Snowbound Online

The Guys To Beat

He said, "If you have the driving skills needed to win, I believe
I have the mechanical skills needed to build a winner."

 - By Gary Wilkinson

800 King Kat Everet Regal
Everet Regal at the Third Annual Great Eastern Whiteout taking a lap on a 1971 800cc 4-cylinder King Kat owned by Andy Avelis of Newbury, MA.
As soon as I met Everet Regal of Phoenix, to discuss this story, one of the first things he said to me was, "I always wanted to go fast." And fast he has gone in the 40 plus years since he started racing go-carts in 1960. Everet's carts were getting in excess of 90 MPH. He was driving them faster than the stockcars that raced the same tracks. The speed was achieved in a very large part to the modifications he was making to the small engines.

Everet readily admits that his driving skills, in either go-carts or on snowmobiles, were not the best. So what was a guy that loved speed to do, if he could not compete on the track? Well, as he indicated to an experienced and skilled snowmobile driver many years ago, "If you have the driving skills needed to win, I believe I have the mechanical skills needed to build a winner." Building high performance engines has been Everet's place in the sport of snowmobile racing. He is, as his nickname indicates a 'Super Wrench' - a builder of winning race sleds.

The Everet Regal built racing sleds were world champions in the early 1970s. With the help of several friends, working out of Everet's garage, in a 'shade tree mechanic' type environment and competing against the factory-sponsored teams, the 'Widow Makers' (Everet's racing team) won three world championships.

The Widow Makers name was chosen when Fay Parmley, a racing team member, said to the team as they were working on a sled one night, "My wife said, as I was leaving tonight, that you guys are nothing but a bunch of widow makers." And they were, so to speak, given all the time being spent in the Regal garage developing better and faster racing snowmobiles.

Prior to forming the Widow Makers, Everet did have the opportunity to race for the Polaris Factory during the 1968-69 season. Everet tweaked the engines and others raced the sleds. He said, "We won a lot of big races that season." However, they never won a world championship.

The Widow Makers' first world championship was in 1970. This was after a successful season of local racing. It happened at the first USSA sanctioned World Series event in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. The '70 event is still considered one of the most memorable races in USSA history. Competition was intense with the Widow Makers team facing off against a factory team in the feature event.

Driver Ken Young quickly squared off against the factory driver making this basically a two man race. The two exchanged the lead three times before Young crossed the finish line a few feet ahead of the factory sled. They had won the 1970 Modified IV Class world championship. This was, as Everet had predicted a few years early - the combination of a skilled driver matched up with a 'Regalized' Puma 634CC sled (or any sled) to produce a winner. Not a bad accomplishment for a small town team from Phoenix, NY.

The combination of driver Ken Young and an Everet Regal built sled would reign again as world champions in 1971. This time it would be done with a very unique hybrid engine - a very special 295-CC engine conceived and built by Regal. The concept, which many said could not be done, took a 250-CC twin and 340-CC twin and put them side by side. With some creative machining and welding, they fit together. From the exterior the heads looked the same, until they were removed and the different size cylinders were exposed.

At the World Championships in Ironwood, Michigan that year, the hybrid sled qualified in three classes and won the MOD I title. Ken Young was the only non-factory sponsored rider to win a man's qualified class - a record unmatched by anyone.

This special engine has never been able to be duplicated by others. It was on display in the Regal Speed Shop (a shop Everet operated for a couple of years in the village of Phoenix) until it was stolen. Someone informed Everet that they had seen it in Alaska. It was never recovered.

The third world championship came in 1974 at Eagle Run, Wisconsin. This was the junior class. And again it was a Young and Regal winning combination. Only this time, it was Ken 'Tadpole" Young, the son of Ken Young that was driving the sled.

Today, at 71 Everet is still active. He continues to develop new engines for racing sleds and he is able to get 218-HP out of 800-CC engines. The modern Arctic Cat titanium framed racers he is building today are not 'track tested' on the village streets of Phoenix as they were in the 1970's. Everet is also finding time to rebuild a couple of vintage engines each year. He does this in the same garage where he built the world champions.

When he is not enjoying his love of speed, he holds down a job as Consulting Chief Engineer at Precision Systems Manufacturing, Inc. This keeps him engaged in the mechanical technology.

At the Great Eastern Whiteout a few weeks ago, Everet 'Super Wrench' Regal was presented a plaque - The Adirondack Cup Award. This recognized his contribution and lifetime achievement to the sport of snowmobiles and racing. Part of the plaque's inscription read, "He got the most out of engines."

For a 'seat-of-the-pants' operation, Everet and the Widow Makers team were (and still are) the guys to beat in everyone's book
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