effect.
An old-school edge with a rider-forward seat
FIRST, you were quick to say that you'd have to call around to your friends in the industry to be sure that nobody else was doing one, because you didn't want to "step on anybody's toes."
SECOND, you told me that if you did develop a kit that you'd send me the first one for free for giving you the idea! Those two gestures really told me a lot about the person I was dealing with. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. You're an honorable man Phil, a man of your word. Without trying to sound too negative, these character traits sometimes seem to be less and less common these days... but they are plentiful around the vintage circuits for sure. That's why I'm proud to share your name and contact info with everyone who has commented on my "new" sled... and there have been many.
I found while researching your websites and racing history that you've also done much good for our sport of snowmobiling, as well as the motorcycling side of the house. That said, I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that your legacy has already been written. Your name and your company will certainly live on when (a LONG time from now) that green flag drops, signaling the start of the greatest adventure/race into the unknown my friend!
Thank you so much for helping me breathe new life into this high mileage, tired old chassis. Oh yeah, and into my sled too! Cheers.
Thanks a ton Mike. Looking forward to green flag drop into unimagined tracks.