|BOATS UNDER RESTORATION:
Joe Frauheim of Seattle, WA is about 85% complete
on the restoration of the most famous of the Ventnor Hydros, Guy Lombardo’s
VI. Joe was able to purchase the hull from the Lombardo heirs. This
boat won the Gold Cup in 1939 and 1941 as the My Sin, when it was
owned by Salamon Simmons. Lombardo purchased the boat from Simmons and
went on to win the Gold Cup in 1946. The original power plant was a Zumbach/Miller,
16 cylinder, custom built racing engine. Joe is using an Allison engine,
which Lombardo did use in later years. The whereabouts of the Miller engine
remains a mystery. Joe Van Blerk of Long Island, NY was the last person
that we know of, to have possession of the engine. If anyone knows anything
about this rare engine, please notify us.
We spoke to Jack Fisher of Millville, New Jersey.
He tells us that he has all the 136 class rules from the beginning of the
class. I’m glad to see that this documentation is not lost forever. Jack
is one of the founding fathers of the 136 cubic inch hydroplane class.
We are in need of more material for our articles, please send us your letters
VINTAGE RACERS REDISCOVERED:
Collecting and restoring Vintage raceboats
is catching on and is very infectious. We want to warn you retired racers
that if you locate your vintage raceboat, it is very hard to resist the
obvious temptation. Before you know what hit you, you will be involved
in a new hobby. I received a nice phone call from John Leach and his spouse
Marlyn, of Federal Way, Washington. As a result of a previous Propeller
vintage article, they were able to strike a deal and purchased their original
record holding raceboat back. Buccaneer E-101. This 280 cubic inch
class, 1970 Ron Jones hydroplane was a National Champion, two-time High
Point Champion, and a World Record Holder. Marlyn tell us that this project
has reunited the entire original Buccaneer crew. Their plans are
to restore her to her championship form. The crew and John are really excited
over this project. The hydroplane provided so much pleasure to the Buccaneer
crew during her active racing days. Now the restoration project is
bringing them all together again. It is nice to see someone finally restoring
one of Ron Jones beautiful boats. It is about time!
One of my personnel favorites, a 266
ci hydro, which Ron built prior to the cabover revolution, was the Gun
Shy, F-90. There are rumors that the Gun Shy is alive and still
in existence somewhere in Louisiana. Most people might remember the boat
under the banner of Miss Peg.
June 22 - 23 Celina, Ohio: Celina
Governors Cup Regatta. There will be scheduled flybys and static
displays. $200 tow money will be divided equally between boats traveling
more than 150 miles in one direction. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies will
be awarded based on “Peoples Choice.” The Spectators will vote on awards
for vintage boats.
June 29 Tahoe City, CA:
High Sierra Shootout. Vintage Offshore class race boats are invited
to attend the Shootout and compete in a special exhibition category run
with established APBA classes. Rear Commodore Craig Miller is our contact.
You may reach him at 916-583-1770.
July 5 - 7 Sarasota, FL:
Suncoast Offshore Festival Vintage Offshore Racing boats will run with
the A Class, Saturday morning on the closed course circuit. If you are
interested in participating, contact Gene Whipp at (941) 388-4441.
July 21 Sylvan Lake, MI:
Vintage event. All classes are invited. This is an old traditional race
site for the Region 6 area. The water is always good! An ideal lake for
the Vintage classes to run flybys.
Clayton, NY: The Antique Race Boat Regatta ‘96 This is the
Big Event for 1996, akin to the Nationals, or the Gold Cup for Vintage
racers. Polish up that hardware. Drag out your scrapbooks and come on to
Clayton. Seminars, flybys, static displays, auctions, barbecues and cocktail
parties with many old friends make this a must do for 1996!!! If you active
racers haven’t been there and your current schedule permits the time, come
and enjoy creating great racing history.
Recently a report of the Baby Horace III,
sent from Thomas Frauenheim of Buffalo, New York came across my desk. I
thought that this would be very interesting for our readers so we decided
to make this a special report. Baby Horace III is for sale to the
serious collector!! Every effort is being made to find an owner who will
be a “caretaker” of boat racing history. One who will care for and use
the boat at shows and regattas while enjoying the same thrilling ride as
its driver, Caleb Bragg, did in the 1925 Sweepstakes Races! Baby Horace
III was built in 1923 by the Horace E. Dodge Boat Works in Detroit,
MI. As a contender for the 150 Mile International Sweepstakes Race to be
run on the Detroit River in 1924. The 1924 race was the second annual race
and bought out some of the finest raceboats and engines ever assembled
in the sport. The importance of the Sweepstakes Race was that boat and
engines were pushed to their limits over a non-stop 150 mile course. The
early years of the race produced ten to twelve boats at the start, a large
field in any race. Offering a grueling pace, strong competition and fast
Dodge named the boat after his son -
Horace III. It was built at his boat plant, probably from a Hacker design
because of the many similar features in design, construction and appearance.
The actual builder was Alfred Seymour, a master pattern maker for the Dodge
Motor Car Company. A twelve cylinder 500 hp Packard power plant was run
in 1924 and this engine evolved into the Sweepstakes engine that Packard
offered in the 1925 races. Baby Horace ran sixth in the 1924 races
and second in the 1925 races. The 1925 winner was Packard Chris Craft
with the same power as Baby Horace III. These boats were seconds
apart thru-out the entire 150 miles and speeds on the three mile laps averaged
over 55 MPH. The boat today is original - bottom, sides, decks and transom.
It was in storage at the Dodge Boat Works, on its original cradle, from
the early 1930’s to 1982 when purchased and shipped to Buffalo, New York.
The craft was refinished in 1984 and re-powered with a 330 hp V8 marine
engine with Vee drive. Baby Horace III runs close to the 50 mph
pace today. Baby Horace III is used every summer and has attended
both of the Raceboat Regattas in Clayton, New York. Boating magazines give
us a pretty good history of powerboat racing history, boat design and engine
development in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Baby Horace III was a great
part of this history, running not only in the Sweepstakes races but the
Secretary of the Navy Trophy Races in Washington for displacement runabouts.
VINTAGE HOT BOAT OF THE MONTH:
Buccaneer, E-101, Left is
John Leach of Federal Way, Washington, in his beautifully prepared Ron
Jones 280 cubic inch Cabover. On the right is his arch rival, Al
Curtis of Edmonds, WA driving his Jones built boat the Gladiator.
©1996 Tom D'Eath