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Vintage Speed Boats

Discussion in 'The Antiquated' started by Ryan, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    Johnny, you were talking about Jerry Zuvich....here he is changing powerplants between heats on the Bardahl (aka the "Checkered Comet")

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  2. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    Tommy "Tucker" Fults, and the Pay-N-Pak "outrigger"....

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  3. The guy's from the 60's sure blazed the trail. When it was my time I tried to emulate there rigs and equipment. We didn't get to race the Miss Bardahl, but I raced Grand Prix and 7 Liters all over North America. This is just one of the fourteen hydroplanes that I owned and race. The one in the picture was the 1975 Grand Prix World Champion built and driven by the late Joe Gimbrone. I purchased the boat from Joe in 1977, and raced it till 1980. I ran everything from a stock 427 to a blown 500 inch engine in it.
    the transporter was equiped with a small space in the back end for my motorcycle and sidecar. When we arrived at the race site many time we couldn't move the rig for the entire weekend. With the sidecar rig we had a way into town and to the hotel if it was part of the racing package. If not the transporter had two rooms for sleeping. I could store two, or three engines in the underside storage areas. We drove that rig all over the country. Racing would start the weekend before Memorial Day weekend in Miami Florida, and the next week we where in Quebec City Quebec Canada. Every week the racing was in a different city. I raced almost exclusively in Canada. They paid more and they had a class of hydroplane racing that was wide open called "The Braden Events". Whatever engine you placed in your hydroplane you could run. I had one boat that weighed 1035 LBS. and had a Chevy small block engine in it. A 400 block with a 350 crank. 6" rods running complete roller cam, and kit, Hilborn injection on methanol fuel. The dyno ticket read 635 HP. The boat was a flying rocket ship with a power to weight ratio of 1.63 to 1. Granted some of the drag boats at the time came in at 1.50 to 1, but when we got to the end of the straightaway we didn't get out of the throttle, and get ready for the shut down like a drag boat. We turned left and went racing for three laps on a 1 2/3 mile race course.
    The 70,s where called the Golden Age of Grand Prix hydroplane racing. A guy didn't have to be a multi millionaire to compete. On any different weekend there where limited inboard hydroplane races all over the country from the first week in June till the end of October. It was a time that will never be duplicated, and how fortunate was I to have been lucky enough to not only compete at that time, but to survive that great adventure.
    Thanks for reading
    Johnny Sweet


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  4. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    Johnny, you need to post more of your stuff and more stories..... I hope we're not boring most of the others on this thread...:eek: I love this shit!
     
  5. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    "Black Sunday"....sad, sad day. Ron Musson, Rex Manchester, and Don Wilson all paid the ultimate price that day.:(

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  6. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,701

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not bored here, keep em coming!
     
  7. Paul B
    Joined: Sep 29, 2007
    Posts: 888

    Paul B
    Member

    my old stevens and Baja jet
     

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  8. trimph1
    Joined: Dec 5, 2011
    Posts: 247

    trimph1
    Member

    [​IMG]
     
  9. trimph1
    Joined: Dec 5, 2011
    Posts: 247

    trimph1
    Member

  10. trimph1
    Joined: Dec 5, 2011
    Posts: 247

    trimph1
    Member

  11. hotrodjohnny77
    Joined: Jun 1, 2008
    Posts: 264

    hotrodjohnny77
    Member

    11172010030.jpg

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    One of my customers, I even run around in a vintage Lonestar runabout. Sorry for the Japanese power but it's what pays the bills.
     
  12. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    Interesting shot....the transition to the "cab over" design, and turbo chargers. (this is about the time I stopped following the sport...no more "thunder."):(

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  13. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,390

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    You must be my long lost brother! Was just about ready to post the same thing!
    I know that hurts Johnny to hear that but I grew up around the shovel nose conventionals.
    I used the word "shovel nose" on the VH site and most didn't even know what I meant!
     
  14. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    I know exactly what you mean...;)
     
  15. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    Shovel nose....

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    ....and not!:D

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  16. The name " shovel nose" was never used around me when I was racing. It sounds strange, but I never heard the phrase until later in life and the new guys where rebuilding the old boats. It could be because I was from New England and the only guy racing the conventional's in the later years.
    I wouldn't think that the name came along later, but it wasn't used in my world until later on.

    This is a picture of one of my conventional hydro's. I wrecked the dam thing at over a buck and a half in 1976. The Simpson Life jacket with a parachute save my life. You could call this getting it aired out.
     

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  17. This is a great example of two conventionals, one being a "shovel nose" and the other a "pickle fork". I guess it's time for me to step up and start calling them "shovel noses".


     
  18. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,390

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Look at the tail feathers of the Pay & Pak, looks like a bomb that would have been dropped by a WWII airplane!
     
  19. Ricola
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 100

    Ricola
    Member
    from MN

    My 1966 Silverline
     

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  20. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    Haulin' ass into turn 1....you'll never see close racing like this with the turbine whoosh-mobiles of today.

    Ron Musson/Bardahl, Bill Brow/Exide, Mira Slovak/Tahoe Miss....:cool:

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  21. Scotty Harrod
    Joined: Feb 19, 2008
    Posts: 22

    Scotty Harrod
    Member

    Here's my mate "Little Dave" Pagano's vintage Hydroplane called 'Aggressor', as you can see with a Rolls Royce Merlin power plant it goes like the clappers!!:eek: It held race records in Australia for years!!
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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  22. Offset
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 1,700

    Offset
    Member
    from Canada

    Thanks for posting the pictures trimph1. Great shots and I am happy the boat still exists.

    Great stories and pictures guys. Must have been an exciting era when the hydroplanes were at their peak of popularity. Perhaps a come back will take place, it was good to see the race boats return to Gravenhurst, Ontario in 2011 after an absence of many years.
     
  23. nefareous
    Joined: Nov 21, 2008
    Posts: 360

    nefareous
    Member
    from maryland

    Miss Pepsi
     

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  24. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    Man....nice toys!:cool:
     
  25. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

  26. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    1965, Tahoe Miss burned to the water line....

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  27. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,390

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Some of Johnny Sweets hydro's, maybe he will chime in on what's what!
     

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  28. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,390

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    A couple more ........................ OK one more.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  29. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    He's just being shy....or has to work, unlike some of us.
     
  30. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    1962, not from the school of "less is more"....Jack Schafer's "Such Crust" out of Detroit. 2 Allison powerplants....I remember it being loud, heavy & sloooow.

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