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Polaris Team

In 1968-69 Everet Regal had the opportunity to race for the Polaris Factory, with Herm Mattison. Herm was conservation officer in Redfield, New York at the time. Herm happened to be a personal friend of Allan Hateen, the president of the Polaris Factory. He headed up the deals with the factory and provided the equipment and the financial support.

As recalled by Everet, "Herm asked me to work with him and his boys on the engines and have Dick Jerrett and the late Dave Kilian drive for me. He provided some start up money, a bunch of parts and a 368 single C4L Polaris, cleated track sled with a Fugi Star engine in it. We had a lot of problems with the rings at that time."

"We never won a lot of big races, but I remember one race, when Dick passed Jim Warden on the back stretch, winning first place against Bombardier Blizzards hot 440 twin that year."

"I also remember going up to Sandy Pond with that old 1969 Polaris single cylinder and running it on the ice in the Flying Mile. A radar event. At that time they clocked me at 72 mph," Everet recalled.

"Don Cornell was there, who at that time was a Yamaha dealer. Don turned 69 mph with his 440 twin. He was so mad he wouldn't talk to me. Dick Jerrett was also pissed, because I didn't let him run the sled. It was the only time I ever got to squeeze the throttle. Herm's boy, Brian, was there with his 368 single and he made several attempts, with his best at 68 mph."

Herm, Everet and their wives were flown out to the Polaris Factory to visit with Allan in Roseau, Minnesota during the winter of 69. They enjoyed his hospitality and sledding along the river behind his home. Offers were made to have Everet move to Minnesota and work for the factory, but no deals were struck.

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by Everet B. Regal

Early winter, before the racing season began, Dick and I went up to Herm's house, to pick up the new sled. Dick was out back of Herm's trying it out. He came across a ditch, dove the ski's in and ran the handle bars into his knee cap.

As I remember it didn't do any damage to the sled, but Dick had to be taped up and in a small cast. The doctor told him to stay off it and not race until it healed. Well, knowing Dick, that wasn't going to slow him down. We had a race in Laconia, New Hampshire the next week. He said, "Lets go!"

That was on a Friday night. The boys went out partying and got back to the motel late. We all had one large room with several beds in it. I remember Dave was a crazy character. He came in later after some of us guys had gone to bed. He grabbed the end of Herm's bed and lifted it up breaking the headboard and crashed it down with Herm and his boy in it.

I don't know who ever paid for that episode. I know I didn't. Anyway, the next day we got up to go to the track at Belknapp. It was white out and racing was out of the question. We just hung out most of the day at the motel. We unloaded the sleds just to load them back on the trucks again.

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Tragedy Struck:

by Everet B. Regal

Laconia was a horrible trip back. I had a 1965 Dodge window van and was pulling a trailer with a couple of sleds on it. Dick Jerrett and Dave Killian were riding with me. We followed Herm, who had a Chevy truck with chains on the back, big wheels and 3 sleds crosswise in the bed. His two boys rode with him.

We headed back in a blizzard about 2:00 in the afternoon from New Hampshire, heading down toward Boston at a crawl. Herm followed a snow plow as long as he could, which finally went off one of the ramps and got stuck. Herm backed up and kept going down the road and got off the next ramp into Boston.

Everything in Boston was plugged solid. I followed Herm's tracks. I was glad he had chains and weight. We went round and round in Boston trying to get on the Boston Turnpike. Everything was snowed shut. What a day!

We were all getting pretty weary and needed gas. We finally stopped in Boston at a gas station to get fueled up. Dick was sleeping in the back seat and Dave decided to call home and tell his wife where we were.

While he was talking to her, Dick's father was at Dave's house and asked to talk to me and Dave alone and make sure Dick didn't know he was on the phone. He told us Dick's little 5 year old daughter had been killed that morning by a school bus, in front of her house.

We now had to keep this information from getting to Dick, who was still sleeping in the back seat of my van. We started driving again with heavy hearts, dreading for Dick to wake up. Finally an alternate route heading west, opened up and we followed Herm. We were still about 5-6 hours from home.

Dick woke up and wanted to call home and talk to Judy. Of course, he knew nothing at that time and Dave and I kept assuring him everything was okay. He kept wanting me to stop so he could call. We were so afraid if he talked to her, she would tell him and he would lose control and put everyone in a dangerous situation. It was Hell talking him out of stopping until we drove right to his door step about 2:00 in the morning.

His wife, Judy met him with the tragic news of their loss of that sweet little girl, the previous morning. It was such a difficult moment. That is an experience I shall never forget.

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Grass Drags

In the spring, Everet was looking for iron to compete in the summer grass drags. The Polaris Factory asked him to go to Lambs Distributors, in Syracuse, New York and pick up an authorized 744cc Star Fugi engine. Fay Parmley, was interested in driving.

Everet took the 368cc engine out of the Colt he had from winter oval racing and fitted it up the 744cc. Looking for a testing ground, a great spot on the Terripen Farm was spotted in Pennellville, New York. This proved to be the flats for all future testing of Regal's iron.

George Wagner, from Massachusetts, used to stop by and comment on that sled being the fastest thing he'd ever seen. "It throws rocks and sod 40 feet," he would say!

Everet had large resonating chambers mounted on the sled. Parm called them the "Big Bertha" pipes, because they stuck out so far. They really worked well on that engine. In fact, they recycled them the following season and used them on the 744cc JLO Cat engine for the winter ovals! They had a wild sound!

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