Polaris Star Car

Polaris Star Car

The Polaris Star Car was a 1960s production open-wheel racer designed to look like a miniature Formula 1 or Indy car of the era. Powered by a rear-mounted snowmobile engine, the car was said to reach speeds in excess of 80 mph, with some sources reporting speeds in excess of 100 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

It was introduced in 1965 and remained in production until 1968. However, Polaris attempted to recall and destroy them due to legal liabilities, leaving only about 20 surviving examples today.

The 372cc, 18hp Rockwell/JLO two-stroke engine was taken from a Polaris snowmobile of the same era. Snowmobiles had a problem for users as they could only be used when there was snow on the ground. The Polaris team solved this problem by designing the Polaris Star Car to be powered by one of their snowmobile engines.

The engine could be easily moved between the Star Car in the summer and the snowmobile in the winter, generating year-round revenue for the company. The car had a tubular steel chassis and a fibreglass body.

However, the car proved to be dangerous due to inadequate brakes and tyres, leading to a recall and discontinuation of production after three years.

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